Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I'm a Millennial, hear me...meow?



Sometimes in order to learn more about yourself, you have to understand your generation. No matter who you are as a person, you tend to have similar values, attitudes and worldviews of everyone else in your generation, because let's face it, you can't help the year you were born.

My parents, despite their different personalities, share a similar outlook on life because of their generation, the Baby Boomers. Drugs don't phase them--they've seen their share in the 60s and 70s, they have seen racial tensions explode and fade away, and they know the value of a dollar because they had to earn it.

And now, as a 26-year-old, I'm finally starting to understand my own generation: The Millennials. We were born between 1980 and 2000. We are the first generation to come of age in the new millennium.

There have been hundreds of studies and articles written about us in the past ten years. Some make me laugh. Some make me cringe. Some piss me off.

We seem to be ridiculed in the media as lazy, dependent, and unrealistic.

But before I get to that, here are some facts about the Millennial generation put together by Pew Research Center.

Millennials are:

- They are the most ethnically and racially diverse cohort of youth in the nation's history. Among those ages 13 to 29: 18.5% are Hispanic; 14.2% are black; 4.3% are Asian; 3.2% are mixed race or other; and 59.8%, a record low, are white.

- They are starting out as the most politically progressive age group in modern history. In the 2008 election, Millennials voted for Barack Obama over John McCain by 66%-32%, while adults ages 30 and over split their votes 50%-49%. In the four decades since the development of Election Day exit polling, this is the largest gap ever seen in a presidential election between the votes of those under and over age 30.

- They are the first generation in human history who regard behaviors like tweeting and texting, along with websites like Facebook, YouTube, Google and Wikipedia, not as astonishing innovations of the digital era, but as everyday parts of their social lives and their search for understanding.

- They are the least religiously observant youths since survey research began charting religious behavior.



(This may be what Millennials look like in their natural habitat)

According to numerous psychologists, historians, and journalists, my generation is filled with ignorant tweens and 20-nothings. We were coddled as children and way too over-protected. Forget walking to school, our parents drove us or bought us cars at 16. Not many of us had after-school jobs (those don't get us into college). When it comes to sports, everyone was a winner! Most of us got our first cell phone in high school (some of the younger Millennials got them in elementary school). We text instead of call. We facebook instead of write letters. We have no idea why our parents feared Russia, because for us, the Middle East has been nothing but a war zone and terrorist hotbed our whole lives. We live at home until we're 30 because why not? When we move out, we prefer to live with our partners instead of marry them. Most of us won't keep the same job for more than ten years at a time.

No wonder the baby boomers and Generation X-ers despise us.

But what the older generations don't realize is that they are the reason we are who we are.

They didn't think it was safe for us to walk to school. They bought us a cell phone. They raised us.

And yes, we can be super annoying with our texting and our blogging and our digital music, but our generation has the potential to be one of the greatest in history.



We are an extremely socially conscious generation. How many other generations can brag that they grew up networking with people all over the world before they were 30? We are. We know what is going on all over the world as it happens. We accept other cultures without questions. Racism is becoming a thing of the past as the human race keeps merging into a beautiful multi-cultural and multi-racial rainbow. Every decade, we are becoming so medically and technologically advanced, our generation may very well have the ability to find a cure and prevention for cancers and other normally fatal diseases.

I think that's pretty damn cool.

So...what do you think of Millennials? Saving the world? Or ruining it?

PS. There are even workshops and guidelines for companies on how to deal with millennials in the workplace.

Read this article, it's hilarious. My favorite excerpt: "Encourage the millennial's self-assuredness, 'can-do' attitude, and positive personal self-image. Millennials are ready to take on the world. Their parents told them they can do it - they can. Encourage - don't squash them or contain them." Enough said!

52 comments:

VenusInVirgo said...

Wonderful thoughts on the subject XOXO
http://venuslovesvirgo.blogspot.com/

btd. said...

I <3 this post! Mainly because I'm one of the younger Millennials.
"But what the older generations don't realize is that they are the reason we are who we are." I AGREE! They wonder why our generation is so bad, but they taught us all we know! Then try to look down on us and try their stories starting with, "when I was your age" or "back in the day". No. This is not their day, and you did not raise us like your parents did, so how do you expect us to understand that?
*Sigh* You got me started. :) I definitely think that some of our generation is making us look bad, but I think the good of us trumps the bad. We are certainly saving the world.

Monica said...

ahhh i love this post! i love being a millenial ;) exactly. i came across a quote a long time ago and i've believed it ever since! "Those who criticise our generation, forget who raised us." very in line with what you were saying.

i never knew we were called millenials. I was born in 1992 which is also baby boom year so I always thought I was just that! :)

Gayle is Volatile said...

