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The Millennials (aka ‘Gen Y’): On tattoos, TMI, tolerance and technology

Wednesday, July 21, 2010
posted by Douglas Keene

We have an article in this edition of The Jury Expert on the Millennials (aka ‘Generation Y’). There’s been a lot of information floated out there as fact that is simply observation, opinion, and (frankly) made up stuff.  Pretty shocking, eh? As trial consultants and as parents of four Millennials between us, we wanted to collect what is actually known (based on data, evidence and surveys) about this emerging generation. I mean to say—is it possible that I could misunderstand my kids?

What we found was enough for two articles rather than one so you’ll have to wait until September for the next piece (Gen Y in the law firm and in the workplace in general). But you can see the first one, Tattoos, Tolerance, Technology, and TMI: Welcome to the land of the Millennials now.

We were taken aback when we found this article from 1990 at This piece is written about Generation X but if you tilt your head just a bit when reading it you can see it is quite reminiscent of what we are now reading about Generation Y (the Millennials) and what we would have likely read back in the late 1960’s about the Baby Boomers. What goes around, comes around. We forget our own youth and immaturity and assume that those coming up behind us are less worthy than we were, have poor work ethics, poor hygiene, and bad values. The only difference is that now, when we write, it’s on the internet (courtesy of Web 2.0) and readily searchable, spreadable, and taken as ‘research’ rather than opinion. W.R. Eilers wrote a terrific blog post on this point back in May, 2010.

What we’ve done in our article on the Millennials is to collect what we really ‘know’ about this emerging generation so that you can know what is truly descriptive of them and what is not. (We include some of the ‘what is not’ as well, just to keep you on top of things!) What we found is captured (without much detail) in our paper’s title. But there’s a lot more to this generation than tattoos, technology, tolerance and TMI and we hope you’ll stop by and read the article and leave a comment to let us know what you think! As always, we make a particular point of what all this information means for you in the courtroom and in voir dire. After all, that’s what we do!

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