Generation Minimalist?

  
Babyboomers were the first generation to be sold the consumerist dream; work hard, buy

whatever you want and spend your way to a better life.

 

The items they purchased made their lives more comfortable and provided a tangible reward for their hard work.

 

Throughout the second part of the 20th century this model worked well and success was measured in bigger houses, flashier cars, newer watches and the increasing number of possessions owned.

 

However, the 21st century has witnessed a shift away from the goals set by the babyboomers of wanting ever more.

 

What is becoming more apparent is that the consumerist system doesn’t have the same hold over the younger generations as it did their parents and grandparents.

 

Younger generations are rejecting the idea of working long hours that eat into their free time just so they have more money to spend on things they don’t need. They don’t measure their success on expensive possessions.

 

They have heeded warnings from the past, they have looked at the lifestyles of the generations before them and realised it’s not for them. They don’t want to miss out on living in order to buy the latest watch.

 

There is a subtle shift in the mindset of younger generations. They are growing up with the primary goal of doing what they love, seeing the world and experiencing life. These are all the ideals that minimalists aspire to.  

 

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the younger generations have reached a minimalist utopia, consumerism is a hard cycle to break free from and the lack of spending from younger generations could simply be a reflection of the fact they have less stable jobs and less money.

 

But for evidence of the change in mindset I would point to companies now offering flexible work hours that keep their workforce happy, offices that have chill-out spaces and games rooms, and even four-day weeks that allow people to pursue their hobbies and dreams on their day off.

 

As the millennials are growing up, they are creating companies they would want to work in, they are creating lives that are focused on experience, and when it comes to following the babyboomers down the consumerist path, they are saying: thanks, but no thanks.

 F

4 thoughts on “Generation Minimalist?

  1. I definitely see this in my grown children’s life. They want a job they love, the ability to travel, and the smallest living space they can get by with. They do like their electronic gadgets though!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a massive generalisation. I certainly dont recognise myself or many of my friends. We were lucky in as much as many of us were able to buy our homes at what is today a very early age,which gave the prudent amongst us more disposable income. Some of course fell for the consumerist claptrap sold to us by American soaps and credit dangling banks, just as you did in your former life, but many did not. Minimalism as a lifestyle is not a new concept and many have followed it over the centuries. You say ‘the second half of the 20th century’ well, make that the last quarter as it was during the 80s that conspicuous consumption really took off and still today I see more rampant consumerism in those who were children and young adults during that decade.
    By the way you may like to know that we also did work that we enjoyed and that was worthwhile and many of us started our own businesses too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Hilary, it is a generalisation because I haven’t spoken to everyone – I can only go on the people I have discussed it with. I just see a change in young people that I speak with who are more concerned with following a path of ‘experience’ and doing what they love rather than taking the traditional route of ‘job for life, marriage, house’ because they feel that sort of security is out of reach. They won’t be able to have the ‘white picket fence’ dream so aren’t even trying to achieve it. I think there are more people than we think who are shunning the ‘traditional’ mindset and younger people are being exposed to different ideas earlier. I’m not saying that younger generations invented minimalism but I think a lot more will be adopting it as they don’t want/ can’t afford he consumerism that is ride in today’s society. F

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