Cracking the Millennial Code

By Kristin Avery | February 14, 2020

Throughout my lifetime, I’ve seen computers get smaller and smaller. I didn’t have a cell phone as a kid, but it’s certainly hard to imagine my life at this moment without one. I had a TV growing up where I had to get off the couch when I wanted to change to one of the five channels. Now, I use a small remote control to access multiple streaming channels compiled daily through my Roku. I used to spend hours playing Sonic the Hedgehog on my Sega Genesis.  Today, you can go see that bright blue hedgehog in a live-action movie on the big screen.


If you’d entertain me for a little bit, I’d like to take you back to 1989. I’m 9 years old and attached to my Game Boy with a black and white graphic display. I’m learning how hard the early settlers had it through the PC game Oregon Trail. Floppy disks truly lived up to their name and were handled like fragile glass.


Now skip ahead to 2005, my Motorola RAZR cell phone allows me to hang up with style. I’ve traded in my floppy disks for a USB file storage device that I’m able to insert into my computer only after the second or third try. I’ve also started connecting with a couple of college friends on a little internet-based platform called Facebook.


One last time traveling jump, I promise. Follow me to the year 2010. I’ve purchased a new iPhone and learned there’s an app for that. I’ve created a Twitter account and have expanded my Facebook following beyond college connections. I heavily rely on Google Maps and often wonder how I found my destination at all before having this navigational assistant.


In case you’re asking, yes, there is a point to this quick stroll down memory lane. If you’ve been doing the math, then you’ve figured that I’m a millennial. Gasp! Since entering the marketing workforce, I’ve been volunteered as a spokesperson to provide insight on the entire millennial generation. We’re a puzzle to be figured out, a code to be cracked. What do they want? What makes them tick?


As someone with the inside scoop, the key trait that makes my generation so unique is our ability to adapt to new technology as a way of connecting to others. If you wanted to hang out with a friend that had a Nintendo, you learned how to operate the system and controls. It was never a matter of keeping up with the Joneses, new technology was constantly evolving around you and you evolved with it.


If you wanted to stay connected to others, you had to be open to learning new things and adapting. At the core, I believe that’s what creates our millennial makeup and distinguishes us.