This is a #millennial?

I’ve been keeping tabs on Good‘s acquisition of Jumo since Wednesday. With the launch of Google+ (and after two logins deciding I don’t have the time right now to build all of my contacts into circles), the social network field is only getting more crowded, and, as a result, competitive. I joined Jumo when it launched, but have never grown into an active user. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – broader networks with more of my contacts – have been satisfactory for engaging around my nonprofit and philanthropic interests.

That said, I’m inclined to agree with this post from Tactical Philanthropy on the fact that I don’t need another social network to invest in with my time and energy. What caught me off guard was the author’s description of a young millennial woman…

Let’s imagine a 20-something Millennial. She works at a for-profit company importing sustainably grown coffee that hopes to turn a profit while leveraging the power of the free market to pull people in the developing world out of poverty. She listens to U2, makes microfinance loans on Kiva and loves Apple products so much that she wears a t-shirt with the Apple logo. She’s a political news junkie and is disgusted with both parties. She makes donations to nonprofits but feels that the products that she buys, people she votes for and where she chooses to work are just as important elements of her impact on the world.

Our 20-something Millennial doesn’t define herself by the nonprofits she supports.

She defines herself as someone who gives a damn.

What she wants isn’t a special place she can visit to express her social self before returning to the “real world” of work, life and play. Instead she wants a world full of work, life and play that is built around a connective tissue that infuses all of her life with meaning.

There is no work-life balance in our Millennial’s world. No need to “give back” as if her success in life somehow extracted value that must be repaid. There is only meaningful experiences that honor the many priorities of the individual: self, family, and member of the global community (and many smaller communities).

Is this the general stereotype of Millennials like myself? I don’t have an Apple t-shirt, but I do have a macbook, and I’m mainly on board with the work-life-meaning paradigm presented. But I think there is much more diversity in who we are and what we believe in…though perhaps this was just the kind of Millennial you would find on Jumo and reading Good.

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One thought on “This is a #millennial?

  1. I cringe every time I head some refer to “millennials” — because it usually implies this kind of weirdly narrow caricature of an entire generation. Of course, I bet members of the “baby boomers”, “generation X” and others feel the same way. Maybe we should stop pretending that a generation can double as an identity group?

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