Shut Up, Millennials are Great!

A Positive Monday Post

Ok, so I’ve been mulling this post over for some time, all the while reading the bitchy comments about  millennials across the Internet and hearing people complain about them in real life. The usual criticisms are millennials are lazy, self-absorbed, always on their phones, narcissistic, spoilt, irresponsible and whiny.

I (aged 43) work with quite a few of this generation (people now in their teens and twenties), and while there are a few who fit that description, most are delightful; a total contrast to my own ridiculous generation when we were in that age. So here’s my response to the criticisms based on my personal experience, but no scientific analysis whatsoever.

Lazy – IME millennials tend to be oddly focused. They have an actual career plan worked out, they even know what a career plan is. Sometimes that focus can get in the way – they are wary of wasting time on anything that won’t be of benefit in the future; but that is largely because they have so little guaranteed future. Unlike my generation, who took basic survival for granted so instead of planning, could just bum around getting wasted and dreaming of success.

Self-absorbed – wow, young people being self-absorbed? Who’d have thunk it? This just seems like a massive distortion of the past to me. My generation were self absorbed, we didn’t have Facebook and selfies to help us prove it, but the trait was still there. The evidence of this can be seen in the number of people in their forties and fifties who have leapt onto Facebook with glee, despite being old enough to have filled their lives with all the other stuff life has to offer.

Always on phones – as am I and everybody else who has a smart phone (which means everybody), we’re connected to the whole world, a constant stream of fascinating information. And young people have been desperately trying to find a way to  avoid eye-contact and conversation for decades, we just didn’t have the technology to do it before. I didn’t even have a walkman til I was fifteen, and even then I was stuck awkwardly trying to squirm out of the attention of others, it was awful.

Narcissistic – there are some alarming statistics about this, that narcissistic personality disorder is far higher – I do wonder if that’s something to do with increased diagnosis though, the same way that autism appears to be more prevalent. To be honest, even if millennials are more narcissistic, it’s only because my generation flooded the media with celebrity guff and consumer “you’re worth it!” delusions. It’s our fault, we started it. And we were just as hungry for fame as young people are now, we simply didn’t know how to go about getting it.

Spoilt – there’s a definite theme in my response to these. We were spoilt too. Every single generation has seemed spoilt when compared to the previous generation because every generation has had more than the previous generation. I remember how disgusted my nan was at all the toys I had, she thought I was ruined for life. Ironically that situation of increased wealth seems to be finally ending, so as this generation grows older they won’t have more than us. Most of them seem very aware of this and try to appreciate what they do have.

Irresponsible – nope. They don’t drink as much as the previous generation, do as many drugs, sleep around as much as my generation (and this is one backed up by statistics). They take education more seriously and think about pensions at an age when I barely knew what one was. Compared to how millennials look to me now, I was a wasted mess of thoughtless behaviour.

Whiny – I think this comes mostly from the PC movement, I certainly don’t see evidence of it elsewhere. And there is a lot of SJW style complaint about language and behaviour that seems extreme, but maybe it needs to be. I remember when PC culture first happened in the eighties, and even though I was very anti-racist, anti-homophobic and so on, I thought that the PC movement was dictatorial and uptight. I thought that it made the idea off treating people with respect a joke and so would never help, but the truth is, it did. I see how open minded and accepting young people are now and it’s beautiful, and it certainly didn’t come about as a result of reasonable discussion, that never gets anyone anywhere (I would really like it to, but when it comes to changing the thinking of a whole society, it’s useless). So if some nagging, whining and fuss leads to us eventually becoming a better more accepting society, then I’m all for it.

As I’ve stated this is just my view, seen from my singular perspective, if you see things differently, or even if you agree, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

 

31 thoughts on “Shut Up, Millennials are Great!

  1. As somebody who’s life is just beginning (turned 21 in June), I’m finally happy to find from a much different generation actually talk about the similarities and differences between every generation and how us Millennials aren’t all bad: It’s the ones that OPENLY fit the negative stereotypes that are focused on.

