Dependently Independent: A Millennial’s Dilemma

I’m pretty sure everyone has caught on with the current trend of expectations that are set on millennials. With the rise of technology and the increasing opportunities offered to everyone around the globe, from earning from YouTube videos to Instagram posts, it would be expected that a large number of millennials are able to support themselves as early as 25 years old, right?

Wrong. I’d like to consider possible arguments anyone has against the current generation in terms of the rate of success they have in their respective fields.

One thing you might think about are the YouTubers who can make millions off makeup channels, game streaming, or fitness videos. Check out the chart stats below. And as of today, there have only been around 100-200 Paid Channels, out of the thousands or possibly even millions of users around the world. It’s definitely a tough crowd out there, and you would also need to consider the frequency of  videos that you would need to put up so that your viewers will keep coming back for more. The amount of stress put into becoming a YouTube star is so overwhelming that there is a small chance that they have time to spare for their loved ones.

YouTube Distribution - 2009


Same thing for the Instagram stars. As far as my knowledge goes, you’d have to be famous enough to call the attention of brands that are willing to take a chance for you to be their brand ambassador. Bloggers are also another thing to consider, as it requires a lot of time and effort to maintain a blog. Lord knows that as an amateur blogger myself, I find it difficult to generate ideas that can capture the attention of audiences across the globe.

In my side of the globe, the Philippines has grown so much in terms of how the people look for alternative ways to earn money other than their desk jobs. There are probably thousands of resellers of the products of USANA, Avon, and other brands who are willing to have their products sold by other individuals. I’ll also factor in real estate agents because in a sense, selling condominiums is a business. I applaud the young individuals who have the balls to set up their own businesses as early as their college days. But what is the success rate of these individuals? Is it sustainable enough? Will it help them generate more income for them to live a good life? Based on what I’ve observed, it’s a rare occurrence for individuals to make enough in their businesses. Now I know what others might be thinking. It could be because they did not invest enough, they did not market the product well enough, they did not become innovative enough. Well here’s a taste of reality: not everyone succeeds in business. I hope I’m not crushing any dreams here, but there’s also timing as a factor that contributes to the success of business. With the boom of hundreds of businesses not only in the Philippines, but around the globe, it would be difficult to rise as a financially successful entrepreneur.

With the rise of technology comes along the rise of self-awareness, a hundred options that were unknown to several other individuals who were already in their respective industries prior to the boom of the internet. In addition, the choice of taking a college education is extremely difficult, with a graduate leaving the university with thousands of dollars in debt, which they have to pay off before they become capable enough to make a living with little assistance coming from their parents. Oh, and don’t get me started on the rise in demand for graduates with a Master’s degree, or even a Ph D. So what happens? Additional debt.

Now, the first thought is that it should be easier to pay back the debts because a degree means a higher salary right? Wrong. There have been major changes which have affected the millennial’s chances at becoming equally, if not more, successful than their predecessor’s. The current economy is jacked up. Seriously. We’ve all heard about how you could buy a house with a minimum wage back in the 60’s or 70’s, whatever. But in the present day, it’s impossible to do so. The most that can be done is to rent a dorm and hope that no one mugs you and leaves you dry until your next paycheck. The world is still recovering from a crash in global economy in 2008, which resulted in an inflation rate of almost 11% in the Philippines. Although this has dwindled down to 3.4% as of April 2017, it doesn’t help that there is no stopping the increase in prices for everything from rent to college tuition.

So if you ask me if the problem of the millennial’s failures are due to himself/herself? I honestly don’t think so. Because even if they tried hard enough, it’s tough enough in the world to struggle with paying the phone bill.


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