Our society is not adapting to the needs and wants of the millennial generation. It seems to me that we are still living in the past and let me tell you, it can be quite dangerous to the overall …
Our society is not adapting to the needs and wants of the millennial generation. It seems to me that we are still living in the past and let me tell you, it can be quite dangerous to the overall sustainability of our great American republic.
It seems that youngsters, along with technology, will redefine the meaning of what the “good life” is in the United States and abroad once again, whether we want them to or not. This time, however, the side effects of technology will be felt by more people because of the types of the industries that will be affected.
Some of these industries include: real estate agencies, automobile manufacturers and restaurants.
I don’t know of any better societal symbol to talk about than the automobile. Regardless of what you like, whenever we buy a car, it somehow comes with a societal status associated with it. We often define ourselves by the cars that we drive. Millennials don’t really care about cars, overall!
According to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, millennials prefer on-demand mobility services instead of car ownership. By the way, do you know that British, French and German teenagers are failing driving licensure tests at record rates? Maybe they don't value a driver’s license as much because these days they can rely on Uber drivers to take them around town.
Maybe millennials don't care about being licensed as much because of everything that is associated with having a car, including a car payment, insurance and gas.
I wonder what information technology will do to well-established industries like the car industry. If I was an executive working in the automobile industry, I would be concerned about the overall sustainability of the industry. Millennials don’t want to spend time in their cars because it takes them out of the internet.
If millennials don’t even want to own cars, why would they like the idea of homeownership? Many don’t want to acquire one because of the high costs! Millennials often want to live in a dense urban landscape rather than large houses in suburbia, partly due to cost and convenience.
Have you thought about what would happen to the many houses we have in suburbia? This mindset’s effects on the local real estate market could be disastrous. Maybe millennials aren’t buying too many houses in the suburbs because they want to be more connected. From that standpoint, online activities are starting to have unintended consequences in our local real estate markets. Commuting equals less time millennials spend on social media. They don’t like that.
In-home virtual activities are more popular among millennials these days than eating at a casual dining restaurant. Millennials like cooking at home and eating quick meals. They don't have a problem with eating out in quick-serving restaurants so that they can quickly go back to social media to chat with their friends.
I am not totally sure about the full-scale technological side effects that restaurants will experience in the near future because of that. One thing is certain: Casual dining restaurants are going to struggle to attract millennial customers. The ones that will survive will start offering convenience and cash options such as home delivery and discounts.
I am concerned with the future of casual restaurants, whose business model is to attract people to “experience” a prolonged night out. Millennials don’t really care about the former because of perceptions of cost-benefit and lack of technology access. Reality: They chose to be connected first before going out to eat with a mate.
Things are changing as quick as the production of new computer chips. I am very concerned about the side effects that we could potentially experience due to predictive millennial behaviors in regard to technology.
Can you imagine what would happen to our town if real estate agencies, car companies and restaurants struggle to attract clientele? I don't even want to start thinking about it.
Fellow residents of Cleveland, we need to realize that the unintended side effects of technology are real and here to stay. Maybe, controlling our rates of technology use would do us good, don’t you think?
Think about it.
(About the writer: Dr. Luis C. Almeida is an associate professor of communication at Lee University and TEDx speaker. He has been nationally featured for his work in leadership and technology by the Wall Street Journal, ABC-Jackson, TEDxPhoenixville, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Voice of America and the Indiana Gazette. Internationally, Dr. “A” has been featured in several outlets, including the prestigious O Globo newspaper and Radio CBN. He is the author of the book “Becoming a Brand: The Rise of Technomoderation,” and a devoted Christian. He can be reached via his website at luiscalmeida.info.)
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