So, I’m a millennial and honestly I don’t know why we get such a bad wrap.
If you were born roughly between 1984 and 1995 then hey, welcome to this generation called Millennials.
So just some background information on the Millennial group:
- We make up about a forth of the US population at 83 million.
- Almost 50% of us are considered non-white, and that’s the most of any other generation before us.
- About a forth of us Millennials speak a language other than English.
- This one is cool, we hold $1.3 trillion in annual buying power. Aka marketers are always marketing directly to us.
And here are some stereotypes about us:
- We’re shallow narcissists.
- We’re lazy but still feel entitled to everything without having done anything at all to deserve it.
- We thrive on instant gratification.
- Oh and by the way we’re also being blamed for the downfall of the economy… cool.
- Let’s not forget that we’re also being labeled as the worst generation yet.
Are some of these stereotypes true? Yea, I’m sure they are, but only for some people… of any and all generations. I mean honestly my grandma uses Facebook and I know she gets excited when she gets a notification (instant gratification). Shallow narcissism? Thats a bold statement considering Narcissism is a mental illness.
I think that Millennials are the first generation to face problems that generations before us never had to face. The job market for example, there were 77 million baby boomers, and only 65 million generation Xers. Earlier I said there were about 83 million Millennials. So simple math says that the job market was maintaining jobs for 65 million people and all of a sudden 83 million showed up next. No one could plan for somethjng like that, so yea, a lot of us are still unemployed sitting with our nice shiny diplomas in our hands that cost and arm and a leg.
Student debt is another one. Our parents pushed us to go to college to get better jobs, thank you parents, I really do appreciate it. However the cost of college has risen 1120% since the 1980s and funding for colleges and universities has been cut more than 40%. I mean, over the past 5 years alone government spending has fallen by $1,800 per student per student. That means American college students owe nearly $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, spread out among about 44 million borrowers. Thats an average of almost $40,000 of debt per student. And the generations before you keep wondering why we can’t put money toward our savings or investments like a house. Well let me break it down. We graduate with $40,000 in debt to find a job in a job market that hasn’t accounted for all of us, then we take a job that is no more a year than what we owe in debt and after taxes it’s usually half of what we owe, then we have to pay rent, utilities, loans, etc because that’s why we went to college… right? And when thats all said and done, we have no money left to put toward savings. Hmmm. That’s definitely not the situation for every single one of us of course, but this is the reality for many. Then I hear that we’re lazy for not working… again, where the hell would you like us all to work?
Then there’s this thing called social media and technology. You know what people say we don’t know how to interact with one another if its not via a device? Thats just bizarre to me. I think we’re the first generation to have grown up with technological advancements and we’ve done a damn good job at using them to our advantage. I applause those who have created a successful marketing and business plan that leverages social media. Thats incredible. So fuck the ‘shallow narcissism’ talk, it’s literally just business.
There’s so much that needs to be discussed when it comes to Millennials getting a bad wrap. But I think it’s safe to say that stereotyping any generation gets us no where and that Millennials were hit with some curve balls that we’re handling pretty well.