Welcome to the Pin Drop.
Where the subject hates itself.
A recent Pew Research Center poll revealed that millennials don’t like being millennials. In fact some loathe the term and association. The primary findings: 40 percent of millennials say they’re millennials. (Somehow, 8 percent say they’re the Greatest Generation [1901-24]). Meanwhile, 79 percent of boomers say they’re boomers.
It’s easy for boomers to define themselves. Hell, generational studies came of mainstream age during the boomer generation’s peak adult years; this stuff was practically written for them. “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “Thirtysomething,” “The Cosby Show” … these entertainments practically said “BOOMER” in the title. The boomer generation is the generation generation.
Millennials, most of them boomer kids, now brush off this generation discussion. They’d rather be defined by what they do, not who they are. Right?
Well millennials don’t like what they do, either.
According to Pew’s findings, the terms most attributable to millennials include “self-absorbed,” “wasteful,” “greedy,” and “environmentally-conscious.” So we got that going for us, which is nice – sorry, that’s a boomer phrase.
Millennials also don’t think they’re very patriotic, willing to sacrifice, religious, moral, and politically active. Some of these things come with age, but certainly the numbers are low enough to question how traditional American ethos are being interpreted today. That’s an investigation for later.
Here’s the drop: How do we get away from being – in our own minds – self-absorbed, wasteful, and greedy? And how do we remain environmentally-conscious, idealistic, and entrepreneurial in the process?
For one, we have to start embracing the millennial label and stop being spiteful.