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Millennials’ attitudes towards possessions differ from other generations

Millennials are the web generation and how they spend money, care about possessions, and consider their heritage is dramatically different than their predecessors.

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Millennial habits now widely studied and understood

The generation gap is nothing new. Almost everyone can look back on their life and see where their generation was different than that of their parents or grandparents. The most recent generation that is coming into adulthood is the Millennials, loosely defined as individuals born between 1980 and 2000.

The Millennials have grown up with the Internet. They expect technology to work. According to Pew, 80 percent sleep next to their cellphones, which is most likely a smartphone. Not only are they text happy, but they use their mobile device for research while shopping, as an advisor, and even making donations. It’s important to understand this generation, because their buying power will most likely exceed that of their parents and grandparents.

The Washington Post recently reported that one of the big differences between Millennials and the older generations is their possessions. Millennials aren’t defined by what they own. In fact, they are adventurers and may not want to be trapped with a full household of items that need to be packed up if they find a new opportunity in a different location. Millennials tend to be more transient, relying on their electronics, instead of a box of nostalgia like postcards and letters from home.

Millenials don’t want their parents’ things, so are they disrespecting their heritage?

Millennials are also very urban-oriented. This often means that they live in a smaller apartment, unlike their parents who owned a home. The American dream used to be that of a country house with a dog, a backyard, and a bunch of kids. Millennials are social and spontaneous. This generation grew up with Ebay, having the ability to find what they want instead of browsing through antique stores. They know what they want their in their home. Typically, this means that they don’t want their parent’s scrapbooks, silver sets, and antique furniture.

This doesn’t mean that they don’t appreciate their heritage. They just have a different mindset about storing items. Millennials keep digital memories. If you are downsizing your home, don’t be insulted when your children tell you they don’t want the items that you’ve kept for them. When you de-clutter your home, ask them what is important to their style. Let them choose a couple of items that are meaningful and let go of the rest. Remember that their dreams and goals aren’t yours.

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Dawn Brotherton is a Sr. Staff Writer at The American Genius with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Oklahoma. She is an experienced business writer with over 10 years of experience in SEO and content creation. Since 2017, she has earned $60K+ in grant writing for a local community center, which assists disadvantaged adults in the area.

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