You know, you see a lot of hate on the internet. Something about faceless interaction seems to encourage people to speak from a place of bravado rather than reason. A lot of this hate is targeted at Millennials, the generational cohort following Generation X.
To be specific, the Millennial cohort is defined, generally, as people born between 1980 and 1995. Some definitions list it as being until 2000. (those born after this are described as Generation Z, or otherwise undefined).
Most of the hate directed at Millenials (of which I am one, yes) is centered around our supposed self-aggrandizement and coinciding laziness. We are entitled, arrogant, disengaged, disrespectful, and a whole lot of other perjoratives.
The thing is, though, that with the amount of anti-millennial writings and rambling all over the web, it becomes difficult to find where exactly we Millennials are singing our praises so loudly as to be called arrogant, to be called self-aggrandizing.
A lot of the angry old folks (which is what they must be, by definition, right?) point to our use of our phones as evidence of our self-involvement. We spend alarming amounts of time on social medias like Instagram and Facebook, making our every interaction all about ourselves.
This assertion gleefully ignores the fact that this is not a Millennial thing; do you remember what a Blackberry was? Do you remember how it was referred to as a 'crackberry' for the way that Generation X members would be constantly on it, BBMing people or playing brickbreaker?
Many of the people who made such heavy use of their crackberries are now parents to Millennials.
So really that is just a trend of hardware that has only evolved, and has newer softwares to keep it going. Instagram and Facebook are just the new bells and whistles on an older, established cultural idiosyncracy.
Then there's the laziness thing. "Millennials are lazy, they don't appreciate hard work, they just lounge around all day doing nothing on their phones, their Facegrams and Instabooks"
Well, hypothetical old codger, just wait a minute there. Let's unpack this. How can the entire generation be lazy? Hmm? Let's think. I know, because you've said at length, that these things weren't around when you were our age. So where'd they come from?
Oh, yeah. Millennials. Here's the brass tacks:
Mark Zuckerberg - 31 (b. 1984) Facebook Creator Kevin Systrom - 31 (b. 1983) Instagram Co-Creator Evan Spiegel - 25 (b. 1990) Snapchat Co-Creator David Karp - 29 (b. 1986) Tumblr Creator
The list goes on, but you can already see the picture forming. These guys all qualify as part of the Millennial cohort, whether they ascribe to it or not. Are they also lazy? They have created some of the most-used (and most valuable) apps on the market. They understand their demographic, and they saw a need for a service.
Obviously not all Millennials are so wildly successful. But they are not all lazy, by any stretch. The numbers now show that unemployment in America is down to 5.3% as of June 2015. That's the lowest it has been since 2008, you know, when Gen X'ers fucked the whole damn economy up.
It wasn't Millennials who were getting mortgages they couldn't afford, or even selling them. And to get down to a 5.3% unemployment rate, that must mean that either that entire 5.3% is comprised of only millennials living off of their parents, or a lot of us are working.
So it just seems to be that Gen X - the ones who tanked the American economy, the planet, and refuse to retire and make room for the new generation, just want to scapegoat the Millennials.