Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy

If you are the parent of a Generation Y child (definition: born between the late 1970’s and mid-1990’s) and you do not have it all figured out, then…  boy, have I got a link for you! Click here:


Your click should lead you to a cartoon/essay called “Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy.” While I first saw it orbiting around Facebook, it appeared in the Huffington Post, having originated on a cool website called Wait But Why. (See www.waitbutwhy.com)

The writer, who appears to be anonymous, is referring to a subset of all Generation Ys that she calls GYPSYs – “Generation Y Protagonists & Special Yuppies.” These are the children of the Baby Boomers who are, in turn, the children of the Greatest Generation. While I don’t want to spoil the whole thing for you, the GYPSYs are portrayed as caught in a crosswind. After a steady diet since birth of being told that they are special, they have been cast out into the world in a wildly ambitious state. Then, much to their horror, they discover that the world is not as excited about receiving them as their parents were. To compound matters, they don’t want the boring “secure career” that their parents desired… no, no.  They not only want, they fully expect, a “fulfilling career.” (And while you’re at it, make it snappy!)

The writer observes, “Where the Baby Boomers wanted to live The American Dream, GYPSY’s want to live Their Own Personal Dream.”

Many GYPSYs are finding the sledding to be tougher than they had anticipated. Many are not happy. The article poses a mathematical formula for happiness: Happiness = Reality – Expectations. It also serves up a fairly simple definition: “It’s pretty straightforward — when the reality of someone’s life is better than they had expected, they’re happy. When reality turns out to be worse than the expectations, they’re unhappy.”

The article concludes with some words of advice for GYPSYs on how to forge ahead. The piece is both interesting and provocative. I welcome your reactions.

Onward,  Malcolm Gauld