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Internet Act. 22 Aug 2017

Social networks exert pressure on 'millennials'

internet millennials social networks social media mobile apps technology bbva

Digital platforms have seen millennials become more concerned by the accomplishments of those around them than trying to secure their own happiness.

The millennial generation lives in a constant state of anxiety due to the threat of economic crisis and a rapidly changeable labor market. But a report published in Harvard Business Review by Emerson Csorba, points out that these are not the only stress triggers for millennials.

Constant comparisons against their peers are the main cause of anxiety for this generation. Social networks only make such apprehensions more acute, by keeping individuals permanently connected to their peers.

Where does the pressure come from?

Emerson Csorba identifies the following chief causes of anxiety among millennials:

-  Misrepresenting achievements on social networks: users only post their accomplishments, never their failures. Millennials tend to compare themselves against the lives presented by their peers on social networks. For a generation as permanently connected as millennials, seeing the constant successes of peers posted on social networks can become unbearable.

Media stories of hypersuccessful millennials: success stories posted relentlessly to social networks drive many young people to dream of becoming overnight millionaires. Particularly when they look at the accomplishments of individuals such as Mark Zuckerberg, or lists such as the Forbes 30 under 30.

Countless options in possible career paths and constant striving to achieve potential: such a plethora of possibilities can be as stressful as they are enriching. Furthermore, this generation tends to opt for careers and courses that leave them dissatisfied.

How can the problem be tackled?

Emerson Csorba has three suggestions:

Reflect on your own skills: use digital platforms to identify and focus on those that motivate you. Instead of constantly fixating on the accomplishments of peers.

Take the long view: millennials often become obsessed with achieving success at a very young age, which is a big mistake. They need to establish long-term objectives and not be in such a hurry to accomplish their dreams.

Embrace solitude: millennials are connected practically 24/7, which leaves them little time for individual reflection. It is important for that they disconnect and take time to focus on their own lives.