When thinking about Millenials, people often visualize the same thing: A lazy teenager sprawled out on the couch, watching videos, or listening to music; chatting or engaging in some type of social media. But perhaps, this relates to social media is the very thing that is causing Millenials and their generation to become the most philanthropic generation the world has ever seen.
Forbes magazine notes the difference between charity and philanthropy, indicating that charity is focused more upon easing the pain and duress of an issue, whereas philanthropy works more towards actually rectifying a societal issue. And the differences don’t end there.
Charity vs. Philanthropy
Perhaps the most noticeable difference is that charity is truly founded upon monies, and monetary sources, whereas philanthropy has far less to do with the donation of money, and actually involves the giving of time, talent, and contacts or connections. This is where technology and social media truly come into play.
The Role of Technology
Millennials have access to social networking at a level far more advanced and far more expedited than any generation that has come before them. They can contact hundreds of people in seconds, and ultimately, have the power to unite them in a common effort or a common cause or vision almost instantaneously. Perhaps their local animal shelter is in need of volunteers, or desperately needs blankets, or animal food, or donations. If this cause were to gain the attention of a Baby-Boomer, or even a Generation X-er, their scope would be limited. Perhaps they would call a few friends, utilize word-of-mouth, or they could even go so far as to take out an advertisement in a local newspaper. But a Millenial can reach hundreds, if not thousands in just a few minutes. They can Tweet about it, post an Instagram, share their concerns on Facebook, blog, upload a video to Youtube, truly, their technological reach is limitless. This access to technological communications is what truly sets them apart.
So the next time that you hear the word, Millennial, perhaps there is reason to take pause. Perhaps, rather than visualizing some lazy teenager lounging on their parents’ living room sofa, you should see a social activist, a humanitarian, a generational vigilante that is fighting for the rights of people all over the world, and truly, putting the needs of the world-at-large before the needs of themselves.