Do you know of this remarkable era of Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook? Where people are just concerned with impressing others. You guessed it right, welcome to the age of Millennials. The generation which saw the greatest changes around them and learned so many things from it; despite that, managing their incomes and savings has become a task for them. These are kids in their early twenties, who are living in times of copiousness, have probably not seen a recession. These are young, urbane, educated young men and women who are probably working in jobs that weren’t dreamed of ten years ago, but somehow can’t make it through a month without running out of their money. They cannot be at all called “poor”. But they’re certainly hungry and broke most of the times. These are the kids living in the metro cities who’ve co-opted the pressures surrounding them, and spend a majority of their salaries on keeping up the lifestyles and their appearances.
What could possibly be the reason behind it? Status, yes that very word. It is the reason behind so many young adults going through such situations like sleeping in the car, skipping meals, etc. They believe it is essential to maintain a prominent image for earning a salary. And this happens just because these people decide to spend it on other “ESSENTIAL” things. Sacrificing on basic necessities is not a problem for them. Suddenly using an Uber instead of an auto rickshaw is necessary, the need for a cup of coffee from Starbucks arises. Then there are the happy hours, the proper way to dress for work, fancy brunches which cannot be skipped. And all of this is justified as they have to maintain a status around the people whom they work with.
Then there are consequences when you don’t follow these conventions. People are called miser, peer pressure and self-worth comes into play. The youth nowadays are so lost in this blind facade that they are ready to risk anything to fit in. It’s not just at work where these youths are facing these issues, on college level also kids are running after materialistic things. Everyone fears the insult.
I was not aware of such a thing until I read this article online and only then I started noticing people around me. I came to realise that “Urban Poverty” is a reality. One of my friend works as a freelancer. She works at three places at a time so that she can go shop for all these celebrated brands. Some of them skip lunch in the canteen or insist on sharing the expenses just to save a few bucks. They prefer not telling their parents that they need money. After all, they have sacrificed enough for us. These self-righteous friends of mine choose to starve rather than preventing useless expenses. It’s disheartening to see these mental conditions of the people around us.
But can we blame them for this? To the educated young adults who were raised in an economically well-off household, spending on appearances and luxury seems to be the obvious thing to do. Our advertisements also tell us that in order to enjoy a quality life, you’ve got to behave in a certain way. Every newspaper and media house has its emphasis on: how you need to eat, look, and dress to be successful. Where you need to go for a vacation, what you need to smell like, what car you should drive, etc. But they fail to tell us how to pay for any of it. This mind set is ruining us. It is creating an atmosphere of judgment and hatred.
The millennials are negotiating with the materialistic experience of everyday life. It’s a generation of struggling individuals trying to follow their passion in a highly competitive atmosphere, keeping up with their peers and colleagues, who are driving them towards this mythical land of fake notions, trying to chase the elusive goal.
Alas! At least they look sharp.