Millenials Are Super Stressed, Recent Study Confirms
We’ve been called the lazy generation. We have been accused of being apathetic. The terms “legitimacy complex” and “spoiled” have become almost synonymous with the word “Millenial.” We are the generational group born after 1980 and before 2000 (although there is some debate about the exact time frame). We are Gen Y. We are the technological generation. We are the iPod generation. Well, we are Generation Next. And, we are, apparently, stressed the heck out.
In a recent study from the American Psychological Association, millenial respondents reported having increased levels of stress within the past year. Also, a majority of those surveyed noted that their stress causes them to lose sleep at night. And even though Gen Xers, those born from 1965 to 1978, reported having the same level of stress, they did not indicate that their stress had increased or that it kept them up at night.
Why Are We So Stressed?
Well, there are a host of theories behind this question. Some say it could be because of the high levels of unemployment leaving many in this generation without paying jobs or use for their college diplomas. I am inclined to agree that this is a likely cause behind some of the stress millenials carry. Others argue that it might be linked to a “failure-to-launch” mentality amongst Gen Yers. Having to stay with mom and dad well into one’s twenties, maybe even thirties, could cause some additional stress.
But, I have a different theory. And this one comes from personal experience. I have single-handedly launched an “online presence” since last summer. I mean, I literally emerged on Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Facebook as “Jenn M. Jackson” in August 2012. I may have had a profile up on Facebook and LinkedIn before that date but I never made an effort to launch my brand until less than a year ago. We started this blog, began writing for other online publications, and developed a new site (The Worth Campaign) in just the past few months. And, I will tell you, it is pretty darn stressful.
Couple all the social media branding with a family, full-time job, and entrepreneurial endeavors and you’ve got one frazzled Jenn. Some folks call it FOMO (fear of missing out). And, while I do think I suffer from a bit of that, I know for certain that I am incapable of parting ways with my Android phone or laptop for longer than an hour. So, I think it is safe to report that: I am a Millenial and I have a social media addiction.
Watching my timeline, news feeds, pins, and other extraneous dashboards is A LOT of work. It is a 24-hour job. And, it causes me an abundant amount of stress. I have entire to do lists dedicated to organizing the various blog sites and columns I write for. I juggle knowing what post is due when, which designer is setting up the header for whatever site, and other intricacies of weblog management.
We millenials are literally killing ourselves to stay “in-the-know.” We are compromising on real social interaction for enhanced brand presence and the ability to “make money in our sleep.” And every success story we read about where some no name person randomly woke up one day and self-published a book online only to become the world’s most acclaimed author does little to help our case. Baby Boomers (you know, our parents’ generation) never had to deal with the Information Age. And, it makes sense that older generations report lower rates of stress than we do. Maybe their lives are simpler, slower, and less connected. Sounds pretty novel right?
Stress is linked to health issues like heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. And, frankly, that’s not cool. So are we the lazy generation? Are we apathetic? I actually don’t think so. Unemployment is definitely stressful and so is having to move back in with the parents. But, this new phenomenon wherein every human being has to be seamlessly plugged in on every new platform that comes out could be a major factor in the high levels of stress we maintain. I know I am losing sleep over my blogs. And, the fact that they are always within physical reach doesn’t help at all.
Will this article cause a mass exodus from all things social media? No, probably not. Truthfully, it is counterproductive that I am posting the article at all. But, it is food for thought. And now, I am thinking about how my social media endeavors impact my long-term health. Are you?
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