I’ve started to hate the term “Millennial.” It is so often used to disparage those it puts in the group (and it depends on who you talk to who exactly is included). More often than not I read articles about how millennials are disconnected, selfish, have a poor work ethic, are poor parents and poor spouses, and want everything for nothing and want to live off our parents like parasites.
Ok, I haven’t seen anyone use the word parasite but the intention goes in that direction. Rarely do I come across a message about generations that is positive about Millenials. The only one that comes readily to mind is an article I read once about how Millenials, due to growing up with computers, are able to multitask more efficiently, thus making it look like they are doing less work then they are actually doing. I wish I could find that article again to link, but I think it was based on a Mike Rowe comment, although I can’t confirm that.
Millennials, also known as Gen Y, range in age depending on what article you are reading. In general it appears the generation includes those born between 1980 and 2000. Which, if you think about it, is quite a big group. The oldest members of the generation are around 36 years old, the youngest are 16-17 years old. Some websites include more years, making it range from early forties to early teens. So there is a wide arrange of life steps in there. Teenagers, by virtue of their age and inexperience in life still have a lot to learn about living as adults.
Now, this is not to say that there aren’t people within this age group who fit the criteria, but it largely seems to be a media assumption that the whole generation is like that. And on the other side of the coin, there are many who also use the term to lament all the troubles that are put on Millennials. While I agree with some (especially in regards to economics) some are in my opinion just reactionary to being called Lazy all the time.
After all, you get told often enough that you aren’t worth anything, that you are just lazy and aren’t contributing to society you are going to start to believe it and feel like what’s the point.
So maybe we should stop saying how horrible Millenials are, and start trying to point them in directions in which they can become a larger part of the decision-making, and being in control of their own futures. For now its in the hands of the baby boomers who seem to believe we are just TV-addicted people living in our parents homes out of nothing better to do.
There is alot to be said about mind over matter, and these continuing articles about our laziness, being disconnected, not having worthwhile relationships etc basically are telling Millenials there is nothing good about a fairly large group of people. A group that one day will be the generation holding the power positions. Maybe trying to understand how they might work differently than older generations, might react differently to different situations might improve the poor opinion that the older media (and occasionally millenials themselves) have of the a generation that includes 20 years worth of people.
So in summary: Stop generalizing the generation. Stop looking at how horrible you think they are, Media, and start thinking about the possible good in them.
Of course, being devils advocate and making clickbait articles makes you the money, doesn’t it?