You don’t have to look far to hear people criticize this current generation known as the millennials. People say that they are lazy, thin-skinned and don’t understand how the real world works. Well there is certainly truth to that as we’ve seen with some of the university protests, but I see another side of them.
The millennials have extensive higher education as many stayed in school following the 2008 recession. They also have enormous student debt. It is shaping everything in their world.
In fact, studies confirm that they are more plagued with student loan debt and higher unemployment than previous generations. However, it should be pointed out that previous generations often worked their way through school and loans were not as readily available, or as used if they were.
They hate bureaucracy and formalism deeply. One recent survey indicated that a millennial would rather go to the dentist then stand in line inside a bank lobby to do business! In their eyes, they look around at this big brick-and-mortar building, gleaming and full of employees and paperwork all doing something you could do online in seconds.
They hate home dining rooms, don’t see the point in registering for China in their weddings, and can’t stand dark wood furniture when plywood and pipe works just fine.
They value authenticity. Even if they don’t agree with your position, they respect people who are authentic. They expect that from their companies and brands that they support as well. True community involvement and authentic interest in what is good and responsible socially. That’s why they will value someone driving a Toyota Prius.
Unfortunately, they are still not yet old enough to understand that the lithium for batteries has to be obtained from giant strip mines which destroy the earth, and thus a pickup truck is probably more environmentally responsible overall. So they are a bit naive, but well meaning.
Environmentally responsible sounding things usually get a pass from reality. For instance, wind turbines have 75-foot long blades that sweep through the air throughout the Midwest. They generate a little bit of power, but they also sweep migratory birds right out of the air, killing them. If those birds were instead killed by an Exxon oil spill that’s all we would see on the news every night.
They tend to care a lot about being personally true to what your beliefs are. So if they are vegetarian they’re more likely to be full out vegan. Which would mean that they would not wear leather shoes or use animal products in anyway.
As someone who grew up seeing the freedom of the 70s and the greed of the 80s, I can really appreciate some good things about this generation. While they are easily led to believe that man-made climate change is destroying the planet, and that everyone should ride bikes more, and that eating meat is somehow terrible because of cow flatulence, the fact of the matter is at least they care.
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