Millennials are a generation of aesthetics who don’t actually create art but want to be the art themselves. (The Bull Pen/Creative Commons)
Millennials. They’ve been the talk of the town lately and rightfully so since they are the next generation. It makes us wonder, will they solve the problems created by previous generations and how can we get most of their money?
Millennials, growing up in the sphere of social media, are over-sensitive and because of this create their own victim narratives rather than embracing our world’s realities.
Let’s start by taking a look at who raised this selfie posting generation. Millennials, also known a Gen Y, were raised by Gen X, the most pessimistic and apathetic generation and they were raised by Baby Boomers.
Baby Boomers were the most privileged and had the best education, enjoying the economic boom of post-WWII American society. Gen X was rebellious because the love they felt was never given to them by their narcissistic Boomer parents.
Since Gen-X-ers grew up the way they did, they ended up smothering their Gen-Y millennials, always making sure they know they’re special, giving them the best self-esteem. This itself though is what I believe is the cause of millennial behaviors. They don’t know how to handle the real world because they grew up getting a gold star for just about everything they’ve done and when they fall into criticism they honestly don’t know how to respond, crawling into a depression.
Something else to look at is the fact that we do this to every generation. This “telling them who they are” stuff is getting constant backlash. Gen X was labeled slackers, detached and melancholic until 2011 when the University of Michigan’s Longitudinal Study of American Youth said it was all a misunderstanding and they were no less successful or ambitious than those who raised them.
What Gen Y might have to do, if they have so much anxiety from being labeled narcissistic, is wait it out till we decide to put their children on a microscope.
As a person who grew up in the middle, remembering the brick Nokia phone my mom carried and a world without Facebook, but also watching everything evolve, I agree with the current descriptions of today’s millennials.
Millennials were raised after the aftermath of 9/11, two brutal wars and a crazy recession. With the selfies, creating yourself as a brand and being in constant need of reassurance, Gen Y is definitely something alright. The real question is, how the hell will their children be labeled?
Photo used with CC BY 2.0.