I’ve seen a whole load of articles recently about millennials, and what they’re thinking, and what they’re up to, and generally lamenting why they are so annoying. Since I am born after 1980, and therefore fall into this broad ranging category, I wanted to check out exactly what old people are talking about when they bandy this term about. I have a rough idea gleaned from various articles, but did a quick google just to make sure I wasn’t taking offence for no reason. There are a few recurring themes, namely that we are; lazy, narcissistic, entitled, fame hungry, materialistic -(I could go on and on and on, but this is actually starting to bruise my huge millennial-sized ego). Basically, perceived to be at the core of this generation, is the self. And I suppose within the space of a few short years- to use a crude example- we went from waiting for rolls of film to be developed, to being able to take daily selfies with instant results. I mean I know it baffles my parents, but sometimes I know in my heart that look like an angel sent from heaven when I’m reclining on the couch, and I want to commemorate that moment forever (or until my phone memory is full and I have to delete it). We are the first generation to have grown up with such technology at our fingertips, and to have been able to profit from this perceived narcissism in such a way. I’ll admit hearing of some people making loads of money by advertising gummy shaped bears sweets to make your hair thick and luscious on their Instagram page really grinds my gears, especially when I am writing my 3700093989803th cover letter of the week. But more just peeved off because I wish I could be advertising stupid shit for money (if anyone wants me to advertise stuff HMU).
But for the savvy use of technological advances to be compared to laziness was infuriating reading. Each article was full of condescending, sweeping generalisations managing to negatively characterise an entire generation. The only aim seemed to be to shrink the aspirations and individual thoughts of millions and millions of young people in this incredibly snide way. ‘They love spending money, travelling, they don’t work hard, they love themselves’ are the prevalent ideas hashed out in various op-eds. (I’m sorry if people like going on holiday and buying really great outfits and having fun 24/7- what are the damn kids like ffs). There are loads of people trying to profit from these this too, with marketing strategies geared towards reeling in an entire generation supposedly captivated by commercialisation. But at the same time, with this technology which we have harnessed to our advantage, that doesn’t mean everyone is magically making money from Insta ads for amazing hair. Loads of jobs are gonna be replaced by robots soon, and yet simultaneously we will have to wait ages to retire. I mean freakin’ unpaid internships in London exist! How or why does an opportunity which enables a tiny minority of the population to succeed become such a widespread and accepted practice? I guess unfair and irritating crap has always existed, but being labelled a member of a generation of narcissistic idiots is distracting me from writing my incredible deep and serious blog posts!
Although people have always critiqued the generation before them, there has never been one which has been so visible, and I guess rendered so alien, through technology. Even I feel a sense of detachment towards kids who are only just growing up now. Thinking back to when I was their age, 12 or so, I wasn’t able to have the same constant level of communication- apart from in weird chatrooms and Club Penguin, of course. Things are advancing quite quickly, and I will stick my hands up and say that yes, it can seem a bit nuts. But I am not gonna go thrusting my weight about calling everyone under a certain age a brainless moron, because it just isn’t true.
I mean yes it did take me ages to write this article, because I was thinking about clothes and taking selfies whilst lying in my bed, BUT I got the job done didn’t I?!