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Where do young people come down on questions of faith, values, and public life? How do they relate their values to public policy issues including education, economic inequality, and the environment? These questions, critically important for the 2012 election, are at the center of a campus conversation being organized by the Berkley Center and Georgetown University. This blog features an ongoing conversation about these issues between students selected as Millennial Values Fellows through a national competition. You can read and comment on their blogs here.

To learn more about the project, visit the Campus Conversation on Values page.


Millennials on Social Media and Politics

November 15, 2012

Millennials on Social Issues and Diversity

November 12, 2012

Hira Baig (Rice) on Why the Presidential Election Matters to Millennials

November 7, 2012

Millennials on Religion and Interfaith Work

November 7, 2012

Ryan Price (Drake) on E Pluribus Duo

November 6, 2012

Mohammad Usman (DePauw) on Unpredictable Millennials

November 5, 2012

Millennials on Affirmative Action Policy

November 3, 2012

Seth Warner (Vassar) on What Happens as the "God Gap" Widens

November 2, 2012

Josina De Raadt (Dordt) on How Social Media Is Like Wii Bowling

October 31, 2012

Zachary Yentzer (Arizona State) on the Next Greatest Generation

October 29, 2012

Brice Ezell (George Fox) on Post-Racial America? Race, Millennials, and the 2012 Election

October 25, 2012

Tyler Bishop (Vanderbilt) on a Future of Hashtags #whatitmeansforus

October 23, 2012

Brice Ezell (George Fox) on How the People Can Heal a “Divided,” Partisan Nation

October 4, 2012

Hira Baig (Rice) on Religion and American Democracy

October 4, 2012

Tyler Bishop (Vanderbilt) on How It’s All About Relatability: Voter Turnout

October 3, 2012

Josina De Raadt (Dordt) on Mistaking Politics for a Hollywood Blockbuster

October 2, 2012

Mohammad Usman (DePauw) on the Internet Solution

October 1, 2012

>> more


Stephen Ark (Macalester) on the Millennial Generation


March 19, 2012

According to a February 2012 study by The Hartman Group, 47 percent of millennials tweet while they eat. America’s millennials or “echo boomers” (the demographic immediately following baby boomers) find little too intimate to share with hundreds of followers online, including pictures of lunch (taken with instagram). The latest generation, in constant contact with itself, circulates personal data at a rate of 500 tweets per second. Open Twitter’s public timeline and see a new era of transparency—one that, despite its appearance, isn’t all that new.

College graduates bring fresh ideas about communication to the workplace. The Internet monitoring service Reppler recently found that 91 percent of employers use social networking sites to screen potential employees. With interviewers scouring the web for information, the line that separates personal and professional life fades. One identity becomes the other, and both become public. Millennials have encouraged this. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said, “The days of you having a different image for your work friends or co-workers and for the other people you know are probably coming to an end pretty quickly.” The change hasn’t happened only because employers expect workers to maintain standards of online etiquette. Millenials derive values from technological advances themselves. Zuckerberg added, “Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity.”

But how fresh is this? We’ve always valued consistency over inconsistency, and deception has never been a popular quality. Indeed, not much has changed between pre-Facebook ideas about expression and post-Facebook ideas, other than the forum. Most social networking sites have privacy options for users who want to control what they share, just like in “real life.” However, many people still don't know about these privacy settings. The online forum forces echo boomers to think twice before posting something that might compromise their integrity. Young people feel pressure to be the same person everywhere and think less of those who aren’t. But that’s not new.

Technology has changed the frequency at which we communicate, not our values. Like baby boomers before them, millenials believe people should be honest about who they are. While privacy features make it possible to avoid open-book status online, archived data keeps people honest about themselves, if they choose to share. In 2012, the Internet generation brings old values to a new forum. Sunshine remains the best disinfectant—and now, lunch is the best polygraph.