Millennials, Millennials, Millennials, who are they anyway? The term was first coined in 1987 by William Strauss and Neil Howe and has since stuck. It describes people born between 1982-2004. I love millennials and their need for immediacy. Their irreverent view of typical American culture. Their uncompromising right to assert their beliefs even when it is absolutely irrational. I find this generation fascinating. They are also affectionately known as Generation Y, Generation Me, Me Me Me Generation. They have also been called digital natives because they are the first generation who have not experienced life without the internet. I affectionately love to credit them with the surge of “the microwave philosophy”. For millennials everything must happen with immediacy and instant alacrity. In their minds the world revolves around them. This generation seems to glorify diversity of thought and philosophy as long as it fits with their personal philosophy. Some studies have shown a large percent of narcissistic characteristics among this population group.
Their most recent escapade is the anti-Trump riots that sprouted across the nation. This defiant group of young people branded themselves with catchy slogans such as “Not my president”. What was most astonishing was the fact that the my favorite generation the millennials did not seem to have any insight into why Trump was elected. As a matter of fact most of the rioters arrested in Oregon choose not to exercise their right to vote and some did not even register to vote. As they valiantly protested the Trump election I wondered in shock if any of them realized how their actions may have contributed to the results of the election.
But before we continue to rag on the millennials let’s ask ourselves the fundamental question: Who raised these entitled brats? Well, I hate to say it but the baby boomers are to blame for these self absorbed smart-mouths. This generation finds most things that baby boomers are proud of completely antithetic to their culture. And when I say “their” I mean each individual’s subculture. That’s right millennials don’t want to be labelled unless they are placing the labels on themselves such as “life coach”, “guru”, “expert” etc. As a matter of fact, some polls have shown that most of them do not want to be called millennials. Some say this generation seems to be missing the “American dream” and they don’t seem to care.
But let’s not condemn that whole generation lest we forget the good things the millennials bring to the table. They have redefined and really established what work life balance should be. They unlike any other generation before are serious about their relaxation. They also show the greatest concern for both local and global issues unlike any other generation in history. They are crafty problem solvers and innate innovators. They live life with gusto and do not believe in being chained to your job. They are reported to treasure a simple life with not too many frivolities. They seldom indulge in consumerism but when they do it is usually with a cause. They seem to care less what people think of them and focus more on their view as individuals. They have rejected a great tenet of American culture which is; more and bigger is always better. They believe in a 30 hour work week and actually demand it. This generation has been credited with inventing self branding, killing the napkin industry by re-branding the paper towel as sexy. Some of them have even given up sex. They have been accused of ending multiple industries and ideas including; the 9-to-5 work day, blockbuster, the movie business, travel marketing, vacations, golf, baseball, bad advertisement etc. See the entire list on fusion.
Before the end of this article, I would be remiss to not divulge that I am a millennial. Yes I am part of the problem. If you were not born during the time period described above and you identify with some of these values, there is a quiz to see just how millennial you are. I will end with my favorite thing about the millennials; they elected the first black president in the United States – I will forever be proud to be part of the generation who changed history. Speaking of history, I leave you with this quote; “One generation’s treasure is another generation’s refuse”.