Humans are driven by some hidden desire to control the universe. Accordingly, their civilizations institute laws, draw limits, and name each day as it goes by. Humans also try to add up the shifting cultural variations through the identification and branding of generations. As every generation attains maturity, applies a powerful force on humans’ culture as well as economy. Presently, the most widely known of the American generations—or the baby boomers, are reaching retirement, while their children—or generation Y, are starting to stretch their muscles. Having knowledge of the values and characteristics of generation Y is beneficial for the current as well as future businesses, because generation Y is the the next big wave of customers. What one needs to know about this generation is very much rooted on the Internet.
Previously, producers targeted their wares to consumers through a blend of print, TV, and radio promotions. For the previous generations this was effective because those generations spent a lot of time exposed to these sorts of media. However, Generation Y values these media much less than the earlier generation. People in Generation Y mostly spend most of their free time exploring websites on the internet. Though earlier generations have also embraced this new medium, none have gone to the extent of generation Y. Besides the cannibalization of spare time, the internet has as well started assimilating other kinds of media. Originally there was the radio, but today, internet radio stations can be accessed free of charge on thousands of sites. Television followed radio, but today, there are many broadcast and cable stations streaming programs over the internet. Apparently, print is falling as did radio. For instance, with Amazon’s innovation of the kindle, the dependence of newspapers on the internet and tablets computers seemingly a death knells for the old form of media, which is made possible by Generation Y (Jones and Susannah 2-17).
Generation Y is also known by several other names, including the Millennial Generation, Generation Next, Echo Boomers, and Net Generation, and represents the demographic age bracket after Generation X. There are no exact dates marking the beginning and the end of the millennial generation, reviewers have marked the generation’s birth dates from around the mid-1970s to the beginning of the 21st century. People belonging to Generation are referred to as Echo Boomers because of the substantial growth in birth rates from the 1980s to the 1990s, and since many of them are offspring of baby boomers. The characteristics of Generation Y vary from one region to another, depending upon social and economic statuses. However, the generation is typically marked by a heightened use and conversance with digital technologies, communications and media (Jones and Susannah 2-17)
In most parts across the globe, the upbringing of Generation Y was characterized by a growth in a neoliberal approach to economics and politics. However, the impacts of this environment are challenged, but what is clear is that Generation Y is closely associated with the interment. The internet is very addictive to this generation because of information and freedom. Generation Y visits websites to get information, such as music, stock prices and news. O the generation, using the Internet can be likened to a child visiting a toy store.in other words, there is a lot to do and search that once they get in they never want to leave. Generation Y people use the internet because the Internet provides them with freedom to do anything they want, to say anything they want and to be anyone they want (Sheahan 59-61).
How Does The Internet Reflect Upon Generation Y?
People in Generation Y are the most probable to use the internet for communication, entertainment and interaction with peers and family. This generation is expressively more probable than older generations to search entertainment over the internet on online videos, online gaming, and simulated worlds. The generation is also more probable to download music to immediately listen or save for later listening (Freestone and Mitchell 122-127). Generation Y is more probable than older generation to read other individuals’ blogs and to create their own. People in this generation are also significantly more probable than older counterparts to create profiles in social networking sites. They regularly use individual blogs to update their friends on their daily activities, and they use such networking sites to connect with and communicate with their friends. Generation Y people are also considerably more probable than older counterparts to use instant messages to communicate with friends. Very different from other older generations, Generation Y internet users’ most preferred online activity is playing games—most teens use the internet to play games online, while a smaller number of teens use email. Teens using the internet are also considerably more probable to play games than all other older generation, such as Generation Y.
The Internet and Its Effects upon Individuals in General
Disadvantages of the Internet
The Internet has an inexhaustible quantity of information and services. For that reason, Generation Y excessively relies on the Internet too much, thus adopting the virtual world and at the same time disregarding the social interactions amongst real people. However, this does not mean that the Internet is a bad tool; it means that the Internet is being misused by this generation. The Internet has been very accessible and expansive even in the developing world and Generation Y often finds itself spending innumerable hours surfing from one website to the other. Due to this overuse, many individuals often lose their main focus on reality and time; since time seems to ‘fly’ while using the Internet.
