A Culture Shift from Ownership to Experience

New reality has spread far and wide; all millennials, an unmaterialistic generation of today, want is wi-fi for their smartphone and a constant supply of enjoyable life experiences. The core concept is pretty simple – why buy depreciating assets, when you can rent and pay as per use! It is no secret that millennials; the much talked about generation that is set to surpass boomers by 2019 and Generation Z; the consumers and leaders of tomorrow, value experience over ownership.

This large cohort of digitally distracted generation follows a simple mantra; ‘No Ownership, No Worries’. For the millennials, experience trumps possessions and alongside the decreased desire to own things, this generation is increasingly spending time and money on experiences: from concerts and social events to athletic pursuits, cultural experiences and events of all kinds. According to a study by Harris Interactive, 3 in 4 millennials (78%) would choose to spend money on an experience or event over buying something desirable. 69% of respondents believed attending live experiences helps them connect better with their friends, their community and people around the world.

Millennials expect to work harder and longer than previous generations, so they already anticipate more variety and more times when they will take their foot off the gas. Contrary to the lazy label, various research data tells a different story. Millennials are working as hard, if not harder, than the older generation. According to the ManpowerGroup survey, 73% report working more than 40 hours a week, and nearly a quarter work over 50 hours. Indian Millennials claim the longest working week and Australians the shortest – on average 52 and 41 hours a week respectively. Twenty-six percent globally are working two or more paid jobs.

The young working population around the world is monetizing everything that can be monetized and has realized that not owning is the way to go. We can now find and own practically anything we want, at any time, through the unending flea market of the Internet. Because of this, the balance between supply and demand has been altered, and the value has moved elsewhere. Technology and changing views on ownership is driving the growing popularity of `sharing’ across all aspects of Indian work and life. Millennials are growing up in a society where the largest retail store doesn’t own any items (Amazon), the biggest transportation service doesn’t own any vehicles (Uber), and the most popular hotel chain doesn’t own any hotels (AirBnB).

Why own a car when you can hire a driver on demand for essentially the same cost as buying your own vehicle but none of the stresses associated with owning it? Millennials are changing jobs on average every three years. Why imprison yourself to a mortgage and staying in one place when you don’t know how long you will even be staying there? Over the past decade, psychologists carried out a great amount of research proving that, in terms of happiness and a sense of well-being, spending money on ne

w experiences is much more profitable than buying new things. It brings more joy. After all, would people rather hear about your new watch or the time you ziplined through the jungles of Amazon?

For the millennials and Gen Z, happiness isn’t as focused on possessions as they are on ‘meaningful experiences’ that can be shared on social media. This has given rise to a new social epidemic; FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). FOMO is defined as the overwhelming sense that if you skip the party, you’re missing out on a once in a lifetime, amazing experience. For millennials, FOMO is not just a cultural phenomenon, it’s an epidemic. According to various research, Nearly 7 in 10 (69%) millennials experience FOMO. In a world where newsfeeds and social media broadcast what friends are experiencing, the fear of missing out propel millennials to show up, share and engage: a driving force behind the experience economy. A lot of millennials’ motivation has to do with distributing photos of themselves on social media. The Harris Poll found that factors such as a craving for recognition (for example, how many likes someone gets on their Instagram post), and a “fear of missing out” help drive millennials’ cravings for experiences.

 

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