Millennials. The word, and generation, has developed a negative connotation in our society. However, most of these concepts, judgements, and ideas about what millenials are, or aren’t, doing are coming from older generations who are quick to offer criticism, but not solutions. Millenials have been raised in a “McDonaldized” world, as we grew up things became more efficient and readily available and we didn’t know any better. We are accustomed to everything being at the touch of our fingertips, which in many ways has improved our quality of living, but in some ways, has not. Millenials have the chance to make an impact, but we are so quickly judged that we are seen as failures before we even begin.
It’s not that millennials don’t care about shopping locally, it’s just that they are a product of the rise of online shopping and consumption. But millenials have the voice and power to reshape the way we are spending money and where. Whether older generations like it or not, millenials are the future of our society. And some of the strongest voices with the best ideas are coming from this rising generation. But we need some support. It’s becoming more and more socially acceptable for people to open small businesses and explore creative endeavors outside of the typical 9-5 job, but millennials are often silenced behind their stereotypes. This rising generation cares and wants to make a difference, however the world has to let them.
It’s important for young people to understand the importance of shopping locally and that they can make or break local businesses in their communities. Millennials have the opportunity to use their voices for change if they aren’t shamed into silence. This group is a smart and capable generation, and the more our culture shifts their mindset toward millennials, the more they will feel comfortable to make a difference.
Millennials were raised in a different era, one where technology was just a normal part of their lives, but that doesn’t make them less than. It actually gives them the power to see both sides, what pros and cons there are to online shopping, while also appreciating the draw and charm of local businesses. If there is going to be any difference made in the future of consumerism, it has to start with millennials. Now more than ever young voices are speaking out about causes they care about, so why shouldn’t shopping locally be one of them?
-Written by Olivia Beaton, LoveLiveLocal 2018 Summer Intern