Millennials: a Sense of Fulfillment or Instant Gratifications?
Oversaturated and slightly bored of everything, addicted to the instant stimulations, hanged up on constantly changing impressions, we are 20-something year-olds that at the beginning of the way are already slightly over-everything. Guys that no more have the need to prove their masculinity, girls that no longer have to praise their feminine side, we were luckily born in the age free of wars and in the world where women’s economic stability is no longer depended on men.
Addicted to rapidly-changing scenery, drawing in the ocean of never-ending options and choices, we are the kids of those born in 60-70s and unlike our parents, for whom stability and hard-work were the key to contentment, we now look for fulfillment. We have everything covered, but there is constantly something missing, the state gratification is close to the point where it is impossible to catch, just like that fast fashion, fast swiping Tinder profiles and those personalized and recommended playlists on Spotify comfortably provided yet changing every day. They’re here for your entertainment, babe.
We don’t have much needs uncovered, instead we are full of expectations, and the reality does not seem to live up to them, ever. Surprisingly, objective reality now plays the secondary role in our lives. Our lives full of searching for meaning and wandering somewhere blissfully looking for the state of effortless yet spiritual self-realization. Objective reality does not make us happy or unhappy; it takes some comprehensible form only combined with the root of the cause – with expectations. Along with overpriced iPhone flooded with the pictures that trash the phones’ memories with our own memories alongside, we carry somewhat unlived lives of those who brought us up.
Our grandparents never had it easy – that great generation of hard workers that have seen all the downsides and even more than that. They teach us that hard work and dedication will always pay-off. They lived with a constant fear of upcoming instability, very reasonable to say the least – life was never easy on them. Here it is – their kids (our parents) grow up having an implemented idea of stability, seeing long-lasting jobs and permanent income as an ultimate panacea to happiness. For them everyday struggle and fight with neve ending yet often artificially created barriers is the most down-to earth Schopenhauerish explanation of the meaning. They worked hard, with the rapid changes that caught them in the 90s more opportunities came up, so their houses became bigger than they’ve ever expected, lives became comfortable to the point that even the grass seemed greener. Hard work paid off for them and expectations turned out to be even less than the actual reality. They wanted to show us from the first steps that our possibilities are limitless; we just need to work hard. Investing heavily to uncover our potential, intellectually reinforcing with every means they somehow went too far.
And here we are, expecting the light to always be green, all the roads to be opened, somehow we have the idea of us being ‘special’, unique and whatever it is that a parent should constantly remind their child to boost their self-esteem and confidence according to the positivistic developmental psychology that boomed so hard in the 90s. ‘Follow your passion’, ‘find your fulfillment’ – never-ending mantras made their deed. Material things and high income are now too trivial for us. Besides prosperity we now want something our parents have never dreamed of – we want satisfaction. Constant satisfaction in jobs, satisfaction with pleasures, even sex became a somewhat overexposed way of expressing ourselves, cherished on the TV and the literature to the point where it lost its intimacy.
It’s up in our faces, every day-all day, and the ways to satisfy it are endless as well: Tinder, Grindr, one night-stands and promiscuity are not only accepted but also somehow romanticized. If there is still meaning in romanticism left at all. Sometimes we are even too lazy to go out and search for that ‘someone’: ‘Netflix and chill’ as a lifestyle has made it far.
We have it all and even more, products of somebody's hard projection, we somehow manage to find that existential vacuum in the sea of never ending pleasure-stimulators.