It’s nobody’s business what millennials spend our money on.
Whenever anyone may be struggling financially, the response is usually to criticise what they have been spending their money on. It happens all of the time. People receiving social security are lambasted for having the nerve to own a TV. Millennials are told we’d have a house if we didn’t buy an iPhone. Yet, we need our technology.
We’ve seen a digital boom over the last twenty years but that has caused spiralling costs. Our lives have shifted online, and that’s not millennials being conceited and materialistic – that’s fact. For instance, the DWP may only support those looking for employment if they fill out a certain number of applications per day. Applications for jobs though are predominantly done online. So you need a computer and Wi-Fi, and if you don’t own one yourself then that means traveling somewhere that does.
Our entire culture is embedded online. Young people were pushed towards technology as it was the future, but that future was always going to be wrapped up in chasing after new gadgets and paying out for them. Let’s look at the design industry. Plenty of jobs these days are freelance, which means low security but designers have to pay huge subscription fees every month to have access to the software they need. Journalists will need phones, tablets and sometimes laptops if they’re on the go. Video journalists will need cameras.
“Our entire culture is embedded online”
Social media even plays its role. We’re living in a time where people never switch off. The result is though that often bosses message out of hours demanding extra work. It would be great to be able to tell them to fuck off without retribution but that’s not going to happen. We’re expected to always be available, have our emails in our hand and be ready to work.
The cost – and the expectancy – of living has completely gone through the roof. Okay, past generations may have been able to save for a house but did they have to pay the costs of mobile phones, iPads, computers, Wi-Fi, software, Netflix or anything else? It might be a reasonable argument if wages had risen in-line with inflation, but they haven’t. The cost of living has hit a 5 year high with inflation at 3%. Additionally, the average real wage is lower than what it was ten years ago.
But the worst part of the argument that we shouldn’t be splashing out on technology is the idea that we somehow don’t deserve it. Millennials have every right to want to escape and binge-watch Netflix, be on Twitter or play on their Playstation 4. Millennials have the right to be happy too, and to enjoy themselves. The point is capitalism is a festering mess and it’s been so badly run that millennials can barely afford to exist whatever we do. Blame the system you helped rig. Don’t blame millennials.
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