Today, I want to share with you a conversation I had with Andrew McPeak, our newest team member at Growing Leaders. Andrew is our new Research & Content Developer and a member of our Creative Writing Team. Along with being a millennial himself, Andrew’s experiences with several nonprofits have led him to become well-versed in communicating to and about Millennials. Here are some of the notes from our conversation…
Andrew McPeak: Today’s topic is Five New Insights on Today’s Teens and Young Adults. I’m really excited because it comes straight out of the new book, Generation iY the 5th Anniversary Edition. This book is full of fresh material and we are going to dive into a few of those new pieces of information today. So for the people who might not have read the first edition, who is Generation iY?
Tim Elmore: Generation iY is simply a term we use to describe the second half of Generation Y, kids born since 1990.
Andrew McPeak: What was the idea behind creating the 5th Anniversary Edition of Generation iY?
Tim Elmore: Well, if you stop and think about it, so much has happened in the five years between 2010-2015. We want the readers to know who these newest kids are and how they are different. There are also new stories, new statistics, and two new chapters in this book, including one on Generation Z or the generation born after 9/11/2001. They have grown up in a very different world.
Andrew McPeak: Set the SCENE for us. What kind of environment is this generation growing up in?
Tim Elmore: With the acronym SCENE, I describe five characteristics of the world these kids are growing up in.
|Their World is Full of:||Consequently, They Assume:|
|S – Speed||Slow is bad.|
|C- Convenience||Hard is bad.|
|E – Entertainment||Boring is bad.|
|N- Nurturing||Risk is bad.|
|E – Entitlement||Labor is bad.|
The words on the right-hand column are the ones that grow us into good adults. Unfortunately, the world of speed and convenience today removes the components that we naturally develop as life skills. This is why we need to be more intentional.
Andrew McPeak: What are some of the firsts that Generation iY has grown up with, firsts that are an assumed part of their nature now?
Tim Elmore: This is the first generation that doesn’t need adults to get information. This is the first generation that enjoys external stimuli at their fingertips 24/7. And, this is the first generation that we, as adults, have unwittingly enabled to be narcissistic.
Andrew McPeak: So how is communication changing today?
Tim Elmore: We, as the adult generation, might need to communicate the “why” before the “what.” If we are able to explain why, the kids are more likely to understand the reasoning behind it. Once they learn “why,” they are much more likely to be on board for the “what.”
Tim Elmore: As a millennial yourself, how would you add to that list of communication tools?
Andrew McPeak: I think number one for me is practicality. I would have really appreciated getting more insight on how things applied. I grew up in a public school, so I was assessed by how well I could take a test. The reality is that there was no connection at all to how I was assessed when I got into my first job. I thought there were things that were going to make me successful, that didn’t. So I had to adjust my worldview in some ways as a professional.
Andrew McPeak: Who is Generation Z?
Tim Elmore: Some social scientists believe this generation of kids started in 1995, while others think it was right around the turn of the century. I believe a marker was 9/11. I think the mindset before September 11, 2001 was different than the one we had after. Since the first 15 years of their lives have taken place during the turn of the century, terrorism has been a normal, everyday conversation. A soured economy is pretty much all that they can remember. Racial unrest has also surfaced much more. These Generation Z kids are growing up in a far more uncertain world.
Discover the Secrets to Connecting With Teens & Young Adults
In the 5th Anniversary Edition of Generation iY!
This new edition includes bonus chapters, new research, and recent stories that help adults:
- Correct crippling parenting styles
- Repair damage from (unintentional) lies we’ve told kids
- Guide young adults toward real success instead of superficial “self-esteem”
- Adopt education strategies that engage an “i” generation
- Understand the generation following Millennials: Generation Z