Whether you are engaged in the marketing world, the social and statistic sciences or even just scrolled through Tumblr or twitter in the last few years, you may have met the term “Millennials”.
But who are these people? And behind everything people say about them, what is the truth?
How many times have we heard the older generation, The Baby Boomers as they are called, define the young kids? Here are some of the highlights that I was able to collect:
“Millennials feel they are special,” “Millennials are lazy “, “These kids spend all their day on the internet doing nothing”, “Millennials don’t know anything about the real world”, “They get offended by everything” ,“Millennials are selfish”,“Nowsdays kids can’t stand still and respect elders”, and so on.
I think it’s time to clarify some of these definitions:
The Millennials, or generation Y, is composed of those born between 1980-1999. I am a Millennial, and I think most of you reading are as well.
- First thing, it’s important to notice that there are almost 80 million people in the millennial generation, making us the largest generational group in history, so I’d be pretty careful talking bad about us.
- It’s funny how older generations say how lazy we are, when Millennials are statistically proven to be more politically and socially engaged of them. 7/10 of us also don’t want any kind of shortcuts, and we’d prefer working for our goals.
- We are the techno-kids, connected throughout the whole day on the internet, but able to re-discover the traditional values at the same time. In an interview on 6500 millennial kids, when asked what they wanted, the results were: “a good job, a happy life and to my parents to be proud of me”.
- Millennials have a high graduation rate from high school and college enrollment rate, and over half of them graduates in less than 6 years. We want a place in the society, and we are ready to fight for it. We want education and jobs that allow us to change things. We may not be revolutionaries, but we are reformers.
- We are not afraid of change and do not accept any form of discriminations. This is probably because we live and grew up in a global environment brought us thanks to: the internet. Almost every one of us has an account on a social network, allowing us to be in contact with the whole world. We are the generation of the “internet activism” , we say things and share them in different countries to millions of other kids like us.Yes, we “get offended by everything”, because we’re tired of seeing minorities shot on and punished by the diffused racism in the system.
- English is like a second language for most of us and, speaking the same language, we share the same values. We want to travel, discover new cultures and respect them.
- We are a generation who has each other’s back. We want action on equality of gender, LGBTQ+ rights, immigration, environment protection. Millennials put collectivity first. We are more confident, something that the older generation often labels as selfishness. That’s not right. We are trying to learn to love our bodies and to empower ourselves, since no one ever taught us to.
- Everything looks amazing, doesn’t it? Well yes, if we don’t count the fact that almost 1 out of 5 millennials suffer from a mental illness (anxiety, ocd, depression, bipolar disorder are just a few). The pressure is high and the standards we put on our shoulders even higher. We have inherited an economic crisis, a planet on the edge of global warming, an infinite list of social and political injustices and wars dissipated all over the world, and we are supposed to be the ones fixing all of it. If we add how tuition rates keeps growing and jobs are harder and harder to find, it’s really not a paradisiacal picture.
This is who we are. We just want to be heard. So please, give us a chance to use our voices without using prejudice to silence them first. You will all like them.