ABC4.com recently had an article characterizing Millennials in 8 ways.
While It’s definitely great to see more about Millennials being covered in the media, a few of these statements seem to portray Millennials in a negative light. Some do ring off as fact, such as Millennials statistically shown to be less religious. Others, such as Millennials being socialist or narcissistic, are rather debatable. It may be due to their short length, but but many of these points give off a rather negative/untrue connotation.
“They’re socialists, which is evident in the Occupy Wall Street movement and anti-corporate government movement.”
Socialist/Socialism is a very strong word. In fact, I doubt that many Millennials (even those involved in Occupy Wall Street) would identify as “socialist”. Even if we look past the association with Communism and Marxism, the argument for implementing socialism in society today is limited in scope. just because Millennials fight for democracy and argue with certain parts of the government does not make us firm believers in socialism. Admittedly, many of us look down on capitalism, considering that we witnessed the fall of the American economy in 2008. However, saying that Millennials are socialist is a great exaggeration, and at the very least should not be in a list where the news site is trying to define the Millennial generation as a whole.
“They’re natural entrepreneurs with desires to start their own businesses as opposed to joining a large corporate organization.”
This certainly seems true at face value but I don’t think the sentence gives Millennials justice. This statement seems to be establishing the Millennial stereotype of rebellious, hard-headed young folk who are eager to go against any established organization.
In reality, these organizations could simply be incompatible with Millennial work values, or lacking the ambition/drive that a Millennial likes to see. It’s not like we start our own company for the sake of starting our own company. Purpose and the desire to innovate should come first. Millennial-driven projects are a product of neglect by other companies (contrary to popular belief, Millennials do notice when there is a lack of action within a certain area) and the vitality of Millennials who want to see change.
“They’re stressed out due to the pressure of work, money or debt issues and relationship problems. Yet, Millennials are more likely to use meditation and yoga as a stress reliever than older generations.”
I do concede that the state of society today certainly has us stressed out. But the stress comes from the active realization that we are able to make a difference, and striving to do so. Meditation and yoga may be great ways to relieve stress, but at the end of the day, the Millennial mindset seems to be one that favors confronting the problem directly rather than avoiding the issue. The second sentence makes me wonder why the author felt like it was important to mention yoga instead of mentioning how more and more Millennials are looking for jobs in public service due to the condition of the world today.
While I admit that there are a lot of important things to take away from statistics and opinions within the public media, my perspective on these spontaneous weigh-ins remain the same: be wary of what you read. News/blogs can easily twist the truth in order to fit their agenda or gain attention. At times, even the rhetoric seems against us. Never take things at face value; research when in doubt, and come to an educated conclusion. When the time comes where we are at the forefront of media, we will know exactly where others went wrong. But to turn a blind eye to the media would only cripple our awareness to what exactly is going on. Efforts to categorize us must be noted, countered and most importantly, you must understand where they went wrong. Don’t let them define us.
The best thing we can do in cases like these is simply realize what is happening.
Nathan Chen is a Featured Blogger for Mobilize.org’s The Millennial Report. He lives in Seattle, Washington and thoroughly enjoys the activism-infused setting he lives in. His personal goal is to, in any way possible, gain recognition for The Millennial Generation while also helping it realize its full potential. In the future he wishes to pursue a career in law or journalism, with an intent to serve others.