Ok, first, let’s all agree that there was likely a collective groan at the mere mention of the world Millennial. The Pew Research Center defines this generational group as anyone born between 1981 and 1996, and it’s a generation that has been obsessed over by marketers, blamed for quote-unquote killing everything from American Cheese to marriage, golf to motorcycles, and above all discussed ad nauseam.
What I find particularly interesting is an article from the BBC that took the time to dig through their archives and discuss, in detail, how Millenials are talked about compared to how young generations are talked about today versus how they’ve been talked about in the past. Quoting from British media sources extensively:
“Millennials are lazy and think basic tasks are beneath them.”
A generation with a huge sense of entitlement, Daily Mail, 2017
“Many [young people] were so pampered nowadays that they had forgotten that there was such a thing as walking, and they made automatically for the buses… unless they did something, the future for walking was very poor indeed.”
Scottish Rights of Way: More Young People Should Use Them, Falkirk Herald, 1951
That they think that they’re always right
“My huge generalities touch on… their insistence that they are right despite the overwhelming proof that suggests they are not…”
Bret Easton Ellis in ‘Generation Wuss’, Vanity Fair, 2014
“They think they know everything, and are always quite sure about it.”
Rhetoric, Aristotle, 4th Century BC
No matter what you say about the attitudes surrounding a particular generation, there are still differences between each generation. Compared to their grandparents (according to the Pew Research Center), millennials are better educated, more racially diverse, and face significant economic pressures that their grandparents didn’t. It’s also a generation more willing to make less money in exchange for a life they’re excited to live.