Say, what? Let me explain.
There has been a lot of media hype disparaging the Millennial generation. Recently this attitude has become a hot topic of conversation. Here’s why:
Last week The New York Times ran a correction on an article by reporter Jason Tankersley that said the following:
The sentence referred to America’s narrowing trade deficit during “the Great Recession,” not during “the Time of Shedding and Cold Rocks.” (Pro tip: Disable your “Millennials to Snake People” extension when copying and pasting.)
The “Millennials to Snake People” browser extension was developed three years ago by then 33-year-old Eric Bailey, who was satirizing the unrelenting media depiction of Millennials as tough to deal with. Once installed, the browser changes specific words or phrases wherever and whenever they appear on the internet.
The Millennials to Snake People browser extension had become fairly popular, but after the New York Times error, the article went viral.
What is it about Millennials–and why do the media constantly portray them as annoying and entitled?
Well, let’s not forget that this is a time-honored tradition. The older generation finds the newly-minted young adults incomprehensible, disrespectful, and just plain annoying.
Another browser extension called “Millennials Begone!” changes the word “millennial” to “pesky whipper snapper”. This serves to highlight the enduring nature of the older/younger generation dynamic. When was the last time you heard anyone say “whipper-snapper”?
The Millennials may annoy the older generation, but they are doing exactly what they are supposed to do–they are trying to find their own way. They are trying to figure out what kind of world they want to create as their legacy.
Let’s give Millennials a break and let them have a chance to find their way and show us their version of our shared future.
What are some other reasons we see Millennials maligned by the media?
1. It can be easy and frustrating to think that many Millennials are achieving and acquiring so much so young–It feels that way to most Millennials, too!
Most Millennials wonder why they don’t have the personal success that they see all over social media. It looks like everyone else has it all figured out, and they are the only ones struggling to find their way.
2. Finally, many adults confuse the Millennial generation with iGen, the generation that is now 21 and younger.
When we are worried about the effect of technology on young people, we should remember that most Millennials grew up before social media became the platform on which young people conducted their relationship. It is iGen that is often using technology as a substitute for human interaction, not the Millennials.
The older members of the Millennial cohort call themselves Xennials (pronounced “zennial”) to show that they are in some ways caught between GenX and Millennials. This cohort graduated high school before smart phones and social media were standard teenage accessories. All of their high school and college relationships were conducted IRL (in real life) and not showcased on social media.
We can always find patterns when we look at groups of people, and Millennials are no exception. We need to remember that each historical cohort has it’s own “flavor”, and each cohort, in turn, irritated the ones that came before.
Millennials are trying to make their own mark on our world, but they haven’t quite figured out what exactly that mark is. Let’s give them the time and the space to build a vision and make a difference. It will happen; It always does.
Need a little extra help figuring it all out?
If you are the parent of a millennial and need some help understanding and communicating with them, or if you are a young adult trying to communicate with your parent, I can help you with that! Give me a call at 323-999-1537, or email me at email@example.com and we can set up a free consultation where we will chat about your specific situation and how I can help.