Before writing what is probably going to be a tedious stream of consciousness, I decided to replenish my expertise on the subject of Millennials. So, undoubtedly, I took The Guardian’s “hugely scientific” quiz How millennial are you? The Generation Y quiz in which I was titled a “peak millennial” and “a walking billboard for Generation Y”. Sweet. Gonna add that to my Snapchat story.
In more recent conversations concerning millennials, I have often heard the argument that we believe we are entitled. We have been told throughout our lives that we are special and can be whatever we want to be, thus growing up brimming with the notion that our lives have significant value.
Millennials are believed to be, often by older generations, people who have been brought up believing they have something to say – and that people want to listen. We were prompted to attend university in order to prepare us for the “real world”, only to discover that the “real world” is unstable and constantly wavering, and not to our benefit. There will unquestionably be a sense of entitlement among Generation Y because we were told things and promised things by the older generation who are now disparaging us for it.
Millennials are also considered to be the most narcissistic generation due to the rise of social media, although I like to think I’m a narcissist because I’m just a dick. Plus, millennials weren’t necessarily brought up with social media, or at least not to the extent of Generation Z (aged 18 and under). There is no real definition for millennials, however it is popularly specified (mainly by Pew Research Center) to be ages between 19-33 as of 2016 – although many people argue the cut-off point. I am only just considered to be a millennial at the age of 19, and even I was introduced to what is now commonplace social media (Facebook, Twitter etc.) pretty late in the game. Possibly because I was too busy playing Habbo Hotel, but I’m sure that will come back to haunt me some other time.
Whilst I see social media as an imperative platform, allowing us to connect with the world and remain informed, I also find issues with certain aspects. I see people day-to-day trying to make money from things such as Youtube, which used to be a platform for creatives, and it being milked like the cash cow that it now is. There’s an endless stream of challenge videos and clickbait gaining thousands of views whilst others barely get any credit for original content. The millennials that you see, that older generations get to generalise, are a select group of people who are given a platform. Nothing else. They are given a superficial platform in order to lure in Generation Z and make them believe that certain content creators and artists are what they should aspire to be. They should buy pointless merchandise, not because it will make them happy, but because it will bring the content creator and other businesses an income; not necessarily a stable one, but an income nonetheless. Apparently younger people aren’t going to watch your videos if you’re not attractive to them though, so you better clean up well.
It seems as though the outsiders of Generation Y almost enjoy talking about how the world has gone to shit and how it was better in their day. I mean, I understand that bacon sarnies used to be like 50p and people were allowed to smoke in pubs, but what is it you really miss? I need specifics. Would you rather I sat around playing with those creepy ass cabbage patch kids instead of snapchatting a cute pic of my butt? Wait – that does sound like a good alternative. I don’t really know whose side I’m on any more.
Millennials should not be lampooned, at least not yet, by a society that is always so desperate to find someone or something to blame. John Green had it pegged in his article Why the word millennial makes me cringe, “When we listen to young people, and when we acknowledge them as fully human, they respond in kind —by listening and acknowledging us in return […] I have seen again and again that young people want to contribute. We just need to let them.”
So let us, you dicks.
(Not me though, I’m more of an observer so leave me alone.)