I saw another article about an older person talking about Millennials and the word ‘entitled’ came up a few times in association with Millennial. It got me thinking… It seems to be a common combination these days – Millennials and entitlement. Ask someone what they think of Millennials, and they may mention words and phrases like, “young”, “snowflake”, “easily offended”, “triggered”, “lazy”, “entitled”, “addicted to their phones”, “obsessed with technology and/or social media”.
I’ve been called a Millennial many times, so like any Millennial, I went to Google in order to find out what a Millennial is, “According to Iconoclast, a consumer research firm, the first Millennials were born in 1978. Newsweek magazine reported that the Millennial generation was born between 1977 and 1994. In separate articles, the New York Times pegged the Millennials at 1976-1990 and 1978-1998. A Time magazine article placed the Millennials at 1980-2000.” (whatis.com). Pew Research Center reports the Millennial generation as, “those born after 1980 and the first generation to come of age in the new millennium”. I also read on whatis.com that, Neil Howe and William Strauss, authors of the 1991 book Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069, are often credited with coining the term ‘Millennials’ and their definition is, “consisting of individuals born between 1982 and 2004” (whatis.com). Clearly there are some discrepancies in defining the term. For the sake of ease, let’s just go with Time Magazine’s definition of Millennials, “people born between the years 1980 and 2000”.
Based on Time’s definition, a Millennial can be between the age of 17 and 37. I was surprised to read that, mostly because I don’t know too many 30-something year-olds openly identifying themselves as a Millennial. Why is this? Because Millennials seem to be entitled, little shits, and who wants to be in the same category as an entitled, little shit? So of course anyone born in the 70’s or 80’s is going to avoid the tag, Millennial.
I believe the word ‘Millennial’ is used as a ‘buzzword’ – which by my definition, is something that generates attention that doesn’t really serve a useful purpose or have any clear and specific meaning to it. We already read several, similar meanings to the word; but I think this buzzword is often used to talk down on and blame a group of young people for problems occurring in the society. And why do people talk about ‘Millennials’? Because it generates attention. It’s a trending topic and a popular keyword search – just like america’s favorite/least favorite name, ‘Kardashian’. ‘
The word, ‘Millennial’ is a buzzword. It’s an easy way to cast blame upon a large group of individuals and rag on a bunch of young people in order to gain attention as a writer, or speaker. I don’t think it’s creative or groundbreaking writing; to me, it’s a cheap and repetitive trick. It’s like when websites promote click-bait lists (Example: 10 Unbelievable Secrets That You Never Knew About… Number 4 Will Shock You!) in a slideshow format. Websites do this to generate clicks and gain your attention, and each new slide you visit represents a new page visit (more page visits equals more potential ad revenue). So if a person is working at cutthroat publication company and his or her job is to generate views, he or she is probably going to include a few buzzwords, some cheap tactics and click-bait headlines to grab your attention. I believe this obsession about ‘Millennials’ is no different.
Please don’t get me wrong, there are PLENTY of “easily offended”, “triggered”, “lazy”, “entitled”, “addicted to their phones” and “obsessed with technology”, Millennials. Of course, and I too get annoyed by them. But I kindly invite you to look around. It’s not just Millennials that are like this. There are people like this, of all ages. I have met plenty of Baby-Boomers and Generation X’ers who match all those adjectives. I believe blaming Millennials for a large amount of problems in society is just the popular thing to do right now. I’m sure when I’m 40-plus years old, I’ll talk about how much Generation Z is entitled and ruining what Millennials built. I think blaming the generations after us is just the popular thing to do.
I’ll end it with this – it’s not inherently Millennials that are entitled, it’s entitled-assholes who are entitled. There are entitled Baby-Boomers, Generation X’ers and Millennials. It’s almost inherently apart of our nature to get upset with younger generations, “The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.” – Attributed to Socrates by Plato (469–399 B.C.).
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