The Facebook Generation: Millennials are reshaping the American economy
In the United States, are the 78 Million ‘Baby Boomers’ (born between 1946-1964) are preparing to take a back seat to the 98 million young people — generally known as Generation Y or Millennials (born between 1981-2000). As this “Facebook Generation” begins rounding the corner from their late 20s to their early 30s, they’re reshaping the American economy.
In late May, Facebook sold 82 million shares in the first 30 seconds of trading on Nasdaq. A $38.00 price tag valued the world’s most popular social network at $104 billion dollars. The Initial Public Offering (IPO), with 421 million shares on sale, was expected to rise up to $18 billion (yes, with a ‘B’). Analysts say it is a big windfall for a company that began just eight years ago with no obvious way of making money.
Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg (age 28) has a 25 percent ownership stake in the company but he has a 56 percent say in the daily operations of Facebook. Mr. Zuckerberg whose ownership interest is currently valued at $19.1 billion, is expected to gain the most from the IPO, with co-founders Dustin Moskovitz $5.1 billion and Eduardo Saverin also gaining billions within hours of the stocks offering. Napster founder and former Facebook employee Sean Parker is also said to be in line to earn billions from his stock in the company.
What Impact Does the Facebook Generation Have?
Tax revenues in the Silicon Valley, where Facebook is headquartered, may also get a boost from the IPO. Realtors expect plenty of new home buys in Menlo Park and other nearby communities as shareholders of the social media giant use some of their new found wealth to buy property.
In February 2010, the Pew Research Center conducted an exhaustive study on the behaviors, values and opinions of the teens and twenty-somethings that make up the Millennial Generation.
The Pew Research report is entitled, “Millennials A Portrait of Generation Next: Confident, Connected, and Open to Change.”
Why be Concerned with the Facebook Generation?
• They are the most ethnically-and racially-diverse cohort of youth in the nation’s history — among those ages 13 to 29,18.5 percent are Hispanic; 14.2 percent are black,4.3 percent are Asian,3.2 percent are mixed race or other, and 59.8 percent (a record low) are white
According to the online publication Wikipedia.org, the Millennials are sometimes called the “Trophy Generation” or “Trophy Kids” — a term that reflects the trend in competitive sports, as well as many other aspects of life, where mere participation is frequently enough for a reward.
It has been reported that this is an issue in corporate environments. Some employers are concerned that Millennials have too great expectations from the workplace. Studies predict that Generation Y will switch jobs frequently, holding far more than Generation X due to their lofty expectations. To address these new challenges, many organizations are studying the social behavioral patterns of Millennials and are trying to devise programs that decrease intergenerational estrangement. They are also trying to increase relationships of reciprocal understanding between older employees and Millennials, while at the same time making Millennials more comfortable.
The Facebook Generation is Reshaping the American Economy
If the American worker is to compete and survive in the new economy, then he must learn new skills, adjust and adapt to the reality that his labor to earn a living in the 21st Century will be a direct result of the Millennial social entrepreneurs.
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