Why save up for a rainy day – we just want to have fun
By RHIANNON HOYLE
FORGET stability. The generation of today don't want it.
A new study has cemented the notion that our teens and 20-somethings just want to have fun, travel and build a wealth of life experience.
They are reinstating old past times (like knitting and bingo), reusing old fashions (think fur wraps and tweed) and the once Great Australian Dream, for them, has all but died.
It also seems the concept of saving for a rainy day is lost on this generation, who are - above all - out to look after number one.
Research by social trends organisation Heartbeat on the changing youth culture illustrates a restless generation. A generation of young people – Generation Y defined as those born in the 1980s and 1990s – who will leap from job to job seeking instant success. A generation who will pack up their lives and cross continents at the drop of a hat.
And Heartbeat social researcher Vanessa Briese said none of this was about to change.
"Generation X may have initiated travel, but it is Generation Y who have really mainstreamed it," Ms Briese said.
"This is a group of people who are living the good life, and they are not about to give it up.
"The 20s are no longer characterised by the things they were 20 years ago. And for Generation Y, success has become the mantra."
She said their ideals of instant gratification spawn from technological advancements and mainstream internet use.
"Generation Y have grown up with the internet," she said.
"They have pretty much always lived in a time where everything is available and everything is accessible, and this has brought about this whole belief of seeking instant gratification.
"They are after instant success, and this means they have very different work ethics than those before them." Although she is quick to point out young people today are by no means lazy, she said their preceding generation had a more genuine appreciation for holding secure employment than they do.
She said having to struggle through recessions, deregulations and globalisation resulted in Generation X evolving to be much harder workers.
They learned not to take anything for granted.
Generation X are the children of those born in the 1960s and 1970s.
"Generation Y have been brought up in a booming economy – they only know boom times," she said.
"They have grown up in a time when they can do anything and expect anything. They are not a lazy generation, however, they are opportunistic. They want the shortest route to success."
Companies and networks are vying for the support and ratings of this key demographic group.
Media and cultural studies expert at UniSA Dr Susan Luckman said the controversy over explicit Big Brother scenes shows the changing values between the two generations. "While the idea of sex isn't new to TV, this situation is very different. It is being delivered in a way not used before – reality TV," she said. "However, for ratings sake, this is something the producers have been trying to get for seasons."