Millennials. Who are they? Well Millennials consist, depending on whom you ask, of people born from about 1980 to 2000. We’re also (yes, I’m a millennial) some of the most misunderstood (or hated) group of people right now. Trust me, if you ask anyone over the age of 40 how they feel about millennials, they’d likely roll their eyes and say we are the worst generation to ever walk the planet. They would probably say we’re lazy, we spend too much time on our phones, we expect to get everything handed to us, we’re complainers, we’re selfish, etc. etc. It’s pretty brutal, and it’s only getting worse. I’ve been seeing more and more negative articles about millennials surfacing on the internet recently, which is precisely what inspired this article today! Unfortunately I don’t actually know why people hate millennials, but I do have a few guesses…
Now let’s talk history for a minute. And please take this with a grain of salt as I’m definitely no history buff. Anyway, the Industrial Revolution made individuals much more powerful. How you ask? Well, they could move to a city, start up a business, read and form organizations. You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this… Fast forward to the Information Revolution and we’ve become that much more powerful. Think about it: we’ve (millennials) been handed the technology we need to be able to compete with big time organizations. You have bloggers v. newspapers, YouTube directors v. studios, etc. So what does this all mean? It means, in my opinion, that people are scared of millennials. They see us as a threat. We know what we want and we have the tools we need to get us there. If you consider that selfish, then so be it!
My next observation: People hate to be challenged. And I think millennials are the ones who are constantly challenging everything in society, especially when it comes to our jobs. We question the workforce, the way work is performed, and the hierarchy in the workplace. In my opinion, this is a good thing! We should all be asking questions like:
- “Why do jobs still require us to be at a certain place at a certain time for 8+ hours, when technology enables most jobs to be performed from almost anywhere?”
- “Why do people commit every waking hour and brain cell to their jobs when employers commit almost nothing to their employees?”
- “Why do some managers require employees to be obedient pushovers when what businesses really need are big new ideas?”
Asking these questions doesn’t make us lazy or unappreciative. The only way for there to be positive change is to push boundaries and challenge the status quo. We shouldn’t continue to do things just for the sake of doing them. Is what we’re doing efficient? Or are we just doing it that way because that’s the way it’s always been done?
And lastly, people are always commenting on how millennials have a “need it now” mentality. This may be true, but it’s not entirely our fault and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. We grew up in a world where people are constantly trying to make things more efficient. We have developers creating apps that make our shopping experience easier and more enjoyable. We have YouTube now giving us the option to watch ad free videos. You can binge watch 10 seasons of Friends with absolutely no commercials…you can even skip the show’s intro! What I’m saying is, we’re not a lazy generation. We’re actually an incredibly innovative generation. Why do something the long way when there is probably a quicker and more efficient solution?
In conclusion: Quit hating on millennials, alright? What did we ever do to you?!
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