What a Millennial thinks about all this Millennial talk:
Hi. I’m that Millennial.
I’m 21 years old. Right smack dab in the middle of what is being coined the Millennial generation. And if you have spent any time on a major news website, or reading a major newspaper, lately you’ll know what a certain generation thinks about us Millennials. We suck.
I get it. We are some of the most lazy, entitled, self absorbed youths to exist on the planet right now. But here’s a thought: we are a product of our parents. The things I learned and was exposed to were funneled through my baby boomer parents. Now how do you feel about calling us lazy, entitled, and selfish?
Look, I get it. In America we are given certain privileges that others our age can only dream of elsewhere. I have my basic necessities, despite a declining middle class. I have the incredible gift of education even if I am swimming in nearly $30,000 of student debt with a year of college left. I have access to some of the most advanced technology in the world and yeah I use it for selfies. But these are just gross over generalizations. Ones I have read too many times over the past five or six months.
One article that has recently caught my attention comes from the oh so esteemed journalists at the Washington Post. I refer you to “Five really good reasons to hate miillennials” by Christopher Ingraham. In his article Mr. Ingraham lays out five, overgeneralized, reasons why we should truly hate Millennials: (1) Millennials are the least patriotic generation, (2) Millennials are just as racist as their elders, (3) Millennials are the least informed about the news, (4) Millennials are the nation’s leading vaccine skeptics, and (5) Millennials care less about free speech than other generations.
Too be brief. I love this country, I respect those of different races, I find most of my time is spent reading news articles than on Snapchat, I agree with a number of vaccines, and here I am writing freely, so it’s safe to assume I care a whole lot about free speech.
But that is not the point. The point is not to hit back at my elders who continue to criticize me, it’s to point out that not all Millennials are alike. What I’ve learned in my 21 years of life is that I do not keep myself from learning all of the facts before making an informed decision or opinion. This is what I did here.
- I love this country, truly I do. But if I am to delude myself into thinking we are one of the best countries in the world in the present moment than I am not giving myself the opportunity to learn all of the facts. We have moved down the list in math and reading skills. We favor military action over education funding. We have our flaws. I realize we have flaws, but that does not mean I don’t love my country.
- Racism is prevalent. It’s been prevalent since the Eastern Hemisphere agreed to the sale and trade of African Americans. The only reason we are talking so much more about it now is because the media is pushing it down our throats. I have a minor in History. I know the background. The only way we can change the perception on racism is to recognize we, the privileged class, are at fault. We have to find a solution.
- Get this. Out of the 1,052 people I follow on Twitter nearly half of them are news organizations and political and local leaders. Most of the time I spend on my phone is reading news articles. Of the two Twitter alerts I have turned on one is for BBC Breaking News (the other an MLS soccer team). So, while you scowl at us Millennials spending so much time looking at our phones know that, for me at least, I am reading the news.
- I am not well versed on this subject, but one thing I do know is that there are certain diseases in which children should be vaccinated for. That I agree with, but when I look at facts like this- I become a skeptic.
- Freedom of speech is extremely important to Millennials. In a country that is struggling to have effective conversations on the NSA or having to deal with censorship, nothing is more important to me as I publish this piece than to have the ability to freely express my political opinions and personal thoughts. It matters. It matters to a lot more people than you think.
Bottom Line: We Millennials are just struggling to stay above the water. When we have those from previous generations breathing down our necks at the heels of the mistakes their own generation have made, when we are trying to figure out how to pay back our thousands of dollars in student debt, and, even more so, when we are trying to find a job in a field that requires 3+ years of experience right off the bat then you can understand why we are so upset. You can understand why we need time to ourselves. To look at Snapchat, to connect with friends through our phones, and to enjoy the rights and privileges given to us. We aren’t lazy, we aren’t entitled, we are just trying to figure it all out just like your generation did.
Bear with us. We will catch up.
For more thoughts on this I encourage you to read this article HERE.