Recently, I’ve noticed a trend of negative opinion pieces about millennials. The one-sided conversation goes like this: we act entitled, are inconsiderate and don’t follow the rules. I am a millennial myself. Allow me to speak up in our collective defense.
Often when I hear baby boomers complaining about millennials, I ask myself, “Haven’t seniors been complaining about youth since the dawn of human society?” It seems likely the same arguments were made about baby boomers by the last generation that witnessed the beginning of a new century. In fact, I’d guess that lamenting one’s own youth and the lost decency of a generation is something that many people feel as they slide into the final act of their lives. I expect I’ll feel that way myself someday.
Of course, things have changed. We have social media, the Internet and cell phones. I acknowledge the power of those tools to accentuate unlikeable human personality traits like self-absorption. They tap into everyone’s false perception that their life is uniquely interesting; however, I suspect that perception has been around longer than the last 20 years.
Do boomers believe they would have been noble enough to resist the pull of such technology if it had arisen in the 1960s or ’70s?
I often hear complainants cite anecdotal evidence to support their assertion all millennials are lazy and inconsiderate. To the gentleman who complained about the divots in his driveway caused by a U-turning millennial, did you consider that he might just have been a jerk? I’m virtually certain that jerks have been around since the dawn of time. I sense hypocrisy in your assertion there are certain societal rules not being followed. Wasn’t your generation busy ignoring the rules in the ’60s and ’70s?
My final message to members of the boomer generation who are uncomfortable with millennials is this: times change. Despite recent advances in technology, people, morally, are the same as they’ve always been. We millennials will take up the reigns of society over time. We will struggle with our own generational challenges; stagnating wages coupled to a rising cost of living, and the virtual non-existence of affordable living accommodations. We will be there to care for you in your infirm years and everything will be just fine, or at least, the way it’s always been.