It's 3:00 PM in Los Angeles on a Wednesday. You need to get from the San Fernando Valley to Santa Monica for a meeting. If you are from out of town you check the mileage and think, "only 15 miles, no problem." If you are from Los Angeles, and arguably jaded, you grab your keys and head out the door at 1:30 for what you surely know will be a long commute.
Is it even possible to have a happy commute?
With paying bills, dealing with difficult bosses and inadequate sleep ranked as the three most stressful day-to-day happenings for Millennials, surprisingly a long commute is not even a minor annoyance for the average 18-29 year old. They must know a secret about commuting that the rest of us have not been told.
Somewhere an "adult" is saying, "Just wait until you're my age and you'll know how stressful the commute really is."
All About The Wheels
Car companies are finally getting hip to the game. If you create a great car with an inexpensive price tag and load it up with a bunch of top-notch technology goodies, it will be a millennial must-have.
Gone are the days when being preppy and driving a BMW equated to social status. The new cool is what is in your car, not what is outside your car. I can hear the 1980's rolling over in its grave.
Ford Motor Company, for instance, was a brand name that you would associate with your grandparents. The good ole' reliable car that you dreaded would be yours when you turned 16. However, a few years ago someone over at Ford decided to wake up and join the revolution and wow, have they ever-caught up fast.
From Nissan to Toyota to Honda to Ford, car companies are also lining up to deliver cars that won't leave you broke with the average sticker prices ranging from $13,000-$22,000. Ford has the new Fiesta, Toyota the Yaris and Nissan the new and improved Versa.
These cars can go toe-to-toe with luxury technology offerings at a fraction of the luxury price tag. That is something to make your wallet sing about.
Beam Me Up
The secrets to a happy commute in the eyes of a millennial lie in the level of technology that is ready at their fingertips. You could have guessed that.
While we were promised cars that could fly certainly by 2014, we will have to settle with cars that can play music on our command, send emails and route us to the closest Jack In The Box for a late night Munchie Meal. Perhaps that is more awesome than a car that flies.
In a recent national study survey conducted by Ford Motor Company, millenials are coined the masters at multitasking. "Their commutes may be shorter and easier, but they're boring", says the survey. There is no way to escape the fact that millenials need constant entertaining. Hey, don't we all?
- Listening to news, music or podcasts
- Making phone calls, both personal and business
- Eating a meal in the car on the go
Maybe the secret all along lies in nothing more than harmless distraction. There are arguments on both sides of the table as to whether these distractions produce safe drivers or are simply a means to pass time.
It's clear that technology can catapult a car from ordinary to extraordinary in just about every generation's eyes.
Pursuit Of A Happy Commute
For those of us not in the millennial demographic, we are left scratching our heads trying to figure out how we can achieve the elusive happy commute.
According to Ford's Survey, 42 percent of respondents are considered "The Gridlocked." We are tired and stressed and have far too much on our plates. Between work and our spouse and those kids a stressful commute is often the deal-breaker in our day.
What if millennials have really cracked the code to happiness with simply selecting a better car with a lower price and higher technology? After all millennials have created amazing inventions like Facebook and Twitter. They have singlehandedly changed communication as we know it.
It is possible they may just know the secret code to a happy commute.