Many, many people have passed through this planet, but not all of them have been able to witness generational changes like those we have experienced in the last 100 years. Throughout the history of mankind, changes in lifestyles were slow and practically imperceptible to the inhabitants of each era. Until the arrival of the technological revolution, which has transformed people’s mentality at a speed never seen before.
Looking back to my grandparents’ generation (1920-1940), they were the ones who started to bring significant changes in their homes and consequently brought a broader vision to their children. Progress entered homes in the form of modern kitchens, washing machines, refrigerators, radios, TVs, cars and all kinds of innovations that opened minds and frontiers, that transported you to realities beyond their villages.
In this environment, the baby boomers grew up (1945-1965). They had religious parents, who lived in villages, where women did not work and divorce was not an option. The baby-boomers broke away from these pillars and migrated to the cities to get an education and develop a different lifestyle.
As technology continued to advance, it allowed my parents’ generation to achieve those stable jobs, which in turn allowed them to build the life they dreamed of. They began to travel for leisure, to experience new cultures and to learn new languages. They got married, bought their house and had two children, three at the most. In this scenario, supported by unprecedented economic stability, our generation, the millennials (1980-1995), grew up with all the comforts of the world.
We went through a long formative and family stage, in which we went from playing with stickers to being connected 24 hours a day. We went on Erasmus and made friends all over the world. Millennials, just like our parents did, we broke with the moulds of the generation that brought us up. We don’t believe in the same job forever, we have partners of other nationalities, getting married is just an option, flexibility emerges over stability, we understand the value of renting and not so much the value of intimacy.
In this period shared by the three generations described above, there were great technological advances that have brought about this rapid transformation in the way we live. Living conditions have improved exponentially, and this has gained so much speed that we are unable to see where the future lies. Our grandparents and parents, as well as ourselves, created new lifestyles and it is possible that we, the millennials, will have to reinvent ourselves in order to lead a lifestyle in line with the world to come.
In the meantime, I talk to my grandma about my concerns about collaborative models that exempt us from responsibility for our own while she knits a woollen blanket; and the most amazing thing is that we understand each other.