Not Trying to Cause No Big Sensation…
The Pew Research Center is out this week with a new study looking at the so-called “Generation Next,” the group of young people born in the 80s and more frequently referred to as the millennials, Americans who began to come of age around the turn of the century. It’s an excellent report and I recommend a full reading for anyone who cares about how these young consumers view politics, their futures, social activism, and technology. The biggest finding: it’s a tolerant, progressive generation.
In their political outlook, they are the most tolerant of any generation on social issues such as immigration, race and homosexuality. They are also much more likely to identify with the Democratic Party than was the preceding generation of young people, which could reshape politics in the years ahead. Yet the evidence is mixed as to whether the current generation of young Americans will be any more engaged in the nation’s civic life than were young people in the past, potentially blunting their political impact.
About half of Gen Nexters say the growing number of immigrants to the U.S. strengthens the country – more than any generation. And they also lead the way in their support for gay marriage and acceptance of interracial dating.
But there’s also some evidence that the preponderance of social networks and easy, online communications actually breeds some laziness in terms of involvement – something we’ll explore in CauseWired.
Their embrace of new technology has made them uniquely aware of its advantages and disadvantages. They are more likely than older adults to say these cyber-tools make it easier for them to make new friends and help them to stay close to old friends and family. But more than eight-in-ten also acknowledge that these tools “make people lazier.”