They’re in the supermarket, the library and active war zones. They’re on the farm, in schools and even in our own homes. Robots are everywhere. This may sound like the pretense to some futuristic, action-packed Hollywood film but it’s our reality in 2016 and at times it's a somewhat frightening one.
Robots are taking over jobs in nearly every industry imaginable and continue to replace human workers every day. This is one of the biggest fears for those of us who are Millennials. In a world where a bachelor's degree may not get you an entry level job right out of college...or where companies are looking for recent graduates that miraculously have a minimum of 3-5 years experience, the loss of any type of job is terrifying. Really. I understand that jobs that are repetitive and task-oriented in nature, like those in the automotive and textile industries, are most at risk. But there are other "college-level" jobs that are also ripe for the picking, including bank tellers and low-level accountants. Does this mean it's time for us to panic? On the contrary. Other jobs will thrive and will allow our generation a chance to be engaged in our work in a way that hasn't been seen before. If we aren't burdened down by having to do jobs that are more repetitive and even potentially menial, it allows us more time to be innovative and creative.
I'm not worried. Robots can do a lot but they don't have the human spirit. They can't show empathy or common sense...they aren't capable of writing the next great novel, or creating the next Mona Lisa. They also can't invent new robots or fix themselves when broken. (Yet.) Jobs related to the tech industry are booming. Just look at places like the Silicon Valley or Guadalajara--two of the biggest tech cities in North America. Every day there is a new start up with the "latest and greatest idea." Sure, some of them won't work out, but look at companies like Uber or Snapchat. Where would our world be if we couldn't take selfies with butterflies floating around our heads or give us glowing, clear skin that even Hollywood actresses would be envious of?
In this time of constant and rapid change, there are a few things that my fellow Millennials need to remember. First, this has happened before and it will happen again. Technological change and development is certain. This isn't the first time in history that we've had huge advancements in short periods of time. People panicked then just like we are now. Just think of the Industrial Revolution. But they made it through, and so will we. We just have to remember to adapt. While some jobs may go extinct, new ones are also being created. For those of you just starting college, your future job may not even exist yet. Second, we need to embrace the change. Change can be scary but it can also be exhilarating. At the risk of sounding cheesy, anything can happen and to me, that's exciting. So Millennials, now is our time. Time to show the rest of the world that we are more than a generation of self-involved, selfie-taking, entitled young adults. It's time to show everyone that we can not only accept change and embrace it, but drive it and accomplish things that no one thought possible.
Brittany Miller is a marketing analyst for SIG and the LatAm Alliance, with an emphasis in building online communities and supporting education in the U.S. and Mexico, where she currently resides. Brittany has taught middle and high school biology, chemistry and health sciences. As a type 1 diabetic, she has always been interested in science, cause and effect and the intersection of medical science and technology. She translates that passion into blogging about millennial issues, human health issues and the disruptive technologies that affect both. Brittany has a bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University in California.