Media plays a huge part in what out generation has become now. It is becoming more and more lenient and is taking a back seat whenever people protest for self-expression, because they think it is such a "free world" nowadays. This concept has to be modified. It IS a free world, but we all have to exercise caution in what we express. Future generations will radiate all that we are now.

Thank you for this post :) Hope you follow my blog as well.

-Gayle from www.gayleisvolatile.blogspot.com

Josie said...

Whooo, saving the world! I loved the facts you gave about our generation and your thoughts were, as always, intelligent and insightful.
xo Josie
http://winksmilestyle.blogspot.com

Tamara Nicole said...

So crazy and funny! I'm with you girly. BUT I'm religious,wooo hoo a minority:-)

Hope you have a great week!

The Owl's Closet said...

This is a great post, Jennifer! It's very enlightening:) You're so on point when you mentioned that the older generations are responsible for what we have become. I do enjoy social networking especially since we are able to connect with people all over the world, though sometimes I do miss snail mail or just a good 'ol phone call:) Thanks for sharing this with us!

TheOwlsCloset.blogspot.com

Leia said...

I guess I'm a millennial too, but it seems like most of the research so far is based on Americans and doesn't quite describe me! I think we're the most accepting, tolerant generation ;)

Leia

Vintage Vixen said...

What an interesting post and as usual, immaculately written.
I'm born way out of your era:
Yes, I'm still astonished by the internet, don't understand Twitter and don't own any gadget with an "i" prefix. I didn't even bother with a mobile until I was in my thirties.
Being 1960's born we were the generation who grew up with racial and sexual equality, the pill and the sexual revolution and thought we were the ground breaking generation. xxx

anhesty said...

great post!

Robin said...

Very interesting! Us crazy millenials...

hippthingz said...

I love this post!

Lots of Love xx <33.

Kristin said...

So if I was born in '78...what does that make me? Old? HA! Fabulous perspective lady!

yiqin; said...

Ah great post :D

Sydney at PetiteGorgeous said...

Following now. You can have lovely blog :).

Cheryl: Oh to Be a Muse said...

i love my generation. i think, for the most part, we are awesome. if i were born before the 80s i'd feel behind the times, and if i were born after 2000s, then i'd feel like i'm missing out. i love being born in the 80s! go millennials.

http://ohtobeamuse.com

VeRo! said...

really glad to read your post....I learnt interesting new things!!!
well done girl!!!

Veronica
Blame it on the boogie

A Lot Like Fashion said...

Love your write up! :)
Love almost all of them!
XX
Follow my blog at http://fortheloveoffashionandotherthings.blogspot.com

Youri said...

i really like this post!

Lie said...

Really nice blog, honey!
and thank you so much for your lovely comment on my blog.
What about following each other?
xo

http://hairspraydenim.blogspot.com

November Grey said...

Thanks for stopping by. You have a fab blog too. (The title of your blog kills me!) SO perfect. Isn't that song amazing?

xx

http://novembergrey.blogspot.com/

Lie said...

of course I am following back, :)

http://hairspraydenim.blogspot.com

anna - lifeetc-blog said...

Thanks for commentin and following :) of course i'll follow back :)

check out my new post on the fashion at the mtv awards :)
www.lifeetc-blog.blogspot.com

Ayanna Michelle said...

WOW! I've been to about 20-odd blogs today (mainly fashion blogs) and this was the most informative and BEST post i've seen ALL DAY. Unlike some, even though I have a passion for fashion and things that are pretty and, lets face it, looking at pictures, I also love to read and was happy to see something like this. I think you are absolutely correct. Being apart of the 14.2 percentile I can say that I have experienced racism in my lifetime (I'll be 18 in November) in many forms. However it has NOTHING on how my parents grew up and what my ancestors witnessed. I hear a lot of "Back in my days". And I think to myself "Yeah there are a lot of really fucked up things going on today. But my people were getting lynched 60 years ago. We didn't have the same technology back then to prevent certain things. Everything is evolving. That's just the way it is! How would life be if everything just coasted a long for centuries at a time? At any rate, I love this post and your point of view!

http://quenchfab.blogspot.com

Mouthwash said...

great read. I had no idea I was a "millennial" haha. And, I love how you write.

Amber
ambersmouthwash

MarchMusings said...

So much of the post is thought-provoking. Great stuff. Very true that each generation is made by the what the previous ones did.

Jin said...

Hey thanks for your comment on my blog. Love your blog and love this article. It's amaaaaaaaaaazing!

As a Millennial I reckon the world is becoming better because of us, as trades and interactions are more frequent and people are more easy to get together, racism decreases and cultural difference narrows.

