Warning: do not read this if you're easily offended. Just kidding, please read. You need this the most.
Millennials are stereo-typically offended by, well, everything. And as part of this generation, I’m offended by our lack of grit -- pun intended.
Most millennials were raised being taught that everyone is a winner, and trying is more important than actually achieving anything. I played basketball in a feel-good league when I was younger, where everyone was a winner, and the score didn’t really matter. It was offensive to some kids to be too aggressive, so that was frowned upon. As a child, I didn’t really understand the phenomenon, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized my peers (and myself -- I’m not claiming to have never been offended by something ridiculous) tend to take impersonal things very personally.
Recently, I've realized that I can’t scroll down my Facebook news feed without every other article being centered on something that offends someone. Being offended is a choice. Completely a choice. Of course there are exceptions, things that shouldn’t have been said, but our generation is admittedly very easily insulted.
We claim to be open-minded and free-spirited, but are we really? There are tons of clothing items that have recently made news for being ‘offensive.' If you’re offended by a shirt, here’s an idea: don’t buy it. Or, don’t shop at that store. Instead, though, we take to social media to claim how ‘offended’ we are by a wholly irrelevant article of clothing. We’re giving ourselves the right to be insulted by a design probably created by an out-of-touch designer just looking for attention (and, hey, his plan is working!). And, the ironic part is, through all of these disputes, companies like Urban Outfitters and American Apparel have continued to be incredibly successful. So, we claim offense but we still shop there? That’s not overly logical.
It doesn’t make any sense -- are we so entitled that we believe other people should walk on eggshells so as to not offend us? Freedom of speech is an amazing right, and by claiming offense, in my opinion, we’re undermining that right. By making public figures speak so carefully, we’re limiting their right to speak however they want. And even despite speaking so carefully, so many celebrities and politicians come under fire for being offensive (Paula Deen, anyone?). I wish people could say what they want to say, and design what they want to design, without unaffected individuals taking insult.
So here’s to us, millennials. The wanderlust-filled, free-spirited, offended young adult generation. Do we really want that title? I definitely don’t.