Lack of Jobs and Social Media are the Sources of Generation Y’s Unhappiness


(Sri Stewart/The Observer)


(Sri Stewart/The Observer)
(Sri Stewart/The Observer)

There is a claim that Generation Y—as in the generation born between the late 70s and early-mid 90s, a category that most of today’s college students fall under—is unhappy. And apparently we’re unhappier than the generations before us because we’re self-absorbed yuppies who desire far more in life than we should realistically expect.

Excuse me while I try and contain my laughter.

In a recent HuffPost article titled Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy, the claim was made that us “GYPSYs”, or Generation Y “yuppies” as they so lovingly called our generation, are sad because our expectations are set too high. The problem started when our parents told us we could grow up to be anything we pleased. So we shoot for the stars and ultimately end up sad, depressed, and useless…and still living at home with good ol’ Mom and Dad, lecturing our younger siblings about the countless ways life has screwed us over.

But let’s be real.

From the beginning of time, parents have told their children that they are great; everyone thinks their kid is the cutest, or the smartest, or simply just special. Parents naturally want their kids to have more than they did, and I don’t think that this is some new notion that is screwing us over. I truly believe that there are as many “yuppies” as there always have been, but our generation is one that has much more resting at our fingertips than any other generation before us. We can check the whether on the home screen of our smartphones. We’ve created an entire industry around blogging and social media. Anyone and everyone can be a reporter (in 140 characters or less) thanks to online outlets such as Twitter.  Google gives us the answers to virtually any question we ask.

With all of this at our disposal, of course we have more expected of us and expect more ourselves—there is so much more out there for us to delve into, and so many more resources to aid us in our success. With better tools, it makes sense that we would expect to achieve better results. But by no means is my generation made up entirely of yuppies waiting for the world to cater to them. We go to school, we fight for our spot in a college we love, and we go out and try to put our education to use at a job and serve some function in the real world.

However, remember that today’s job market is not the best. Having expectations that are set too high does not make us a depressed generation—the lack of jobs combined with the instantaneous nature of social media is what is hurting our morale. The job market is the main struggle our generation faces, and not scoring your dream job the second you graduate college sucks in a world where I can get my news from ten different sources in under five minutes on my internet browser, tablet, or smartphone. And of course being able to compare yourself to the success of the high school homecoming queen ten years later via Facebook isn’t always healthy. Maybe our generation just appears unhappier simply because we have more social media outlets to complain.

Like every generation, Generation Y has its challenges and temptations that could take away from general happiness. But to say it is the fault of our parents telling us we are special or that we are all yuppies who expect the whole world without having to put in an ounce of work—well, that’s just wrong.

Our generation simply wants to find success, just like the generations before us.