Our guest writer, Alongy, weighs in on what it’s like to be part of the “non-driving” generation:
I am a millennial – born between 1983 and 2001. I do not own a car, I have not gotten my driver’s license or permit and apparently I am not alone. A 2013 study shows that only 54% of today’s teens have obtained a driver’s license by the time they turn 18. A dramatic difference when two decades prior at least two thirds of teens received their driver’s license by the age of eighteen.
Millennials, born between 1983 and 2000, also known as Generation Y are defying the American custom of the driver license and all the connotations it holds –freedom, the open road, independence and responsibility. Instead Generation Y has set its sights on car sharing services, public transportation or just plain walking.
Generation Y has changed the icon of freedom from a car to the cellphone. Cars are viewed as pricey and a chore to maintain – the gas prices aren’t helping either. Times like these leave millennials turning their heads for different options. Walking, bike riding, bus, train and car sharing programs such as Zipcar or ride request services like Uber have all gained popularity with the millennial age consumer.
Cars are not viewed as a necessity unlike the cellphone. Cellphones are used to stay connected with friends, family and the outside world. Is it really better to see a person face to face or have the opportunity to talk anytime by text? Studies show that millennials would rather lose their sense of smell than their cellphones. Boy, are we dedicated! Cellphones have become our prized possession as cars to the baby boomers.