Facebook generation's Millennials not very romantic in this digital age

Dave Masko's picture

COOS BAY, Ore. - The Millennials, a name given to 18-to-29-year-olds, are not very romantic; thus, experts say don’t expect anything really romantic on Valentine’s Day unless it’s tied to something digital.

The digital age is being blamed for these single men and women – who are mostly well-educated but have cold souls due to being the children of mostly divorced parents – and, at age 18 to 29, the prime age for Millennials, “we’re more focused on having fun while still in school or enjoying their first job and being away from mom and dad,” explained 22-year-old community college student Max during a Feb. 7 Huliq interview in Coos Bay. Although the digital age is credited with giving Millennials jobs in computer science; while their parents are either laid-off and out-of-work, Max says “we don’t want what our parents wanted when they were our age. We want more, and a better life that’s not tied down to just raising a family and that white picket fence.” As for Valentine’s Day in just under a week, Max responds with: “Please! Are you kidding? Most of the women I’m interested in think it’s way too commercial. I just think we both pay for what we want, be it a date with a movie, and pizza and beers after, and maybe a trip with both of us paying our own way.”

Why are Millennials not romantic?

While Max thinks today’s generation should not act like “my mom and dad,” he also views fellow Millennials as “trend setters.”

“Why not have a girl or guy you’re dating or living with pay the utility or phone bill over that heart-shaped box of chocolates. Who cares if you get a Valentine?” he quips; while friend Lindsey concurs. “I don’t want my ‘friend’ to get me anything for Valentine’s Day other than maybe a good meal out. I get confused when trying to mirror what my mom or older sister do for Valentine’s Day because, you know, I don’t think there’s any real love behind most of what we do for Valentine’s Day.”

Lindsey, 19, also thinks most of the Millennials she knows at school are “much too into their jobs, technology, sports and cars mixed with lots of partying to really care about anything else at this point in their lives. I guess I agree with them if you want honesty.”

When asked: “What would you do if Max acted romantic on Valentine’s Day,” Lindsey remarked: “Are you kidding. I’d think he was ill or something. The most I would expect is one of those dancing e-mails if he’s feeling silly. Maybe he would download a cute YouTube baby kitten video for me, since he knows I’m a cat person. Other than that, this generation does not compute that old style romantic behavior on Valentine’s Day. It’s not what we do.”

Still, Lindsey admits that “I do believe in love at first sight, maybe.”

Facebook generation is a cold lot

At the same time that students Max and Lindsey were dishing on what it means to be a so-called “Millennial,” one of their instructors eased on in with the conversation by stating that “I’ve found this youth generation you call Millennials a “cold lot.”

The teacher added: “The Facebook generation just keeps their personal feeling inside more than we did back in my college days. They’re more calculating.”

Moreover, a recent Millennials profile on msn.careerbuilder.com stated they are “a mix of personal and professional lives,” based on a study conducted by consumer research company Frank N. Magid Associates that found “44 percent of Millennials use Facebook during work hours. While most Millennials use Facebook for personal reasons, they could be getting down to business, too. The average Gen Y worker has about 16 co-workers in his friend group on Facebook.”

Other points made about Millennials in the survey, included:

-- Millennials are job-hoppers. They average only two years at their first job.

-- Overall, the U.S. military is the largest employer of Millennials.

-- By 2025, Millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce.

In turn, on msn.careerbuilder.com stated that “Millennials have been nicknamed ‘The Facebook Generation.’ So what better way to gain insight on the youngest members of the workforce than through the social media technology they've become synonymous with” – even while viewing the so-called “friends” on Facebook as not friends at all.

Also, msn.careerbuilder.com went to Millennial Branding, a Boston-based personal branding agency, for details about its study of more than 50 million Facebook data points from Identified.com in the hopes of uncovering more about where Millennials work, what their job titles are and the role that social media play in their careers.

Millennials are mostly all about me

Here are some of the more interesting findings:

-- Millennials -- also known as Generation Y -- are a well-educated group: According to a survey from the Pew Research Center, 40 percent of Millennials are in school pursuing college degrees, while 19 percent already possess them.
-- Millennials also are proud of their educations: While "80 percent of Gen Y lists at least one school entry on their Facebook profiles, only 36 percent list a job entry," the Millennial Branding survey reports.
-- Millennials are sometimes referred to as “damaged goods” added a local study of Oregon college students within the age group of the Millennials. This local survey noted that since many of these young men and women come from a family situation where they’re parents are divorced, or having single parents; they are “not in a hurry to get married themselves.”

“So what do they do with these educations? While many go on to hold good jobs in areas such as technology, education and finance -- all among the top 10 fields listed on Millennials' Facebook profiles -- a large number are employed in jobs that don't require college degrees. The hospitality industry was the largest employer of Millennials, while "server" was the most frequently listed job title, for example. Although the recession is a big reason that a disproportionate number of well-educated Millennials hold jobs that don't require degrees, many 18- to 29-year-olds are still in school and may be holding retail or restaurant jobs on the side,” explained msn.careerbuilder.com.

Millennials like to have fun

The “Millennial Branding” survey also noted that “Millennials' need for fun, flexibility and appreciation at work has been well-documented, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that many of them aren't attracted to the perceived rigidity of corporate America. In fact, just 7 percent listed a Fortune 500 employer on their Facebook profiles. Instead of following a more traditional career path, many Millennials are paving their own way and becoming entrepreneurs.”

Also,a recent study conducted by consumer research company Frank N. Magid Associates found that “44 percent of Millennials use Facebook during work hours. While most Millennials use Facebook for personal reasons, they could be getting down to business, too. The average Gen Y worker has about 16 co-workers in his friend group on Facebook.”

While the Millennials put a lot of stock in their Facebook page and sharing via social networking, both survey’s noted that “they’re not a happy group.”

Image source of a top “Millennial” film, per the movie poster for “Twilight” from 2008 that helped set the tone for the Millennials fresh look at what romance is via this vampire film based on the novel of the same name. Photo courtesy Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twilight_(2008_film)

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