Impact of social media, privacy concerns and digital footprint
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are everywhere. Owing to the growing social media exposure, youth these days talk less and text more. Teens and pre-teens spend a great deal of time exploring social networks thus making them susceptible to sharing too much information online, loss of privacy, disconnect from the reality, occasional mood swings and depression.
Pressure to have the latest technology
The pressure to keep up and stay technologically up to date and savvy among peers facilitates constant upgrades and replacement of high-end personal gadgets like mobile phones, tablets, laptops and even consumer electronics like TV, music system, home accessories, etc. This, in turn, impacts spending.
The age of consumerism
Shopping can become an addiction and shopping through credit cards can become a trap. Research has indicated ‘usage of credit cards’ to be the number one reason for bankruptcies. We tend to buy more and shop unnecessary items when our budgets are not capped. Largely driven by media, consumerism has become an ongoing issue looming the youth.
Alcohol/drug abuse & consumption of tobacco products
Misuse of freedom can often be menacing. Moreover, when consumption of alcohol & drugs is frequently showcased, and surprisingly justified in popular culture, it can have damaging effects on the mentalities of an entire audience. Mental health and substance/alcohol abuse are often linked. Excessive/binge drinking, drug intake & consumption of tobacco products have serious health risks.
Dramatic rise in income amongst the Indian households has led to a relative increase in consumerism. Indulgence in packaged food, fast foods and sugar-based beverages has led to unhealthy eating habits and lifestyle. Obesity in today’s youth can also be easily linked to enhanced indoor activities like web surfing, video gaming, chatting, streaming music/movies, etc.
Growing up too fast
The internet boom, overexposure to media and unregulated technology/media access to kids has led them to ape their adult counterparts. Indulgence in serious adult related activities has become a common phenomenon.
Single parent upbringing
An unavoidable adaptation of western culture and single parent upbringing also affects a kid’s mindset in his/her formation years. And the damages can be irrevocable and life long.
Stress and health problems
Fast-paced city life and competitiveness across schools/colleges or even jobs can be daunting and take a toll on one’s health. Steered by ‘want-it-right-now’ attitude, these young guns want to overachieve in a short span of time. And failing to achieve such unrealistic goals does affect the youth mentally, often leading to stress.
Competition and lack of adequate jobs in specialised fields
Influence of politics
Lack of adequate education, job opportunities in rural as well as urban centers and the opportunity to generate an alternate source of revenue has led Indian youth to tilt towards political camps. They are often employed as foot soldiers to propagate the political ideology of their respective political parties.
Most millennials today resist the ‘millennial’ tag. They consider them to be old enough to take on the world.
All being said, the future isn’t that bleak. Along with vocational training, educational institutions can focus on personality training balance. At a mass level, there is need for awareness towards the issues these youth face.
Millennials have a different and an open outlook towards life. Once the issues are addressed, much can be achieved, given the potential of this generation that is still untapped.