Millennials. Many people have a lot of mixed feelings about this word, and with good reason. Some wear it as a badge of honor, using it to show that they are proud that they are distinguished from older, outdated generations; more often than not, it is used as a label for criticism. There are tons of people and articles talking about how us millennials are lazy, entitled, snowflakes, addicted to our phones, and that we can't function in the real world. Many millennials even admit that they are ashamed to be millennials.
What baffles me most is the world's seeming obsession with this classification of people and what they are like, how to work with them in the workplace, how they think differently, how they act differently, studying us, like we are some sort of new species (I'm talking about you, Forbes).
You know what we are, even more than we are "lazy," "entitled," "inspiring," or anything else? We are just another generation of people. Like the hundreds of generations that have come before us. So we grew up with the internet and you guys didn't, does that really mean that it's necessary to analyze every last tick and general characteristic of this generation? To me it seems like a huge waste of time.
Above all, we are just people. There are millennials who like The Weekend and Beyonce and millennials who like Bob Dylan and the Ramones. There are millennials who like all of those artists and millennials who like none of them. There are millennials who can't put down their phones. Don't forget there are Baby Boomers who can't put down their phones either. There are millennials who constantly miss calls because they never check their phones. We are conservatives and democrats, we are hipsters and basic, we are both and we are neither. There are so many things that make us different from each other, why are we constantly trying to generalize?
Yes, there are common characteristics and collective experiences that many of us share: from the pain of high student loans and dismal job market outlook, to our love of memes and funny YouTube videos. I'm not trying to deny that we have some general traits. What I am trying to say is that we have enough differences to make the amount of generalizations and analyses about us seem a little bit silly and unnecessary.
Whether you want to praise us or criticize us, to learn more about us, stop reading all of these nonsense articles and actually talk to us. You might be surprised. Or not surprised.
I'm reminded of a line from the song "My Generation" by The Who: "I hope I die before I get old." I hope I die before I waste as much time as you have obsessing about the next generation.