    Yes I’ll admit, I’m not generally talkative to others and I’m often my phone, but that’s because there’s something interesting my phone or in conversing with somebody on the other side of the planet.

    Thank you for posting this!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My pleasure. Not being talkative is just the way many of us are, phones make that easier, but some of us are naturally a little less talkative (this can go for me too). Anyway, you millennials are doing great, don’t let oldsters tell you otherwise! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It could be that being an introvert is on the rise like diagnosing narcissism and autism is on the rise. Not actually more common, necessarily, but more socially acceptable now and this more often displayed. This all us millennials glued to our phones.

        Like

      2. Definitely true people now don’t feel such a need to hide their personalities, which seems like a mostly good thing. And of course we all can use our phones to find out this information 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Got to say that I agree with the points that you have made here. I edge you by a few years and would add that I do have sympathy for the ‘younger’ generation who now have parents who are in some ways ‘unshockable’, having lived through many experiences that their own parents (caught up in post depression and then war years and austerity) never had. ‘We’ had punk – so no music can be as ‘shocking’; more drugs than you could shake a stick at; freedom and the money to buy things and a generation above us to rebel against. To us their actions may even appear tame, so where is their opportunity to make a mark? A good thoughtful post. Well written.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you very much! I think this generation haven’t really tried to go in a new direction with music for the exact reason you say. Instead I think they have chosen identity politics to rebel with – an interesting direction I wouldn’t have predicted, very inventive!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I agree. I think it’s impressive that this generation has utilised technology and are making the best out of it, like vlogging and soo much more open minded too! Plus spoilt means you were fortunate enough to be loved lots.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly! With technology I’m never sure if I’m jealous of what young people have now or not – it has good and bad sides I think. And I’ve not heard that take on being spoilt, that’s really sweet! Thank you for responding 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Yes, I don’t believe any of this millennial guff either, except to the extent that the times shape the generation that is growing up at that period. I agree, a very thoughtful post, and a reminder that there is always an older generation ready to bemoan the upcoming one.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. All of this. Millennials have been handed such a short stick, and they’re doing the best with what they have. I’m never sure whether to lump myself with that group. I think I’m on the cusp of Gen-Y and them (being born in 1980). I have some of the traits of each and definitely the debt and despair of Millennials. It is extremely frustrating and a gaslighting technique to be told time and time again how “good we have it” when in reality there’s a reason Mills are known as the boomerang generation.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very true. I think if people are looking for a reason why others have it good, they will always find it. Sorry you’ve been lumbered with many of the problems too, that’s a bugger.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hoorah! I really love this post. Honestly, i don’t really socialise with a huge amount of people of the millenial age, but the ones i do encounter seem more socially aware and openminded than my ( gen X) generation. And friendly! I’ve had teenagers smile at me in the street; compliment me on my outfits; sweet things like that. There was even one young guy who worked at my then local supermarket who ran after me one day to ask if i could please sign his shirt, because he was leaving, and i was ” always so nice” when i went in there. Aww.

    Seriously, i’ve encountered more narcissism with people my own age than the younguns! The most irritatingly self obsessed person i know is a person in her mid 40’s. As you say, that trait has been there for yonks- it just didn’t have the convenient outlet of social media before now.

    As for people complaining that they…complain….they have every right to do so. The generations before them have done a great job of messing things up for them. And while i agree that some might sound overly PC, i think it’s better that they actually strive to care about things rather than perpetuate all the awful stuff we- and those before us- have brought about.

    Anyway. Brill. Cheers for a lovely, uplifting post 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes! Exactly! It’s been great to know it’s not just me who feels this way. You may not socialise with many millennials, but you’re clearly connecting with the ones you meet, and they ARE easier to connect with than my generation was at that age. When I get frustrated with all the crappy political things that have been happening recently, I think about how the new generation have reacted, and I get a bit of hope.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely; they give me hope too. And yes, i do think they’re easier to connect with in general. They just seem more..wordly, somehow? It’s probably due to them growing up with the internet; all that info, so readily accessible. Anyhoo, I’ll help you defend them any time!

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Pingback: Millenial Trends

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