While many have made attempts to characterize the Millenial generation, I would propose that to attempt to define the Millenials in a single term is antithetical to the generation itself. Yet I will eschew convention and try.
It is the “holistic” cohort – one that is not so much about counting carbs or calories as it is about living well, one in which Google searches for “calm” have leapt and searches for “stress” have fallen. We marry later, have children later, and buy cars later. We are less worried about pinching pennies and more concerned about sustainability; less anxious about winning and happier to simply participate.
We want to feel part of a larger community. Online social media, political activism, environmental advocacy, and cause driven organizations riddle the Millenial landscape like vineyards in the Willamette Valley.
You want to be the “best you that you can be.” Books, speeches, movies, TED talks and blogs are full of the “5 Ways to be a Better…” Fill in the blank.
You join Crossfit not to compete with the rest of your class but to be encouraged and urge on others. You buy organic not to lose weight but to live a more healthy life. You try not to “fret the little things” but worry about the world. You earn money not to count it but to “experience life.”
And it’s precisely these “experiences” that are so important to us. Do we join a Color Run so we can bring home a trophy? Do we dash through bubbles or mud in order to revel in victory? Of course not. We “run happy”, #exploregon, and #daretoberad. We want to be sprayed with color, take selfies with friends, get coated in 5 layers of wet brown sludge, and share local craft beers at the end. We take a selfish pride in these experiences and plug in for more time off from work so that we can participate in them. Our envy arises less when others win something but more when we are left out.
The app we’ve developed makes an attempt to include everyone and allow people to run together, walk together, play games together, and laugh together (the beer is on your own time and we disclaim any liability for mentioning it in this post, btw). We don’t know if we will be successful but we do know we are building value for everyone in our community. It doesn’t get much better than that.
(photo courtesy of the Color Run)