iGen’ers? What the heck is an iGen’er?
Well if you were born between 1995 and 2012 then you’re an iGen’er. I guess it’s a mixture of the word generation and all the popular technology that starts with the letter “i.” You grew up in the world that revolves around personal devices and technology. You follow the notorious Millennial generation, and there are some unique and important difference to know.
1. Hard Working
Maybe because you grew up during a recession and saw your parents go through difficult financial times, maybe you experienced it first hand by having to move, or you saw your parents loose their jobs or take on extra work just to make ends meet. The good news is you understand the importance of hard work and have learned to value it. But sometimes all those transitions and life changes can turn into anxiety, depression or instability. Learning to cope with life changes and being resilient is a really important thing to learn for iGen’ers. Here’s a great short video from the specialists at Life Launch Centers with a couple tips on how to deal with life changes.
2. Low Self-esteem
Maybe it’s because you’ve grown up comparing yourself to everyone’s fake lives on social media, or maybe it’s just a popular culture thing to humble-brag, but iGen’ers tend to be more down on themselves. Millennials were characterized as being over-confident, entitled, and don’t like to take orders from anyone. iGen’ers are often plagued with anxiety, feeling like they’re not good enough, or less optimistic about the future. Sometimes that turns into being unmotivated or directionless in life. Most likely you’re parents are from Generations X who are the hardworking, get-the-Job-done kind of people and may not understand how you feel. The good news is that you’ve got the hard working part down, we just have to forget all the pressures from the fake digital world and see yourself for the truly amazing person you are.
3. Concerned with safety
No wonder. Look at the world you’re growing up in. Instead of fire alarms and earthquake drills, you’re doing lock-down training in case some crazy person decides to shoot up your school this week. Or how about cyber-bullying? Gossip really only used to happen in the shameful whispers from person to person, but now harmful texts are shared by hundreds of kids without having to face anyone or take accountability for what is “said.” iGen’ers are very concerned with “emotional safety” – it’s all about being protected from hurtful comments or emotional upset. Before smartphones, if you were going to call someone a bad name, you risked being punched in the nose. There are consequences with personal interaction. You have to express more courage to face someone with a concern. Technology has robbed you of that interpersonal training and courage, so you become extra sensitive to “emotional safety.” The good news is it comes back to resiliency training. Here’s a good video about how to overcome anxiety and what resiliency training can do to help in social situations.
iGen’ers are amazing, and don’t let anyone tell you different. They are the ones braving this giant social experiment we call “personal devices.” I find it no coincidence that another definition for “device” is a crafty scheme, or trick. iGen’ers are the ones figuring out today’s crafty schemes. There are some casualties along the way, but the good news is the future is bright for iGen’ers.