Person Compares What Young Boomers Had Vs. What Young People Have Now, Says The New Generation Is Screwed
Change is inevitable in this fast-paced world. Whether it’s for the better or the worse, every generation is bound to face a different lifestyle than others.
People on Reddit shared their thoughts on the way life now differs from what it was decades ago. Users ‘Ilikemakingsurveys’ and ‘Tiredworker27’ turned to the ‘Antiwork’ community to compare people’s lifestyle, especially in terms of work-life balance and cost of living. They believed Boomers had it easier than young adults now, and quite a few redditors seemed to second their views.
Bored Panda has turned to Sean Lyons, Associate Dean of Research & Graduate Studies and Professor of Leadership & Management at Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics at University of Guelph, to discuss the struggles some young adults face nowadays. You will find his thoughts in the text below.
Differences between generations cover nearly every aspect of life, from personal traits to work and beyond
Image credits: Annie Spratt (not the actual photo)
This person believes young adults now have it more difficult than older generations did at a corresponding age
Image credits: Karolina Grabowska (not the actual photo)
Image source: Ilikemakingsurveys
Another person compared young people nowadays with the Baby Boomer generation in terms of workload
Image credits: Arlington Research (not the actual photo)
Image source: Tiredworker27
Millennials seem to be struggling to attain and maintain the lifestyle that the preceding generations had
Image credits: Alena Darmel (not the actual photo)
Both redditors believe that nowadays, young adults have to jump through more hoops to be at the same level of comfort Baby Boomers were at a corresponding age. No one can deny, the latter had their fair share of hurdles to overcome; however, with the rapid change of technology and housing prices getting way out of hand, among many other things, young people nowadays seemingly struggle more.
Let’s take millennials, for instance. “This group is navigating the challenges of struggling to attain and maintain the lifestyle that their parents enjoyed more easily,” Associate Dean at University of Guelph, Sean Lyons, told Bored Panda. “Homeownership is more challenging, personal debt is higher than ever before, work-life balance continues to be a struggle for many, and raising children in the age of smartphones and AI is uncharted territory for them to navigate.
“If there’s a pervasive theme for millennials, it’s probably that it’s taking a long time and is harder than ever to have an independent adult life, relative to the past. On top of that, they’re being looked at as the next group of people to tackle the environmental, political, technological, economic and societal challenges that the world faces. That’s daunting when you’re still getting established in your own life,” Prof. Lyons added.
Anytime Estimate compared housing prices now—when millennials are somewhere between 27-42 years of age—to what they were in 1985, when Baby Boomers were young adults themselves. Back in the day, a single family home would have a price tag of close to $83,000, while in 2019, for instance, a similar choice would cost a young adult roughly 313,000 US dollars. Anytime Estimate emphasized that since 1970, prices for housing have increased 1,608%, while inflation grew 644%. It pointed out that if housing prices increased at the same rate as inflation since 1970, the median home price would be close to $178,000 instead of nearly $409,000.
Rapid advancement in technology can be a blessing and a curse, especially when it comes to work
Image credits: camilo jimenez (not the actual photo)
Housing prices are far from the only headache young adults face nowadays. Another point that was made by the OPs was significant differences when it comes to work-related matters, such as work-life balance, and the role technology plays in it.
“Millennials were the first generation to come of age in the area of digital multimedia,” Sean Lyons told Bored Panda, “so there’s a lot of attention paid to them and their differences from the Boomers, who were the primary consumers of media when the millennials were young in the 1980s and 1990s. There was a lot of hope initially that the millennials would be the next great generation.”
Known as the first generation of digital natives, millennials seem to be in the lead when it comes to technology use, which can be a blessing and a curse. Pew Research Center revealed that more than nine-in-ten millennials are smartphone owners and nearly 100% use the internet, meaning they can be contacted way easier than their counterparts in the eighties or nineties could have been.
Being constantly connected can create difficulties trying to separate work and personal life. For example, having email on your phone—which has nowadays nearly become an extension of one’s arm—often means checking it outside of work hours. Forbes emphasized that email is ruining millennials’ work-life balance, pointing out that 36% of them check work emails while watching a movie, 35% do it when in bed, 28% do it while in the bathroom, and as much as 26% continue to check it even while on vacation. The two lives intertwining together with everyday usage of technology can become a great source of stress and pose numerous challenges for young adults nowadays.
According to Sean Lyons, “Every generation has its place in history. Millennials are still in their early adulthood phase, now approaching early mid-life. If there’s a legacy for this group, it will likely be an increased focus on individual expression, mental health, self-care and navigating how to manage public and private personas in the age of social media.”