Sometimes ignorance really is bliss. This blog is not advocating ignorance as a way forward or indeed trumpeting it as a life tool of any sort – we’re merely saying that, occasionally, sticking one’s head in the stand is temporarily preferable to engaging with reality. Every so often it is perfectly and normally human to feel the urge to take our lead from ostriches.
Currently, the urge to ‘do an ostrich’ is driven largely by the fact that it is impossible to open a newspaper or newsfeed that doesn’t contain some scaremongering headline foretelling the bleak future reality of our young people. That demographic is now largely referred to as ‘Generation Y’ or ‘Millennials’ – (ie those born between 1985 and 2000), and their sociological status is what fills endless column inches with countless tales of their economic woe.
For them, home ownership is increasingly unaffordable; salaries are lower in real terms; and job security is tenuous at best. They are, in simple terms, the first generation to be worse off than their parents – despite being better educated than their forebears.
But what does ‘worse off’ actually mean? Are they grappling with a social catastrophe like the 1930s Great Depression? Do they fear brutal invaders bristling with menace a mere 20 miles from the white cliffs of Dover as there were in the 1940s? Are they contending with the suffocating social mores of the 1950s prior to Presley’s hip swivel?
The list goes on – and the answer is, of course, no. That doesn’t mean theirs isn’t a very real predicament of grave concern – but like every generation before them, they will need to take the lead themselves in terms of addressing those social ills. To do otherwise is to join the ranks of the Expectocracy.
Yet to debate whether theirs is a genuine lack of opportunity or a misguided sense of entitlement, is to completely miss the point. That point being the array of technology at their fingertips that previous generations couldn’t even imagine – the very same technology that allows you to read this article.
Necessity is the mother of invention – the need to forge an independent and equitable future is Generation Y’s necessity, and Crowdfunding is the invention. The trick is to harness that energy and facedown the threat to their wellbeing – like every other generation before them.
And when it comes to front page scoops, this Generation Y of Millennials have the tools at their disposal to match the ‘Victory in Europe’ headlines of 1945. If ever we needed proof that change happens when people struggle – this is it.