Another thing that happens when Generation Y uses the Internet is that the individuals are detached from their social interactions in life. In addition to this, the fact that the Internet does so many things and jobs for this generation ends up making the individuals lazy and anti-social. For instance, individuals will find it pointless to go shopping and instead, they will use the Internet to have products delivered to their doorstep. Also, individuals will deem it unnecessary to walk to the library to do research and opt do the same online. Even though this use of the Internet may seem to save a lot of time, the saved time is often spent using the Internet for unnecessary activities since when one gets online, they are easily distracted and side-tracked.
For Generation Y, the Internet has turned out to be counter-productive because of what it causes. Even the freely available information on the Internet is never enough for these individuals. Many Generation Y individuals are never satisfied and thus, they end up stealing data, music and videos online. Stealing online is hereby seen as a simple thing just as using the Internet (Sheahan 59-61). Research has proven that if governments throughout the world were to arrest all people who have stolen Internet information, then almost all Generation Y users would be jailed (Freestone and Mitchell 122-127). The Internet world has no control laws and thus ends up being chaotic.
For Generation Y, the Internet is an information superhighway that holds enough information than an individual may ever need. When individuals start to surf the Internet, they can access unlimited number of websites through their browsers. By being online, Generation Y individuals are able to do almost anything from gaming, chatting and shopping. These individuals can actually run their entire lives on the Internet. Many Generation Y individuals have attended online schools and even gotten online jobs; many others have managed to pay their bills and invest money through the Internet; these individuals have been able to order products online and have them delivered and others have even found spouses online. Apart from having so much information for everyone, the advantage of Internet is that it gives this information at a dazzling speed.
Rather than consuming time looking into the yellow pages, the dictionary and the encyclopedia, Generation Y individuals opt to just type what they are looking up for on a search engine and get the information instantly. Due to the vast amount of information and high speed of acquiring information, the Internet has literary ‘brought the world to this generation”. Many individuals from this generation regard the Internet as their world due to the availability of information on any humanly possible subject.
Generation Y has greatly associated itself with ecommerce, which is the concept of commercial operations and making of business deals throughout the globe through the Internet. Generation Y individuals have been able of venturing into ecommerce due to the availability of the Internet which can be used to avail any product and service anywhere on the globe. For Generation Y, ecommerce has been made quite amazing through this wide range of products and services which include e-banking, purchasing of tickets and even hotel reservations. The advantage that Geberation Y sees on these services is that most of them are not available offline and if you try getting them offline, they are very costly.
The Role Played by Internet in the Everyday Life
The Internet is very important to generation Y due to its unlimited services. For instance, the Internet has been used by this generation in creating the Medicine and Health Synergistic discoveries and enabling scientific collaborations between researchers in areas such as hereditary neurologic diseases and microorganism biology. The internet has also enabled telemedicine, allowing medical experts in to diagnose and treat patients virtually. The use of Internet has heightened the research capabilities on medicine for the general public of this generation, and it has also empowered patients and families unlike before where the patient and their family had only one opinion.
Life without Internet
After the Internet phenomenon arrived, many of Generation Y individuals have become completely preoccupied to with its speed in live to some extent. This generation rarely expects to receive postal mails from their friends, their family or their businesses partners because the email is now readily available and extremely fast. Generation Y individuals are able to visit just any virtual shop worldwide, buy more and even have it delivered in minutes of surfing from one’s sit. In fact, the easiness and speed of using email would be truly missed, if the Internet was use to stop. The comparative ease e-shopping at a click of a mouse in order to pay the bills would be very hard to achieve if the Internet was stopped. The immense comfort offered the use of Internet has rapidly grown and this generation has in turn accepted it. Even though people could eventually forget it, living without the Internet would definitely not be an easy transition for this generation.
Summary and Conclusion
There have been rapid advancements made in Internet technology in the last few decades and for Generation Y, this is not an astonishing thing. Ranging from mobile telephony and the capability of phones to send short and multimedia messages; to the capability of phones to access the Internet and deliver emails instantly. These advancements have clearly changed exchange of information and communication beyond the wildest dreams of many while at the same time creating an attitude that has the generation expecting instant answers to questions they may want to ask. It is for every individual to decide whether or not the Internet is good for them because even with the good tidings that the Internet has brought, there is a number of individuals who may prefer life the way it was before.