If you haven’t seen this video already, I wanted to share Simon Sinek’s interview on the topic of millennials.
So many pieces of this video resonated with me, and I wanted to share a few thoughts. First off, I couldn’t agree more with what Simon says about social media. It has probably been about 6 months since I deleted my social media (aside from this blog and linkedin) and I can honestly say that I haven’t missed it one bit. At this point, I am comfortable saying that I don’t plan on ever going back to it ever again. Here are a few key things I realized upon giving up social media:
- I used it as a way to waste down time. Wasting time is not something I’m interested in. I’m much happier using my “down time” to simply sit back and think, observe the world, or engage with someone.
- It made me feel close to people that I wasn’t actually close to. I think I was confusing “liking” pictures with friendship. It turns out that there’s a huge difference.
- Everything was about comparison. There were a lot of times that I felt bad about myself because I wasn’t doing the same types of things that my “friends” were doing. Super unhealthy.
- I posted things so that people would be impressed by me. Don’t really have to elaborate here.
In short, I think social media was taking me away from reality and more importantly Jesus. Also, on the topic of technology, I would like to bring up my shared (shared with Simon) frustration on cell phones. I think that cell phones are my biggest pet peeve. It really annoys me when people take out their phone while I’m talking with them, or even when they leave their phone sitting on the table. I don’t even like when people are sitting at a table alone and pull out their phone. People think that I’m crazy because I sleep with my phone turned off in the other room. The other day, my co-worker legitimately asked me where the off button even was on her iPhone. In my ideal world, cell phones would exclusively be used as phones. No texting, no emails, no nothing. And yes I realize how ironic this is given that my job title includes “technology specialist” in it.
Second, I couldn’t agree more with what Simon says about instant gratification. Another reason people think I’m crazy is that I don’t have internet or cable in my apartment. Though it is a major “inconvenience” at times (I am taking online classes right now) I absolutely love life without internet. One of the reasons I like it is because I now have a deep appreciation for times when I can connect. Rather than wasting away unlimited time on the internet, I now use every minute I get wisely. The lack of internet instant gratification has given me the opportunity to add another component of intentionality to my life. My favorite quote from the entire Simon Sinke video is that “everything you want you can have instantaneously except job satisfaction and strength of relationships. They are slow, meandering, uncomfortable and messy processes”. Instant gratification has created a culture in which we fail to see that life is indeed “a mountain”. It is only with patience and intentionality that we can reach the summit. I’ve read a number of psychology books on the topic of delaying gratification. Delaying gratification is an incredibly important childhood skill that when undeveloped can literally destroy a person’s life. I think that culturally, we need to find more ways to maintain this habit especially in the wake of technology. I have found writing letters to be one of the healthiest ways for me to practice patience and intentionality. When you write a letter, you have to choose your words carefully because unlike a text, a letter could potentially be saved for a person’s lifetime. In writing a letter, you are also forced to wait at least a week for a response. So feel free to write me a letter anytime!
Finally, I couldn’t agree more with what Simon says about corporations. My organizational leadership grad classes have really highlighted the need for humanistic leaders in the world. We need to educate more people to simply see people as people.
I will conclude by saying this: I am slightly terrified for our generation. The reason why is twofold. First, we have been educated our whole lives to believe that we should be making a huge purposeful impact on the world. Second, we are so incredibly impatient that making an impact is going to be nearly impossible. I’m not typically a cynical person, but I anticipate that the mid-life crisis is going to hit millennials in an unprecedented way. I think it’ll be more like a mid-life tragedy. The fact that the “quarter-life” crisis is now a thing is evidence enough. As I mentioned earlier, I think it is absolutely essential that we find more ways to practice intentionality and delaying gratification. Otherwise, we could be in a world of hurt. Just some food for thought.