Millennials are egotists, not protesters

The CEO of Zillow, Spencer Rascoff, says what I’ve been saying for some time: millennials want authenticity and honesty from the presidential candidates. They also don’t want forceful social media language and out-of-touch viewpoints from staffers. They want the real thing.


Meanwhile, the Harvard Business Review writes about why millennials aren’t necessarily engaged in social protest movements. The conclusion: millennials believe change can be made through existing societal structures.

I don’t agree at all. On the contrary: millennials don’t trust systems in place and, literally, are fearful of challenging them. The result is that nothing happens. Apathy reigns. Sure we get a four-year bump during presidential elections, but millennials aren’t regularly engaged in politics, and they’re certainly not engaged in local politics and civics. They’re content networking and sharing with friends, those who give them happiness, because it presents an antidote to the fear and terror that reigns regularly in society.

I’ve written and spoken about millennial fear in the past. It creates a blissful ignorance, one that allows millennials to ignore the bad and, consequently, the potential solutions to the bad. Those solutions include protest movements.

As connected as millennials are, as much as they’re on Twitter and other social media networks, isn’t it weird that they don’t regularly assemble against injustice? There are very few exceptions, like “Black Lives Matter” and “Occupy Wall Street,” but the draw to those movements is the opportunity to be seen, to be viral, to be shared among others.

Basically, millennials have only shown to care about something when it affects their own egos.

Before millennials can protest against injustice – which they absolutely should – they need to first understand what affects others. That only comes when they start engaging on a local level. And right now, they’re not.