Though we have the global warming issue..its not just Millennial who created it!

I love socializing and talking to strangers you know! :)

http://remedyrouge.blogspot.com
(Streetstyle from Hong Kong)

Natalie said...

very cool blog! u r a fantastic writer :)

natalieoffduty.blogspot.com

indianmakeupways said...

hey thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a nice comment. Read this post of urs....its great. eventhough our blogs are poles apart as far as "content" is concerned I sure do like the simplicity & straightforwardness in urs. hey u found my blog and now u have a new follower. take care. have fun!

indianmakeupways said...

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Madeline Weber said...

HAHA very funny article.... i think you are totally right about "understanding our generation" i couldn't agree more
personally, though we have major flaws, our generation has produced such marvelous things as well!

xx http://madelineweber.blogspot.com/

Elaine said...

This was a great post. I agree that things have definitely changed since our parents' time. What saddens me is that the traditional nuclear family is dissolving into long-term boyfriends and girlfriends with multiple parent figures and unstable flip-flopping of homes.

CLOTHED MUCH, a modest fashion blog

SMASH said...

whoa, this was such an interesting read--thanks for sharing!

xx
MILK TEETHS

PearlsAndGreenTea said...

Interesting post. Great blog!

http://pearlsandgreentea.blogspot.com/

Living La Vida Fashion said...

really nice post and those thoughts are deeeeeep. xoxo

Flash! said...

great post!!!!
super interesting!
: )

ching said...

WOW thanks so much for this post. So i guess I'm a Millenial too. :)

Nav said...

this is such an interesting post!

made me think of a quote i once heard, as Monica has already posted: "Those who criticise our generation forget who raised it" - so true!

x

http://tantrummagazine.blogspot.com

rebecca said...

i'm very proud to be part of such a "politically progressive" generation, that genuinely makes me happy. however, i get soooo pissed off when the media portrays us as being the "yoof", hanging around and being anti-social. seriously, get a life.

http://itscohen.blogspot.com/

Couture Carrie said...

Very cool description of a generation, darling!

xoxox,
CC

My Republic of Fashion said...

Great post! I'd say we (Millenials) are saving and destroying the world, all at the same time! SarahD:)

Cafe Fashionista said...

Ohmigosh I'm a Millenial too! Is it weird that I feel as if I'm in some sort of exclusive club simply because I fall into this category? :P

Beth Dunn said...

A new term, I love it. They love to bash the new generation-but they are just generalizations. Don't take it to heart
xoxo
SC

Lara Woodbine said...

Great thought on the subject :)

Christina said...

Thanks for your nice comment on:

--------------------------------
http://christinakey.blogspot.com/
---------------------------------

:>


Wow, I think this post is really good! I am your new follower, of course! ;)

Wanna be mine?
http://christinakey.blogspot.com/

Thank u so much!
XX

TOPCOAT said...

This is an amazing post, thanks for sharing! Personally, I think our generation is so close minded... They are willing to believe only what the closest person to them tells them and they never open their brains again. Pretty sad, but I also agree that the generations above ours taught us to think like this.

xx

Amy said...

WOnderful post! I couldn't agree with it more...well, maybe I disagree on some things, but mostly I think it pretty much nailed our generation :)

THE DESERT FOX said...

interesting article-- i do agree...
x

Missy M said...

woah i'm with you on this one. We weren't born to use facebook or twitter it was created so we learnt to use it. Ok so we dont know that much about the cold war or maybe most wars but we dont fear technology. instead of discriminating against people we have evolved to embrace them. I'm in the UK and you are in the US yet when i type this i feel like i am actually saying these words to you. Does it make me ignorant? surely not as i can type as fast (if not faster) than i can talk. I LOVE this post.

Missy
Blending Style, Beauty and Fashion
http://thefashionfusion.blogspot.com

Tights Lover said...

Meh. I don't understand you kids these days...

Actually, I'm 33 (born in '77) so I guess that makes me an x-er. Sometimes it's hard to relate to either group, since there are x-ers who are almost 20 years older than me and Millennials that are over 20 years younger than me. I remember being in my mid-teens reading some disdainful article about Generation X in my parents' Newsweek magazine. We weren't motivated enough, we partied too much, etc. ...Hey, I was like 14...I partied too much?!

On the other hand, I feel I can relate to both generations. I blog (obviously). I'm no stranger to Facebook or texting. ...but I don't tweet...I'm not interesting enough...hahaha.

Mumbles said...

I really like this post, and I love being a millenial too

Marley

Julie (ROJ) said...

Hey. Sorry I don't comment much. I read in google reader since it's blocked at work and then can't get to the site. I wanted to tell you what a great little artcile this was though. Made my morning!