Rap music. Fidget Spinners. Vegan hipsters. That’s enough to make anyone over the age of thirty-eight go off on a tirade about “those darn millennials.” It’s no secret that everyone hates this age group—in fact, when you type in “millennials are…” into Google, the first four results that come up are: “millennials are killing,” “millennials are screwed,” “millennials are lazy,” and “millennials are ruining.” We get constantly attacked as ungrateful “snowflakes,” good for nothing except creating adorable cat videos on Youtube.
But how much of this verbal onslaught do we actually deserve? It would take a limited view of our generation to say that all millennials are entitled, dependent, and slothful. Take RHS as a sample of the population—sure, we admittedly are lazy at times, but we also work hard. We host championship-title sports teams, musical and artistic prodigies, and some of the brightest academics in the nation. If that doesn’t show something, I don’t know what does.
To older generations, we may be more reliant on technology than in previous eras, but that does not make us hopelessly inactive. Much of what we do with technology is still work. The only difference between us and older generations is that now, instead of doing the physical labor that was required in previous industrial societies, we do mental work in order to advance the growing modern technological society. This mental work, as opposed to work by brute strength, makes millennials much more innovative than previous generations. Our age group constantly pushes the frontier of technology and medicine farther than it has ever seemed possible. Take 23-year-old Danny Cabrera, who’s working on a project known as BioBot, a 3D printer that can produce live cells, tissues, and organs. Technology like this has the capacity to save millions of lives—which is why the lifespan of the millennial is almost double the lifespan of “The Greatest Generation” (born 1914-1930) one hundred years ago. So is the fact that we spend so much time on computers a bad thing? Not as much as older generations would like to think it is.
Now, sure, we still religiously follow the Kardashians. We still take more pictures of our food than of our family. We still spend our days looking at the glossy, vacuous screen of an iPhone 8 and excessively complaining about whatever new update ruined our lives (though the uproar over the new Snapchat update most definitely was not an exaggeration). But hey—every generation has its flaws. At least we weren’t the generation that donned neon leg warmers before hitting the club or (thank goodness) the generation that falsely believed mullets were attractive.
My point is, there’s something good and something bad about every age group. Every generation has its time, and now it’s time for the millennials; in fact, by 2025, millennials are expected to make up about 75% of the workforce. Their coming is inevitable. So instead of berating them and accusing them of bringing about the disintegration of society, older generations should accept them and help usher in a new, better world.
Graphics: Amelia Chen