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Millennials: An Entire Generation That Sucks?

  • Adam Casalino
  • May 7, 2017 11:31AM

Full disclosure: I'm a millennial. At least, according to the strictest of definitions I am. But being born in 1984 makes me one of the older millennials that walk the earth and perhaps, based on the conditions of my upbringing, makes me more like a Gen Xer.

That being said I'm fully aware of the irony of criticizing an entire generation of people. Growing up I watched this happen time and again. As one group of people come into early adulthood, exercising their rights and exploring their identity, the older generations (and there are numerous, overlapping ones, here) begin crafting the ammunition to keep them down.

I heard this was very common in the 1950's, when all those greasers and beatniks started showing up in coffee houses and diners. The old folks didn't like their weird lingo and looked for ways to marginalize, denigrate, and generally discount this group's contribution to society.

Just watching some of the teen exploitation movies of that era is proof enough of this attitude.

But generational hate continued into the 60's. Maybe the old folks were justified this time. The empty-headed flower children were deliberately trying to eschew the traditions and customs of their upbringing, in such a way that few older folks could handle it. (There was always that one, really old hippie in the bunch, but we can ignore him.)

It continued into the 90's, when I watched society look at the "Grunge" generation with distrust. By then it seemed, though, that everyone was too tired to do anything about it, especially the Gen Xer's.

But now we have a new generation coming of age, and it looks like everyone from 30-something's to geriatrics are coming out of the woodwork to shit on millennials (even if those 30-something's technically, are millennials).

Why all the hate? A part of it could be because, as I established above, there is a sick fear of being replaced by those that come after you. While societies only thrive when the older generations teach, equip, and empower their descendants, there seems to be a human quirk that causes parents to occasionally mistrust or even attack their children.

I think it's partly inevitable. Nobody likes getting old. And the prospect of being replaced- on any level- by people who you feel are less smart, talented, or qualified, can be very painful. And let's face it, our modern society is obsessed with youth. Just when someone is reaching an age when they have wisdom and maturity to pass along, they are rejected for someone with smoother skin.

So it stands to reason that, on some level, the older generations' criticism of millennials is justified.

But the particular pop culture obsession with millennials seems more than just the run-of-the-mill generation gap.

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