Millennials in the media: 09/07/15

How most employers view Millennials. Source: Huffington Post

Wow! What a great week for Millennials!

Thanks to Forbes, I learned there’s a formula to get me motivated in the workplace (because being unemployed for months didn’t do the trick). Although “Millennials are different in a number of ways. . . [they] aren’t as different as many people think. . . [but] one-size-does-not-fit-all when it comes to training the next generation.”  For a moment there, I think they recognized that I’m a human being with individual traits or something.

Future employers aren’t alone; presidential hopefuls are trying to motivate me too. Although I prefer Hillary over Republican candidates, she made it awkward by thanking me for my vote in 2008. I could mull over my options by engaging in political discussion with my friends, but the New York Post reminded me that I don’t know how to have those – friends, that is.

I also learned that my credit sucks. My attempts to apply for a credit card are more likely to be denied, thereby lowering my FICO score even further. As a result, I’ve joined the 31 percent of my generation that has denounced credit cards altogether.

The good news? I don’t need good credit to apply for student loans! The bad news? My own debt is going to put me so far behind in life, I might not be able to help my kids pay for college. According to a research study by College Board, “Millennial parents will pay an average of $100,907.61 – not accounting for inflation– to send their children to a public college for four years, and that is without room and board, books or other costs.”

Maybe I should skirt around the social responsibility of furthering the species by becoming a nun. . . I would make one hell of a Catholic school teacher. After all, I am more likely than any other age group to be vexed by spelling and grammar errors. It looks like all of that texting has come in handy after all.

Despite all of this great news, the latest survey conducted by the Pew Research Center has me at a loss. For some reason, only 40 percent of people age 18-34 choose to identify as Millennials. Furthermore, I am more likely than any other generation to describe my peers as self-absorbed, wasteful, greedy, and cynical; older generations prefer the terms patriotic, responsible, hard-working, and willing to sacrifice when describing themselves.

The media savored the opportunity to point out how much I suck:

A majority of millennials don’t think they are millennials

Study Says Millennials Really, Really Hate Being Called Millennials

Millennials Sure Do Hate Other Millennials, According To Pew Survey

Millennials Are Pretty Terrible, According To A Poll Of Millennials

Show a little bit of pride, millennial generation

Interestingly, there were no headlines telling the Silent Generation to stop being posers – only 18 percent identified with their label, while 34 percent preferred to be called Baby Boomers and another 34 percent preferred to be a part of the Greatest Generation.

First, let’s ignore some of Pew’s methodology. I’m sure there’s a reason they surveyed twice more Baby Boomers than any other age group. I’m sure the researchers understood that descriptors such as responsible, hard-working, and willing to sacrifice typically increase with age, while being self-absorbed, wasteful, and greedy typically decrease with age (families and mortgages tend to have those effects). I’m sure their age markers are statistically sound, although more “Millennials” age 27-34 identify as Gen X-ers.

Pesky logistics aside, why am I so self-deprecating?

Maybe I’m less narcissistic than my older counterparts? Maybe just a little more self-aware? Maybe I don’t want to be represented by gaudy VMA headliners like Miley, Nicki, and, (I guess) Kanye? Maybe – just maybe – I’ve begun to internalize all of the negative connotations that come with being a Millennial, since I am repeatedly scapegoated for my predecessor’s problems.

Pew, what’s good?

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5 thoughts on “Millennials in the media: 09/07/15

  1. Well… Millennials in general do kind of suck. I may be somewhat self-deprecating, but I wouldn’t say that I suck, either.

    Personally I’m glad to not be reproducing. It’s not for concern for the planet’s resources or narcissism necessarily; I just don’t think I’d be a great parent. I’m 26, I’m not ready, and I may never be. That, and the fact that I saw enough classmates get pregnant directly out of high school Gotta love Catholic school.

    That last paragraph: YES.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. From the Greatest, Boomers, Millennials and Z-ers, I´ve pretty much encountered the same thing in regards to work, family, society and global spectrum. We all have the same problems in our generations, but they seem to be getting worse for each coming generation. They all agree the world is going to hell and the corporations are driving us there. Maybe my grandparents were right and politicians were less corrupt, corporations cared more and everything was cheaper and better quality (even family life and kids). I am sure each generation has said the same of the following one. No need to self-depreciate. Boomers were called damn hippies, X-ers were damn yuppies, Y-ers are damn millennials and Z-ers will be those damn “people who can´t work outside” and so on.. and so on..

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    1. You have an excellent point. Other generations have certainly been stereotyped as well. However, I think it’s problematic that the negative press about Millennials is a) everywhere, all the time (thanks to the media conglomerates), b) applied to everyone in our age group (not just a subset, like hippies) and c) reinforced by our own generation in a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Sarah! This was such an interesting read, especially for a fellow millennial such as myself, as well as a member of the media. I’m currently studying journalism at the University of Missouri, and while we haven’t specifically talked about the portrayal of millennials in the media in any of my classes, I certainly take notice of the things you point out in your post.

    Personally, I think there is so much coverage of the ‘millennial hate’ in the media because this is still a relatively new generation. As we see the actual generation grow older and mature, I think these types of ideas about millennials will begin to fade. Once the media has something new to complain about, they will take the opportunity to jump on it.

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  4. Hi,
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