Restless and Proud: Why Millennials Continue to Chase Newness


Restless and Proud: Why Millennials Continue to Chase Newness

Illustration: Arati Gujar

Being a millennial in the 21st century can feel a lot like a buffet that has no deadline. We’re probably the rare generation that actually embodies the proverb, “Change is the only constant.” Because one thing’s certain we get bored and crave for something new faster than R Ashwin can do a Mankad.    

When you are young and anxious and spoilt for choice, choosing something as trivial as a TV show on Voot to add to our watchlist is not as much a decision anymore as it is a task – neither are we bogged down to one choice nor are we forced to stick to it even when it sustains our interest. Our daily lives revolve around the easy availability of unlimited options. Sure, some might argue that these neverending options make our generation restless – gelato or ganache, JOMO or FOMO, Ryan Gosling with a shirt or without one. But here’s another way to look at it. Don’t these many options help us choose better and know exactly what it is that we don’t want?

It’s a way of life that influences other aspects of our lives as well: Fewer and fewer millennials are inclined to choose stability. Unlike our parents, we don’t stick to the same job from 22 to 62. And if the job’s too draining, we give it up. Just like that. We’ll instead, take a sabbatical to find a calling that is a two-way satisfaction street.

Likewise, our dating lives thrive on new experiences and new people, on being temporary. A long-term relationship then becomes our greatest nemesis. Being in love makes us fight the nagging feeling of missing out on “newness”. Naturally, we gravitate toward choosing the unfiltered joy of skimming through the highlights than watching an entire match.

What does this aversion to tread the boringly mundane say about us millennials? That, we’re always on the lookout for the next best thing. That unpredictability doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. (I wish I could say the same thing each time the PM lets us know he has to make an announcement.)

Don’t these many options help us choose better and know exactly what it is that we don’t want?

Being spoilt for choices, whether it is when we are zeroing in on our professions, partners, or movies, can also be liberating. There’s a high that comes from chasing “newness”; newer experiences are as addictive as watching TikTok videos on loop. And they override the staid predictability of sticking with one experience.

In a world that is designed to keep reinventing itself by the minute, choosing not to experiment is a travesty that’d totally get a “minus” from K3G’s Poo. It’s actually acting on an unfair assumption that we’ll end up craving the same thing every time. Isn’t life all about using the myriad possibilities in front of us to its best advantage?

Take the shows available on Voot for instance – they don’t just surprise in variety, but also in quality. For days when you’re feeling catty, there’s Feet Up With the Stars, where Anahita Shroff Adajania, surveyor of all the extraordinary clothes on magazine covers, gets Bollywood celebrities to reveal their goofiest side. And on other days, when you’re in need for romance and drama, you can reach for Fuh Se Fantasy. After all, who doesn’t want to watch a romance show that tries to break social stigma about fantasies?  Then imagine the ease of switching from these shows to Viewpoint, a news bulletin that fills you in on the latest developments this election season.

Browsing through these choices, besides the ones our lives have in offer, we can also do what was once unimaginable: find out more about ourselves. Back in the day, our parents didn’t have this luxury. They spent their whole lives working hard without getting the chance to sit back and Marie Kondo their lives by wondering what sparked joy for them. But we get to do and see things that are #NonStopNew and there’s no greater pleasure than that.