10 Things About Millennials That I Hate to Hear
The Painful Statements We Hear About A Generation So Heavily Criticized From All Angles.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably had to correct your understanding of what qualifies a person as a Millennial. Years ago, I can recall that we referred to different groups by when they were born, labelling them Generation Y, Generation O, Generation X, etc. Then suddenly, it all seemed to cease and the consensus directed their attention to the phrase “Millennial”. Maybe it’s how young we all look, or maybe it’s the behaviors we all seem to share. To our elders, say a Baby Boomer, we might all look the same.
It’s important to provide some examples of what is a Millennial, at least for readers to decipher and infer on their own. According to a 2014 article by Philip Bump in The Atlantic citing researchers Neil Howe and William Strauss, a Millennial Is described as “those born in 1982 and approximately 20 years thereafter”. Baby Boomers, who we’ll make reference to a lot, are described as being born between 1946 and 1964.
Likewise, this clash and the balances needed to exchange social influence and power often bring Millennials and Baby Boomers to an awkward place. Whether it’s in the workplace, in social life, the two generations don’t really seem to share much in common at all (if they do, that’s a list for another day). In my own experiences, I’ve wondered who’s been delegated as the representative for Team Millennials, considering that so much of what is said about the group seems so farfetched. As Toni Morrison has said before, “Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined.” So, here’s a list of remarks about Millennials that we hate to hear, whether they’re true or false. They aren’t necessarily always going to be made by Baby Boomers, but may show the disparity in our understanding of who exactly is a Millennial, and what we’re like.
10. Music Today Has No Substance
This is preliminary. The music people seem to truly love often lacks more substance than any other song choice they may point to. An example of this are the popular favorite dance song, V.I.C.’s “The Wobble”. The irony in that this song is played at children’s cookouts, corporate parties, wedding receptions, etc. Here’s an excerpt of the lyrics:
“I could dance homie, I dont 2-step,
Y’all looking at something like a true player.
A girl told me that a man that could dance
Might could possibly get down with the tool in his pants.
Now all my ladies let me see you vibrate.
And when its over you ain’t gon need ya vibrator.
Cause I’m a pro make ya bend ya back low den just pound it real fast just like purkulator”
Sure, it’s a little explicit, and someone may use the excuse, “I just like the beat” or it’s a good dance for the event, but isn’t that what lacking substance is. The changes in music trends mimic the trends in lifestyles, and for the most part what folks refer to as a lack of substance (ex. Sex, drugs, alcohol, shenanigans) has been present in almost every generation’s music, even in Frank Sinatra’s.
9. Millennials Have It Easier
When I was working in the online non-profit education industry, I’d speak to a lot of older folks who, didn’t quite understand why they were receiving a call about attending an online college program. The truth is, unbeknownst to them, they submitted their information maybe by mistake, but they would also always say, “I’m 60 years old, I don’t need a degree”. This statement could not have been truer. For a generation that digested for years that an education would lead to great employment, we see a lot of well-off Baby Boomers, who have never had a degree, or needed one. The irony in that a college education was roughly under $10,000 (compared to today’s $25,000, being generous). They “used their hands” they’d say. Likewise, the competition is faster, smarter, much more competitive and globalized, so perhaps “easier” is subjective. The unimaginable reality is that every graduation season garnishes millions of graduates, entering the market at the same time, looking for employment. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 1.8Million students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the 2015–2016 academic year.
8. Millennials Are Liberals
Believing this assessment of an entire generation that struggles with its identity is a irrational decision. Assuming that, like The Atlantic’s 2014 article by Derek Thompson, we identify Millennials as those aged 18 to 29, the implication that their political views are liberal seems a bit gut-wrenching. Again, trying to debunk that idea would require a completely separate article, but this particular age group might be seen as liberal for a number of different reasons. Their first Presidential Election was in 2008, when in masses, they flooded the polls in support of President Obama, who looked to deliver change, leverage taxes among the Elite and the Middle Class, and end military presence and spending in the Middle East. Somewhat refutable facts. But when Thompson provides his paradoxes, they may not instantly make sense to anyone outside of these age groups. A disdain for political parties, high opinion on Congress, a focus on social issues, and an imbalance in popular opinion regarding taxes and financial assessments. Then again, the data, pulled from the Reason Foundation only surveyed 2,000 people in that age range. Maybe, in short, we just hate politics as a whole and look to the government to, perhaps, govern with a sense of morality. Maybe.
