a.k.a. what millennials are “plagued” with

Let’s talk about the generation Y. Are we really that spoilt?

Sure, there are some signs that we have it easy. We were born into the digital age, raised during the time of heightened globalisation and after the Cold War. For us in the West, the last major war ended 70 years ago, the Berlin Wall fell before we were even born. There is nothing that threatens our well being, apart from anti-vaxxers, Westboro Baptist Church and other similar “intellectuals.”

No wonder everyone thinks that the children of the 90's do not experience the challenges of their predecessors. It actually looks like everything is served to us on a silver plate.

Growing up? Online, surrounded with the incredible amount of information and services. Studying? Even that may look easier, with the help of modern technology, resources and online support(yes, there are services that will do your homework for you). Looking for a book to read? Medium. Just kidding, ebooks! No need to go to a library to borrow a book. Watching a movie? Netflix! Same for all other kinds of media. The list goes on, you know what I mean.

Granted, it is also our fault that we may look entitled. Some of us do not have the patience while explaining how computers work to our grandparents. We tend to be addicted to our computers and smartphones, not being able to let go even during family dinners. “Let me google that,” makes us sound stupid, because we do not need to remember things anymore. Who remembers phone numbers, right?

There are people who go to the countryside and complain about the lack of LTE. No reception? How dare they! We don’t even put effort in relationships anymore (it may seem), swipe right and some good conversation lines may get you a good night. It is hard for us to give up the technology we grew up with.

But let’s look at the other side for a moment. While it may sound that Generation Y has an easy life, many recent college graduates will not agree with you. Yes, the internet is awesome, but the internet also creates a lot of obstacles for a job-seeking graduate.

Technology in general replaces unnecessary and inefficient human labour. Industrial revolution changed the way we work, digital revolution did the same thing. Machines replaced humans, intelligent machines — Computers take away our jobs as well. Admit it, you go to the self-checkout line whenever you do not want to have small talk with the cashier. However, technology also creates jobs, but they require more skills and education. This forces students to compete for jobs by continuing education at the cost of debts. We need schools for literally everything.

Technology also makes it look like all jobs are easy. It makes it sound like any millennial can do anything, as long as one has internet. It overshadows the hardships millennials have to go through. Any complaint is taken as a sign of entitlement. “You already have it so easy, how dare you complain.”

In fact, I would dare to argue that millennials were born into one of the most difficult periods. Growing up during the largest financial crisis since the Great Depression isn't fun (I guess there are fun parts, until you grow up and hit quarter life crisis). Jobs are gone or more competitive. Firms are scaling down and letting go of abundant workforce. The world is all about efficiency and not redundancy (good thing for the environment though). The youth unemployment rate is at all time high in Europe, employers are expecting even more from future employees. How is one supposed to have work experience for an entry position?

Unpaid work is especially popular among employers. Yes, this is the answer to the previous question: unpaid internships. Students, desperately needing work experience, are willing to do anything, even forgoing well-deserved wage. For an employer, this is a great, productivity at no cost. For students, this is another investment, which may or may not pay off. Honestly, if child labour is unethical, working for free should be unethical too, apart from volunteering. But then, how can you legally differentiate between volunteering for a good cause and volunteering in a private company…

There are also larger expectations from our generation. Afterall, we are endowed with the all-knowing technology. This is manifested in the already mentioned experience requirement for entry positions, but it is also reflected in how people look at millennials. The insane expectations are contrasted with the low tolerance for our faults. There is disgust with our dependence on technology, comments about how rotten the generation is and how we are going to destroy civilization. It is pretty ironic considering the expectations of the opposite.

I do not think we are more entitled than other generations. True, we have some gadgets that make our life easy, but learning how to use the new technology is also difficult (how many people can program in C++?). We have high expectations for the technology to be available at all times, and may appear spoilt by all the electronic devices, but so were previous generations with whatever was abundant then. Generation Y is not rotten, we just evolved, and developed both new faults and new strengths. There is no need to blame the World’s end on us; it is more likely that those in power (i.e. NOT those who are currently growing up) are to blame for economic meltdowns and man-eating bears.

I think I am getting closer to the “millennial” part of the rants, though they are not really angry yet. Not sure if I should change the name of the publication or just leave it as it is, with the content not really reflecting the name 100%.


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