It seems as if stigma’s for the millennial generation are piling up daily, but the most despicable one is “laziness”. Supposedly, we’re idle because we spend a lot of our time at the gym and sloths because we tend to live more in our parents’ basement. At least that’s what Jennifer Graham seems to indicate in her article in the BostonGlobe named “A Generation of Idle Trophy Kids”. Let me give you some reasons why we’re far from being the lazy generation.
Back in the day of Generation X’s twenties, people had to go out to gather information; today we do it simply by tapping on our Google app. The other day my professor told the class that we would find something much quicker on Google than his generation would; but if you’d ask Generation X to look something up in the Yellow Pages – that’s right, the “search engine” of the eighties – he would do it much quicker than us. He has a point: it depends on what you are more comfortable with. The means of communicating have changed, but didn’t make us lazier. We might as well be using Groupon to sign up for martial art deals!
Graham states, “Today’s kids simply can’t imagine downsizing to quarters like that. They’re victims of their parents’ success and frustrated that they see no way to replicate it. And why should they, if they’re already livin’ the dream?” Now, let me be clear: we’re not frustrated because we can’t replicate our parents’ success. We’re frustrated because jobs are hard to get since they require experience. But how do employers expect us to have experience if there’s no one willing to train us? After all, Millennials are the smartest. Our generation is the best educated in American history, according to a study released by Pew Research Center of 18- to 29-year-old Millennials.
A Canadian study from 2010 conducted a field study of the millennial generation and found that we place the greatest importance on individualistic aspects of a job. We also have realistic expectations of our first job and salary. Yet we’re looking for quick advancement and development of new skills while at the same time ensuring a meaningful and satisfying life outside of work. I think that’s reasonable because of our knowledge that needs to be challenged – or else we’ll be bored and deeply unhappy.
Every generation had its fair share of political turmoil and uprisings, but our experiences with such are different. In the nineties, the various revolutions in the former communist countries of Eastern Europe were strongly influenced by young people. In’89, China, protests were held by college students on the Tiananmen Square. Today, social media enables Millennials to communicate easily from a distance to spread true and direct news. In recent news, for example, the Ukraine looks more like a war scene than the intended peaceful protest and more than 15 deaths have occurred. Through Twitter, Ukrainians are able to report about day-to-day corruptive events taking place. Last year in Turkey at the Gezi Park protests, student-aged people used social media to their advantage and gained great recognition globally as the Turkish government censored TV and the Prime Minister’s lies came to surface. Due to these tweets and direct news, authorities from other countries had been able to interfere by for example blocking talks of Turkey joining Europe and cutting a supply for tear gas that has been used excessively. Or just take a look at the Arab spring. Enough said.
The only way to bring development into effect is movement. And oh boy, we’re moving at a quick pace! We have no patience anymore, which is especially evident in the media. Scenes in music videos or TV shows don’t take longer than two seconds anymore, while in the past it took about five seconds. We move fast, develop quickly and raise our expectations accordingly. Even though we might sit in our parents’ basement, I’m sure we can get many things accomplished through our technology. In the future, us Millennials face many challenges collectively as a generation such as building peace in conflicted areas, bringing stability to our global economy, finding cures to cancer and AIDS and saving the world from an environmental catastrophe. Our heroic generation is certainly up for it.