Millenials. Generation Y. The Me Me Me Generation. These names generally refer to people who were born between 1980 and the early 2000s, who are further characterized by their open-mindedness, familiarity with digital media and technology, as well as their disinterest in politics, according to several international youth studies. Apart from that, many also believe that twentysomethings are self-centered hedonists, heavy drinkers and partygoers, and all about using “YOLO” as an excuse for (self-)destructive behavior. Or as Time Magazine famously declared in their article in May 2013: “Millenials are lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents.”
And according to Dr. Meg Jay, this wrong identification of today’s twentysomethings is exactly the problem:
“Journalists coin silly nicknames for twentysomethings like ‘twixters’ and ‘kidults.’ … As a culture, we have trivialized what is actually the defining decade of adulthood.”
Which is why in her talk “Why 30 Is Not The New 20“, she talks about seizing all opportunities while in your twenties to develop something that she calls “identity capital” instead of getting an identity crisis when you hit 30 and still haven’t figured out what you want to do with your life. In her opinion, telling twentysomethings that it’s absolutely fine and acceptable to start living their life when they’re 30 is equivalent of robbing them of the necessary feeling or urgency and ambition one needs to set and achieve certain goals.
Drawing from more than ten years of work with hundreds of twentysomething clients and students, Dr. Meg Jay has written a book called “The Defining Decade“, which says that our twenties are a time when the things we do–and the things we don’t do–will have an enormous effect across years and even generations to come.
In her TED talk, she combines personal compelling stories with scientific data to make a case for the importance of this decade. Watch it below und let us know your thoughts on the subject.