What about millennials again?

Some years ago, a relative and I talked politics and Millennials’ feelings of entitlement. I was a people-pleaser then, not really understanding precisely what Millennials are. The memory haunts me, more so on a daily basis with the current president than it has any other time since. The “misunderstood” narrative annoys me relentlessly, but I have to pull the card: Millennials are the most publicly misunderstood generation.

At least, that’s what a Forbes article claims—but considering technology today compared to before, the claim contains some accuracy.

We’re the most diverse, best-read, connected and open to change, technology-advanced generation to date, on our way to being the most educated.

Marketers despise us because we are most influenced by those with whom we can relate. Unlike our elders’ history with celebrities, we know their recommendations mayn’t be genuine. We value endorsements and recommendations from peers in the form of social media moguls, vloggers, bloggers—influencers we trust and relate to. We’re specimens as a consumer base.

We’re “a generation of page-turners”, out-reading our elders—and we probably cured the “libraries are dying” epidemic that happened earlier this decade.

“The youth aren’t lazy, they’ve been given technology by previous generations and they know how to leverage it.”

~ Richie Norton, “Destructive Millennial Myths”

Millennials are going to change the world for the better. Many of us already are.

To paint narratives of us that we’re lazy and don’t understand the value of hard work is harmful, keeping us in jobs wherein we’re going to be mistreated until we’re depressed and suicidal. We rebel by challenging old ways instead of accepting them as-is. We’re annoying hippies, prioritizing sustainability and green living with our shopping.

Moreover, illustrating Millennials as the worst generation known to man shows a lot about character and true colors. ‘Tis not Millennials who are more addicted to 21st century technology, but the elder generations.

Note: I use Millennials as a generalization in this context. Not every Millennial may be like any of these things, but then it’s important to consider that you may not know someone in your life as well as they think you do, if you’re a generation prior to the Millennial one and find this inaccurate—they could very well have a blog and/or be talking about all sorts of things you wouldn’t dare do at their age, like review a new menstrual cup and say the word “vagina”.

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Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks’s gravatar

You know, I only found out that I’m apparently a millenial (??) this year (I’m 29 now). But since I come from a country that was slightly technologically behind as I was growing up, I just can’t identify with millenials. I only got a computer at age 16… I grew up without technology in my life. So I’m puzzled as to who I am.

I do understand what they mean about ‘lazy’ though. Some people who are 20-24 now, when they come for job interviews… they ridiculously imagine that they’re worth so much when they haven’t worked a day after their universities yet, they instantly want more than I make after a loooong time in the workforce and they don’t appreciate you teaching them, cause they “already know everything”. That is something I absolutely don’t appreciate… This phenomenon is true and it shouldn’t be mixed up with the way young people are more active and mobile and won’t stay in a bad place to work (that’s something I absolutely appreciate). It’s the entitledness I absolutely don’t get. Although maybe it’s just a local thing – my generation was the last one that didn’t have rich childhoods. We didn’t get bought every single (western) thing we wanted. We didn’t have many new clothes. Teens now get everything very easily, and I’m not surprised they think they’re going to be paid an experienced person’s salary for just showing up, because they’re so brilliant. I’ve met quite a few like that… I don’t know if it’s like that over there, might just be due to our local economic history, but it’s why I don’t feel like I belong in the same generation as them…

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Nancy’s gravatar

I agree with you about how millennials are. We have access to technology and have the ability to innovate a lot faster than the previous generations. Though, I see a lot of accusations about how we’re lazy, ignorant, and etc. It’s not entirely true – we shouldn’t be punished for finding ways to cut corners ;).

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Mars’s gravatar

I’m a millenial and I’m not lazy. I guess most people just misunderstood us as ‘lazy’ when we don’t do the work that we do not enjoy. All through my life, people past my generation keeps telling me to “dream big… blah blah work for your passion…” so yes I guess we’re entitled because we’re educated and we want to work for our passion and not just earn money.

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Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction’s gravatar

Anytime people try to pinhole a whole generation and complain about them, I get a little suspicious. Those types of generalizations can’t really mean much.

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Jane’s gravatar

Same! What I find most often is more deflection than actual observation. Like, older generations are more reliant on their technological devices, but they put a lot of time and effort into complaining about younger generations being so sucked up into the technological vortex. It baffles me.

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David Willson’s gravatar

Millennials are also fantastic multi-taskers and very creative problem-solvers, especially when they can engage in teams to do so. A new style of groupthink has entered the world with this generation, and a very interesting one that us old folks are having difficulty with. Please be patient with us—we’ll adjust eventually. 🙂

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Jane’s gravatar

I do empathize with older generations. In reading several books from the Anne of Green Gables series, I’ve come to understand a bit of how one might see younger generations. 😅 I’m personally annoyed by generations born from 2000—they’re changing apps, like, every month (I still don’t know what Snapchat is, and What’s App? I surmise it’s a game to where you guess what the app is?? I don’t know 😳). And what even is the point of goat simulators? 🙄

It’s just frustrating to hear the criticism so much…and it hurts. 😓

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Gayathri’s gravatar

Finally somebody said that. I am from a country that is technologically advanced and live in a country that fares well. So more or less I am what people including my parents and extended family call as ‘lazy millennial’. I prefer convenience over having to prove myself to others.

Yes we detest going ‘outside’ to ‘meet people’ but mostly because people are judgmental and make it hard for others to just be with them. As you rightly said, millennials are so misunderstood.

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[…] What about Millennials again? — I never expected this to get as many responses as it did! I started to worry that maybe it was a shitty post, but then I also enjoyed writing it. ‘Twas the first post I wrote about a special interest I consider far-out, so I was nervous. But I’m glad I posted it, regardless of lacking confidence. […]

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