Super successful entrepreneur and international businessman Vijay Eswaran has been studying the habits of millennials. He finds a number of disturbing trends that he says both business owners and millennials themselves must get a handle on to avoid significant problems in the future.
This topic is the thrust of Vijay Eswaran’s book, “Sphere of Silence.” It speaks directly to millions of young people who are working in what is known today as the “gig economy.” The latter refers to nontraditional jobs often interfaced via the internet and worked by freelancers. Another example of a gig economy job is using one’s own car as a taxi service for Uber. Renting a space in your home with Airbnb is yet another example of a gig economy source of income.
Vijay Eswaran said millennials are highly attracted to the gig economy because their values are different from that of their parent’s generation. Twenty-something people are less concerned about buying things like homes and cars. They prefer lifestyles that are not weighed down by mortgages and car payments.
Millennials also value their freedom and the ability to set their own hours and work schedules. Millennials realize that working gig economy jobs means making less money, but they are willing to make that trade-off in exchange for retaining what they view as a greater sense of independence.
But Vijay Eswaran said too many millennials are developing bad habits, much of them enabled by their addiction to technology. He notes that the first thing the average millennial does in the morning is scan their smartphone and the last thing they do at night is scan their smartphone – and that’s while they scan their smartphones throughout the day, as well.
Eswaran said millennials are spending hours of unproductive time wading through unimportant information that is constantly enticing them on social media. He said heavy online time activity is causing millennials to lose sleep, waste time, erode their productivity and keep them off balance. It’s also producing higher rates of depression and alienation.
At the same time, millennials are reporting high rates of stress in large numbers. Their low-paying gig economy jobs require them to work longer hours and for completing tasks that tend to not be unrewarding and not very meaningful.
In his book, Sphere of Silence, Vijay Eswaran offers advice and solutions for young adults who find themselves caught in the negative flow of an increasingly all-pervasive, online-connected virtual world. His main piece of advice is simple but powerful. Mr. Eswaran recommends that millennials take one hour a day to disconnect from all devices and simply sit in a space of peaceful silence. It’s not formal medication, such as TM or Zen, or any sort of religious practice.
Mr. Eswaran recommends an hour of peaceful time might also be used for setting goals, jotting down creative ideas, reading, writing and connecting with one’s own sense of a personal Higher Power. The point is to stop and reflect and break the pervasive hold smartphones and online activity has on millions of young people.