As the generation that experienced the evolution of social networking sites (Friendster, MySpace, and finally Facebook), we’ve had plenty of practice in the field of customization. Pairing them with our favorite colors as the background, we’ve modified our personal pages to play our favorite songs once opened by fellow netizens.
Nowadays, you can personalize even your undergarments. One bride even went as far as having a cake made into a life-sized version of her. Wax seal stamps are proof that personalizing and customization were already a trend in the Middle ages and during the reign of the pharaohs.
Lamentations about Labels
Does having the freedom to customize mean we are a pickier bunch?
According to the National Institute of Health, in a TIME magazine article, millennials are three times more likely to have narcissistic personality disorder than previous generations, hence the nickname “Me, Me, Me Generation”. This makes many of us prone to impatience and selfishness.
For example, when siblings fight over something, “Does it have your name on it?” usually becomes the problem-solver and argument ending statement. So, unless it has your initials inscribed, you have no right to call it yours. It’s become an unspoken rule between siblings and peers.
Getting custom-made luxury bags, shoes, shoes, clothes or even cars has never been easier. Customization isn’t limited to just material objects. Travel can be tailored down to the last detail if we want to. Experiences are actually more flexible, and spending money on experiences rather than goods is a more preferred way of life for some millennials.
Making it Mine
Personalization comes in the form of engravings, stickers, labels, patches, and embossed or monogrammed anything. Old-fashioned folks probably still have handkerchiefs adorned with their initials. I own a jewelry box with my full name engraved on the cover. When it comes to gifts, there is no doubt that a stronger connection and attachment can be found between a customized object, the giver and the recipient. When they are personalized, ordinary things no longer feel “average” because of the sentimental value behind them. Plus, it is easier to spot a customized item and confirm that it belonging to you.
Social media has its own methods and services when it comes to personalization. There’s the use of hash tags to make an event or person go viral. Aside from the built-in filters, Snapchat also allows you to design and use one of your own geofilters for your special day.
iPhones come in a variety of colors, sizes and capacities. We can now decide exactly what we want on our sandwiches and salads. That’s why businesses like Coldstone, Subway and Chipotle have many loyal customers. Nike, Converse and Adidas offer services in which you can design your own shoes.
Trying to be a little frugal about your fashion staples? Sites like Etsy and Pinterest cater to individuals who would rather not buy what everyone else can easily find at malls. There are also plenty of tutorials to make your sneakers stand out.
We have been dubbed the “DIY Gen Y” since we are more satisfied with our purchases when we’re given the freedom to choose what to include and what to omit. “Full” or pre-made packages don’t appeal to us.
DIY and customization isn’t just limited to artsy projects. For those who are planning on starting up their own business, one way of personalizing comes in the form of creating your own logo. How else are you going to promote yourself and your passion?
Now we can positively set ourselves apart from everyone else without feeling the need to scream “That’s mine!”