Why I refuse to write for millennials
I’m sorry about this photo. Despite a wish to be unique and experimental, like most of my peers do, this is the kind of picture I most of the time come up with to ‘dress’ an article for media outlets.
It has the typical vivid colours, good lighting and documents something photogenic. If not a latte to-go, then trendy shoes and something with stripes will do.
But the crux is that too many shiny photo’s can actually make you feel uninspired. And to be honest, sort of like a freak. My life isn’t shiny and trendy at all, except for when I try really hard keeping a clean room for more than 24 hours.
This is caused not only by a natural gift to procrastinate really well. According to this article it also has something to do with the difficulty to balance dueling priorities as we ‘exit our parents basements and enter the real world.’ This is not a struggle just for me, but for an entire generation. Often labeled as Millennials — the demographic group known as Generation Y, Generation Me and Generation Nothing.
But just as way too perfect images in media outlets can make a reader feel like a chaotic freak, labeling what true millennials are, just like in this article, does the same.
According to the piece, we are quite the generation. We have stacked up record student loan debt and yet spend thousands on frivolous items like Beyoncé concert tickets and groceries. We yearn for more than just a paycheck and yet continue to be employed in jobs that provide us with paychecks in return for labor. Plus we enjoy watching television and movies a lot.
The funny thing about the term Millennial is that every media outlet using it, is definitely not someone who ís a contemporarie. And must think that we’re feeling addressed by a name that claims a homogenic mass of hipster-clones. But the catch is, there ís no homegenic mass.
And apparently, we feel that. For example, my teammember Erik only recently heard that apparantly, he is a Millennial. This combined with my intentional lack of using the term, explains to me once again that it’s not appealing to put people in boxes.
I refuse writing for millennials. Instead, Mappening creates content for a global generation. We do this by not writing about peers but let them speak for themselves. We’re manly enough to watch thousands of hours of Netflix a year and form an opinion while we sleep in our houses we apparently can’t afford, so why not raise our voice and create journalism we all believe in?
My approach is different from every description of our generation. That could be true, says Farley Cornmuncher, a 87-year-old Johns Hopkins professor and expert on millennial behavior. “Millennials haven’t proven anything. Whether it’s their laziness, or their hookup culture, or their insistence on living with roommates, it’s clear that millennials have different values than those of us who are seventy years older than they are.”
The biggest problem me and my millennial-species maybe have, is embedded in the term itself as it’s one big contradiction. You see, the word Millennial swears to speak the truth about people who have all the possibilities to live the life they want to lead. But when it comes to it, there’s a label that stops them from growing.
And that’s strange. Because it’s the end of an era where we think in boundaries, or labels. It’s a time of fluidity and overlap, but also one of great insecurities and a feeling to have to do everything on your own. Choice is not a tyranny, but unlimited choice certainly is.
That’s why I ask for a more constructive approach to problems and generations, to see what it actually means. I believe in thinking in possibilities and knowing that labels are meant to put on jars, and not on people.