Looking around the Internet there is no lack of material talking about the much-derided “Millennials.” Millennials are the new lost generation that an older generation looks down upon from their place on Mount Olympus, shaking their head at how they’ve squandered the world that they’ve inherited. That world, mind you, is stuck in a mire of rising college tuition costs, which became a hot topic during the past year, with many students feeling worse off heading into a shrinking job market. Still, there has to be a driving force behind this cultural malaise.
Now a new study has discovered that the joy that many Millennials grew up with — video games — might somehow be hindering their trek into the workforce. The Washington Post documented this new research that young, undereducated men were happier playing games and living at home than working menial jobs. The study claimed that was because video games and social networking keep them feeling connected to the world, while the under- or unemployed of the past just felt like awful slobs camping out in front of their televisions.
The largest group affected by the excess of video games is young men without a college education, the report said. One of the lead researchers at the University of Chicago, Erik Hurst, actually went as far as to say that these young men are happier now than ever before.
“Happiness has gone up for this group, despite employment percentages having fallen, and the percentage living with parents going up. And that’s different than for any other group.”
Essentially, the fulfillment from achieving stuff in games is greater than working a menial job for low wages, or than returning to school and racking up lots of debt. As talk of more jobs like these becoming automated has stirred debates about possible Universal Basic Income for the masses, it’s interesting to note that people are actually happy not really being a part of the consumer society that we live in.
This is definitely a shift from the whole “boot straps” mentality that has driven Americans for decades, although it’s unclear what kind of impact it’ll have on our society just yet.
(Via The Washington Post)