From being labeled “entitled” to “technology obsessed,” “detached,” and “narcissistic,” you’ve probably heard quite a bit about millennials, especially recently. Millennials get a lot of flack, especially when it comes to very cardinal things about our nature. We have been touted as the generation without work ethic; the generation that wants everything given to them with little to no effort. We’ve been blamed for the destruction of industries such as Applebees and napkins. We’ve even been slandered for loving avocado toast too much!
Basically, if there’s anything perverse or just plain crappy, millennials have probably been blamed for it. But why? Why is the millennial generation being singled out, especially by older generations? Hint: this has happened before and it’ll continue to happen so long as there are old and young people inhabiting the earth. What we have here, folks, is just a common case of generational hate.
Millennials are a Microcosm for Young People
Older people have hated on the younger generation forever and vice-versa. It’s simply the cycle of things. Millennials as a whole aren’t any more entitled or self-indulgent than any other generation, but we happen to be the generation currently in young-adulthood, ergo, the hate-mail. The negative qualities and characteristics that are always pointed out in millennials are inherent of all young people. In case that went over your head: all young people have aspects of immaturity and self-centeredness because THEY ARE YOUNG. Growth happens over time and so people mature with time. It was the same with Boomers and Gen-Xer’s
Many people like to attribute their disdain for millennials by blaming it on the internet and social media. They say these have caused an arrogant, lazy, self-centered generation. I agree that growing up with the internet and social media have made us different, but only in the outlet, not in principle. Millennials simply have a different place to direct their self-centeredness and insecurities than previous generations. So it’s a matter of perspective. Not to mention, with how connected the world has become, our actions are now advertised for the whole world to see. Basically, older people will always hate on young people (regardless of the time period) for the same qualities they once had but have now matured past.
Millennials are kind of killing it.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: millennials are on track to be the most educated generation in history. Granted, there’s a lot of factors that play into this, like ease of information and the internet, but there’s also some impressive leverage working against us. Education is astronomically expensive, forcing more students to incur debt every year. Not to mention the higher cost of living in general. All of this compounds to make gaining an education extremely difficult if you’re not born with a silver spoon.
The fact that millennials are still this hungry to be competitive in today’s economy with the deck stacked against us is admirable. So, I don’t know where this notion of “laziness” or “entitlement” comes from when the actions of the millennial generation say the opposite. The people I interact with in my generation are all motivated, hard-working individuals who have dreams they’re working toward. Yes, they use technology a lot, yes, they’re on their phones a lot, but who isn’t nowadays? I’m not saying millennials’ dependence on technology isn’t something to be worked on, but it’s hypocritical in today’s world to cite technology-use as a character flaw. I see just as many Baby Boomers and Gen Xer’s on their phones when I’m in public. So, let’s look in the mirror a little more. Besides, many millennials use their phones and laptops to make a living.
Is there hope for our broken world?
Honestly, I think the generational debate gets too heated for no good reason. People do stupid and shitty things through all stages of life, it’s the nature of the beast. Millennials are growing up in a different world than previous generations, but that’s been true for every previous generation before us.
Old people will still lament about the good old days and young people will scrape through college to get an entry-level job and then wonder forty years from now where their social security went. When it comes down to it, we’re all human beings; old, young, fat, short, ginger. And we’re all trying to figure out how to live in this world that can seem unforgiving sometimes. So, let’s stop ragging on each other and share a coffee with avocado toast.