With the rise of technology, and access to endless amounts of information that millennials have right at their fingertips, our society has largely developed a perception where they expect more from our generation.
What I mean by more, is the growing expectation for us to produce more work, perform more tasks, make our schedules more busy, get more done in less time, make more money, invest ourselves in more activities in order to “advance our futures,” and so on.
Yet, among all the chaos that consumes the growing expectation for more, people fail to see the inherent neglect for self-care that the concept creates. All around us, we hear people talking about how busy they are. Who has the busier schedule and who gets the least sleep nearly becomes a competition between millennials. They view relaxation as negative to the security of their futures. Spending time with family becomes more and more of a hassle, and participating in activities we enjoy feels wrong… if we even know what we enjoy doing.
Millennials get so caught up in the pressure to do more of everything, they commonly experience anxiety, mental break-downs, suicidal thoughts, and much worse.
In my opinion, the rise of technology has largely caused older generations to view millennials as having it easier than they did when they were growing up. Therefore, their expectations of the “digital” generation, demand much more than what was demanded of them as teens and young adults.
Unfortunately, what they fail to see is how utterly unrealistic their expectations actually are. For years on end, society has largely turned a blind eye to the increase in suicides by millennials who claimed they just couldn’t live a life full of stress anymore. Young kids grow up in a society feeling like they’re not good enough because they can never seem to meet the unrealistic expectations of their “higher-ups.”
Medications for anxiety, depression, moodiness, and concentration issues are abused by millennials all around us. Teachers, coaches, parents, close family members, bosses, and/or older siblings discipline young children for investing their time in activities considered useless or unproductive. They punish children for relaxing, often deeming it as lazy. Ultimately, these adults, who are often viewed as role models, teach these children to view enjoyable activities as pointless and relaxation as destructive to their future.
At this point in time, what I believe is most important for the current generation of millennials to do, is to take a step back from the chaos of their endlessly growing schedules and actually think about how they’re feeling. I am sure most of them will agree they feel stressed, overworked, and altogether exhausted.
Ultimately, what the growing expectation of more truly calls into question is whether or not we want to be a generation made up of agonizing accomplishments, or a generation who can actually possess the ability to be happy. A generation who can pass that happiness down to the many generations to come. To me, that would be the greatest accomplishment of them all.