7. “Your Generation Doesn’t Care”
I can’t think of anything an entire generation doesn’t care about. I can, however, use an example that is a major concern that is thrown back in counterargument as a “myth”, or being a “narrative” by big business: global warming. Thanks, Captain Planet.
6. Millennials Seek Instant Gratification
The place where Millennials clash with Baby Boomers the most is in the workplace. If I had to pinpoint the reasons why — education. In school, we are presented an expectation of what working in corporate settings will be like, and when we enter the true corporate setting, it’s a widely different environment and rulebook than we had been studying for the last 4 years, or more. With a strong sense of confidence and eagerness to make an impact, Millennials are looking to present and be presented with the fruits of their labor and lay down proud foundations for their professional success. This is single-handedly the most misperceived characteristic of the generation. Now if only we can get the word out.
5. Millennial Men Are More Feminine
Believe it or not, this is a thing. Everything from exfoliating, to deep conditioning hair, to having a large selection of dress shoes, and most of all fitted attire, has somehow invited a thinking that Millennial men are more feminine. This school of thinking is a disastrously derailed train. If grooming oneself is equal to being a homosexual, then, well, let’s have a vogue party!
4. The Perfect Life
Oh, Millennial lovers. This is yet another that is said by many of my own peers, most times in a large variety of proclamations. It’s the unnatural expectation of “the perfect life”. For many, expecting to have each and every duck in its exact row is ruining relationships, careers, and subsequently futures. According to Bentley University’s Meg Murphy, the median age for marriage in women is 27, and for men 29. “Today,” Murphy reported. “An unprecedented portion of millennials will remain unmarried through age 40, a recent urban Institute report predicted.” The fear of failure — both marital and financial, as seen on TV — could be one of the largest causes. The truth in the matter: there can be no victim if one is guiding and directing their love life accordingly, and there is no general way to navigate your way from college residence hall to house by age 25, without an acute understanding of the necessary factors (income-to-debt, credit, real estate, loans, etc).
3. A Generation Lost In Tech
There isn’t much to say about this. The first computer was built in 1958. The internet was developed in the 1970s. The cellphone became popular in the 1990s. Each one of those forms of technologies were further developed and research while the Millennial was but a child (some of us weren’t even born). Where we are today, however, is based off of our understanding of how to facilitate and monetize these developments without major investments. Are Millennials lost in tech? No, we’re looking for our piece of the pie. Seeing how easy it was to develop today’s major companies such as Paypal, Facebook, Uber, everyone is looking to prepare themselves for the next major tech wave. Ask around.
2. “Our Generation…” or “Today’s Society…” Statements
If you’ve ever wanted to hear a statement made by someone who really has not dug deep enough, that statement will begin with “our generation” or “today’s society”. This statement does not have any specific profile as to who uses it, as we’ve even seen Clint Eastwood use it recently in his remarks that, in regards to racism, the “pussy generation” should get over it. I suppose he referenced the generation for our respect and use of political correctness. Eastwood grew up in a time when calling someone a “retard” was acceptable, or, in this case minorities were called things like “Japs”, “Jews”, “Coloreds”, and other labels that sounded very uneducated. But “our generation” statements are vague, and usually only true on the surface, so when I hear or read a statement that begins that way, I cringe, knowing that this person did not do their Googles.
1. Our Elders “Let Us Down”
It’s obvious now that there is a wide split in beliefs and values, practicality, and opportunity among any and everyone born in the last 100 years. The idea that the previous generation “let us down” is not only playing victim, but also discounts the potential that is present in the individuals preparing to bring change to the world today. When speaking to older people, say a mother or mother-in-law, they’re usually impressed at our abilities to learn on the go, balance life, school, and work, and to create opportunities virtually out of thin air. Maybe the “let us down” is a person-by-person basis, or maybe we could charter the Reason Foundation to survey more people to see how they think, but with previous generations aging well into their 50s and 60s now, Millennials have to realize that this is prime time for major social and global changes, especially with it being an election year.
This was a list compiled of things I’ve personally heard and experienced. What do you think of this list? What have you heard before? Let me know your thoughts, and share what you hate to hear about or from Millennials. Share thoughts with me in comments, or via social media @MistahMarvel on Twitter!