Millennial Hate

Every generation seems inclined to feel superior to the previous one. Everyone looks back with nostalgia to the mythical “good old days” because “young people these days” fucked everything up. Of course, we forget that the “good old days” were the days when we were children, and didn’t have any responsibilities. Or that, if we are members of older generations, and if we think the world is fucked up, it’s probably us that did it, seeing as how we’ve been around longer and helped shape the present. Let alone acknowledging that it was our sexual activity that brought about the younger generation we despise so much.

No, it’s so much easier to blame “the kids these days” than accept responsibility for our own fucked up world, and our own difficulty adjusting to its changes. I suppose that’s why magazines and newspapers are wont to publish the occasional hit piece on young generations. In the 80s and 90s they trashed “Generation X”. Well, now they’ve moved on to whining about “millennials” (aka Gen Y).

Here’s a typical youth hit job, grâce à l’Australie: Gen Y too lazy and unfocused to hire – bosses

Here’s some more:

10 surefire ways to rein in millennials

Study Confirms: Millennials Are Apathetic

College students today: overconfident or just assured?

Our Sketchy Future: Millennials

Survey Shows Teens, Young Adults Believe They Are Healthy Despite Bad Habits

Your kids: Dumb, difficult and dispensable

The rise of the Moralistic Therapeutic Deists

Leadership wake-up: The Millennials are coming

The Wall Street Journal piece that really got these stereotypes rolling: The ‘Trophy Kids’ Go to Work

You think the titles are bad? Take a look at the language in the articles. Lotta nasty words. Though I dimly remember similar nastiness as Gen X hit the workforce. So maybe this is simply cyclical. But in the workplace, hatin on and avoiding millennials is something else: ageist, aka discrimination. Just sayin.

So, HALLELUJAH, can you imagine the relief when I read the summary of Pew’s recent study: The Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change.

Millennials are into social justice! The environment! Ending racism! They’re open minded! Diverse! Highly educated! Less fundamentalist! My god, what am I going to do with all the time I previously spent hating myself for the year of my birth?

Are you a millennial? Regardless that this generation is defined as those born between 1980 and 2001, perhaps you are a millennial at heart. Find out with this helpful quiz! Put together by the Pew Research Center, for some reason.

PS. Per ush, the articles all focus on middle class and affluent millennials. It’s as though the writers believe that all millennials had “helicopter parents”, loads of extracurricular activities, and went to college. Really, these experiences were only common among middle class and affluent families, and working class and poor millennials probably don’t feel very connected with the media portrayal of “their” generation.

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One thought on “Millennial Hate

  1. It’s frustrating to read a lot of these articles, but I understand that the previous generations has plenty of reasons (not always even related to the Millennials) for wanting to vent. After all, we’ve started electing whatever president we want and we don’t (gasp!) necessarily define ourselves by our careers.

    My own experience, growing up with college-educated parents in an affluent community populated by doctors, dentists, vets, lawyers and other college-educated professionals was actually a sense that it would be impossible to measure up to members of the previous generation. Nowadays, though, I think we’ll do just fine.

    My real world workplace experiences, not just my (admitted) early coddling has boosted my confidence as much as anything. It quickly became apparent in every job I’ve had that I can do more work, more effectively than most equivalent older workers (variation, of course, exists in all generations). Admittedly, I work in the technology industry and this is supposedly our strong suit, but many areas where we have an edge, like enthusiasm, fresh ideas and rapid social integration are not tied to the specifics of this job. But I do want to point that these aren’t really characteristics specific to Millennials either (in my opinion); they are just characteristics of youth. Xers had the same edge on Baby Boomers when they were in their prime. I highly suspect Millennials will slide into the same ruts and prejudices about “kids these days” in their own good time. Meanwhile each generation adapts to and learns from the culture and work environment they inherit.

    The one thing that really gets me, though, is all this junk about how my generation is dumb and overconfident. Considering the way these journalists and culture critics write (emotion-driven, poorly researched, haughty and with no better vocabulary or prose than their average targets), not to mention their poor understanding of statistics (unless they are being purposely misleading, which puts the ethical superiority claims in doubt) and their habitual failure to cite sources, I’m not sure they have much ground to stand on.

    However, these writers should feel free to test themselves against us any time by taking some high-level college courses, competing with us in engineering design competitions, essay contests or whatever. Being humbled can go both ways. I’d happily take on most of these writers who harp on our stupidity in a match of wits covering math, biology, chemistry, physics, engineering and the literary canon. My history is a little rusty, but I think I could hold my own even there. How’s that for confidence?

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