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Is There Really Anything Wrong with Millennials?

September 12, 2016
If he'd been a Millennial, he could have googled the answer by now. (image via wikimedia)

If he’d been a Millennial, he could have googled the answer by now. (image via wikimedia)

Millennials have a bad reputation among older people like me.  According to popular opinion (maybe not so popular with Millennials), they get their feelings hurt easily and have to be coddled. Millennials live with their parents (usually in the basement). Millennials are addicted to technology.  Some people my age think these are bad qualities, but I’m not so sure.

I like Millennials.  In fact, I have nothing against any generation, whether it’s Baby Boomers or Gen Xers.  I think the Greatest Generation might be a little overrated.  If they’d been so great, they might have prevented the Great Depression or World War II instead of having to overcome them.  I know it’s not their fault somebody else gave them the nickname “Greatest,” but it doesn’t make them look good that they accepted it.  I’d expect more humility from the Greatest Generation.  Then again, maybe I’m quibbling.

Millennials are looked down upon because they’re always looking down at their phones.  The complaint about them is that they are addicted to technology.  Of course, they are.  How could they not be?  They were raised with computers and the internet, so that’s what they’re addicted to.  My generation was addicted to television because that was what we were raised on.  We actually set our schedules around shows like The Brady Bunch and Welcome Back, Kotter.  We have no room to malign other generations.  If I had a choice between being addicted to technology or my TV, I’d choose technology.  We shouldn’t feel pity or contempt for Millennials because of their technology addictions.  Instead, they should mock us for liking shows such as The Brady Bunch.

Supposedly, Millennials have less sex than previous generations.  I’m not sure any accurate survey has ever been done about sex, especially if the data is based on self-reporting.  Maybe Millennials have less sex because certain kinds of images and videos are more accessible than in the past, and that leads to more self-gratifying behavior.  Self-gratifying behavior existed well before the internet, but the videos were more difficult to obtain decades ago.

But I’m still not convinced that Millennials are having less sex than any previous generations.  I know my generation (especially men) lied about how much sex we were having.  If my generation lied about it, then I’m sure other generations did too.  Men usually multiply their sexual experiences by three.  We want to multiply it by ten, but most of us try to keep things believable.

I think Millennials who were surveyed are more honest about the lack of sex in their lives than previous generations.  Maybe it’s because they’re used to sharing everything on their phones now that they don’t care if everybody knows they’re sexual losers.  I don’t mean to sound insulting.  I was a sexual loser too, and I couldn’t even blame it on technology addiction.  Instead, I lied about my sexual exploits.  That made me a loser and a liar, so I was worse than a typical Millennial who doesn’t have sex.

Millennials supposedly live with their parents in the basement.  I have no idea if this is true or not.  When I was a kid, very few adults lived with their parents because everybody got kicked out of the house the day after their 18th birthday. If you were 18 but still in high school, maybe you were allowed to graduate before you got kicked out, but that was the most extra time you’d get.  If you went to college, you might be allowed to live at home during the summer.  Otherwise, you were on your own.  Anything less made you a slacker.

But the job market has changed since then.  I’d say it’s getting worse, but then I’d be accused of being judgmental, and a political fight would start, so I’ll just say the job market has changed.  Millennials didn’t grow up in a time where most teenagers worked part-time jobs after school.  Working after school sucked, but it taught us to be disciplined with our time.  But the job market has changed, and it’s been more difficult for a young person to find a good job since then.

On the other hand, Millennials have more opportunities to start their own businesses.  Crowdfunding is a great way to get your idea going without having to go through the old channels that took too long and probably screwed you over even if an investor liked your idea.  Authors can self-publish without having to go through agents and book publishers who would also rip you off.  Being successful in these new unconventional ways is still a long shot, but a long shot is better than impossible.

Some people think Millennials need to be coddled, but the only group of young coworkers I have an issue with is Ivy Leaguers.  They tend to listen only to other Ivy Leaguers and take any non-Ivy League criticism as an insult.  They also think that creating a new acronym for an old idea will make the old idea work better.  This might be my own biases kicking in.  I’ve never trusted the Ivy League.  Most of our prominent politicians, including several recent U.S. presidents, have been Ivy Leaguers, so you can criticize the Ivy League without getting into the usual partisan insult contest.  Ivy League incompetence transcends partisan politics and generations.

Most importantly, I really like Millennials because they don’t talk to me unless it’s something important.  They’re usually too absorbed in their technology to notice that I’m even there.  For decades, I’ve tried to avoid meaningless conversations, and I’ve finally found a group who will ignore me.  It almost makes me wish I’d been born a Millennial, but I’m glad I wasn’t.  I like yelling at kids to get off my lawn.  I’d never give that up.

*****

Readers of all generations love my ebook.  Even Ivy Leaguers think it’s okay.

From → Pop culture

8 Comments
  1. It isn’t the obsession with tech that rankles, it is the seemingly boundless self-absorption and the “but I want it now” ideology that paints a rather negative picture. I know and work with a truck load of millennials. Some are very good people but the self-centered aspect seems somewhat universal. Just sayin’……

  2. I’m a millennial, and yeah, I like being on my cell phone. I won’t lie about that.

  3. they all seem to think people owe them things. Like “I have a right to walk down this street without a homeless person begging for my money and making me feel uncomfortable. The gov’t should do something about that.”

  4. I don’t know what it’s like in the US, but I’d say self absorption has become central to society through all generations here. Old people will walk through you as much as young ones, middle aged people will be focussed on their phones as much as people in their twenties or teens.
    The whole country’s gone to hell in a hand cart. Okay these days it’s probably a motorised handcart with a satnav and alloy wheels …

  5. Haha, every generation thinks the next one is ruining the world! It’s been that way forever, since ancient Rome.

    Speaking as a tail-end of Gen X, I think we’re too hard on you guys. Everyone remembers the good-times version of their life.

    And I’m sure the Millennials will be bashing the next generation in another decade, lol 🙂

  6. If Millennials reached adulthood around the year 2000, that would put them in their mid 30s now. People talk about Millennials as if they are young, but they’re not young. Unless you go with the definition as as those born in 1982 and approximately the 20 years thereafter, which has also been cited. I guess that’s what you mean. Either way, those are the people who do Physical Therapy on me now, who show up in scrubs at the ER to tell me we lost our baby, who do my root canals. People whom I call Doogie Howser when they walk in, and they have no idea to whom I’m referring. Which makes me feel 100. But don’t ask me; I’ve got my schedule set around the 2 hr afternoon block of Hallmark’s daily Brady Bunch episodes. Yesterday, Greg was Johnny Bravo, and his head was swelling.

  7. Ahh one of my favorite debates of today, aside from Trump versus Hillary and whether or not mothers should be allowed to breastfeed.

    I’m constantly shocked by people who violently hate Millennials (they occassionally are us- Tomi Lahren look alike here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_-x7wIonVM)

    We are far from perfect, but what I love about some of the millennials I know, is the willingness to be open minded and to adapt to a rapidly changing world.

    Also I love your conclusion. Keep yelling at the kids to get off your lawn- they’re probably millennials playing Pokemon Go!

  8. Not really. Here is the issue… We are turning ourselves into a robot.

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