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Cultural Influence

In one fashion or another, every generation has made an indelible mark on the culture that surrounds them. From the era that was defined by the two great wars and the generation that followed it that saw unprecedented numbers and prosperity. To the generations that were labeled with letters because nothing else seemed to fit them to the millennial that helps to usher in a new wave of social change and technology that previous ones could only dream of.

In today’s fast-paced world, the fastest-growing, and some would say the most influential generations is that of the millennial, as of the last US. Census, this age group accounted for between 25 and 33% of the population as a whole. They are by far one of the most diverse groups in the history of the United States, including a larger percentage of minorities, nearly 44%. They are also one of the most educated, with almost 36% of their members are college-educated, with that percentage varying from region to region across the country. They also make up a sizable portion of the workforce. Since many of them had access to technology and the internet during the formative years, their relationship with technology is vital.

But what does this mean for the culture as a whole? Simply put, millennials. Are poised to become one of the most influential parts of our modern-day culture and the future. Here are a few ways that this group of people is changing the world and the way we view it.

Group Dynamics Are Important

In previous generations, especially in the United States, the idea of individualism was paramount. A person got a job, bought a house, raised a family, and interacted with the world around them mainly to help maintain a sense of individual identity. The rights and responsibilities of the person often outweighed the good and needs of the many.

With the millennial generation, that idea is slowly being turned on its head. More people are making the conscious decision to see other people’s plights not as only their own, but rather as something to relate to. The ideas of social justice, universal health care, or even universal basic income are now longer the strongholds of the fringes of our society, but rather becoming more acceptable and mainstream. One reason for this is the millennial’s push for change. They want, as previous generations have in the past, the culture to better align with their ideals and philosophies.

​Technology Serves as The Bridge

More than previous generations, the millennial generation has used technology to their best advantage. Being exposed  at such an early age, their understanding of the nuances, as well as its uses, is quite profound. While the average person in the boomer or earlier generation may struggle with the use of many of the computer applications today, this is not the case for the millennial.

This knowledge and experience base has a significant impact on the culture we see today. First, the dissemination of information around the globe is much faster. Second, and perhaps more importantly, the critical thinking and examination of said information are almost in real-time. This makes the exposure of propaganda, both in the United States and around the world, much easier to accomplish. And since many of the millennials are well educated, their critical thinking skills are up to the task.

​Financial Hardships Cause an Empathic Outlook

While there are quite a few advantages to being in the millennial generation, there are some drawbacks as well. The first is the often crippling debt and financial strain that many in this generation are experiencing. Many members have chosen to delay starting a family, buying a house, or making significant investments not because the desire isn’t there, but rather because they can’t afford to do so because of skyrocketing costs and slower growth rates of income.

Because of this financial instability, often through no fault of their own, many millennials have begun to project a more empathic outlook to the suffering of the world around them. This has led them to instigate severe changes in their lives and the culture around them. The sense of self is no longer paramount for many. The survival and the ability of the world around them to thrive is becoming center stage.

Culture can undoubtedly influence the individual. The same can be said for the opposite as well. If a generation is strong enough, bold enough, and smart enough, cultural change is not only possible. It is inevitable.



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