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?

4 things nobody is saying about Bernie Sanders

The independent senator from Vermont garnered national recognition over the summer, polling just 7 percentage points behind Hillary Clinton in the Iowa Caucus. His populist platform resonates with young adults in particular, who plaster his image all over websites such as Tumblr and Reddit.

Source: reddit

As an independent, I support many of the tenets he champions. I admire his decision to refuse campaign contributions from Super PACs. I even have a soft spot for his punny “Feel the Bern” merchandising.

Nevertheless, I’m surprised he hasn’t been reviewed with a more critical eye. If you’re itching to vote for Bernie Sanders in 2016, consider these factors first.

  1. We’ve seen his strategy before – with lackluster results.

Hello, Bernie? 2008 Barack Obama called, he wants his campaign back.

Obama’s promises of “hope” and “change” were perhaps the most memorable messages of the 2008 election. Although the strategy was potent enough to secure his nomination, many Americans found those promises to be empty over the next four years.

Is Sanders falling into the same trap? So far, his platform offers similarly lofty expectations that fail to be supplemented by legitimate policy proposals. This is a proven recipe for nationwide dissatisfaction.

The election cycle is still young, but it would be a shame for history to repeat itself so soon.

  1. He is an independent running for the Democratic ticket.

There are two views on this bold move: A) It is a contradiction that goes against the spirit of identifying as an independent, or B) it is a necessary means of fighting the D.C. political machine, beginning by manipulating it from the inside.

It will be up to voters to decide where they stand.

Sanders seems to think the former, stating, “[There is] profound anger at both political parties, more and more people are becoming independent, the negative is, how do you set up a 50-state infrastructure as an independent?”

He would know, considering he’s the longest-serving independent in congressional history. Speaking of which. . .

  1. He is a career politician.

Sanders has spent over two thirds of his adult life as an elected official. In his 34 years of service to the state of Vermont, he has been a mayor, a House member, and a senator. Previously, he made four unsuccessful runs for office (twice for governor and twice for the senate).

In fact, his background is quite similar to his Democratic challengers, both notorious career politicians.

Source: POLITICANA

The entire presidential election so far has been characterized by anti-establishment themes and candidates. Is Sanders too political for his populist platform?

  1. . . .and what has he accomplished?

Honestly, not much.

During his 24 years in Congress, Sanders has sponsored 354 bills. Of those, three were signed into law and two were agreed to as simple resolutions.

Again, allow us to compare these numbers to his current competition.

Source: POLITICANA, govtrack.us

These numbers are slightly lower than Clinton’s (despite the fact that she only served in the Senate for eight years), and starkly contrasted to Biden’s.

Unfortunately, the quality of his legislation doesn’t make up for the lack of quantity. One of his laws offers additional compensation for disabled veterans (yay!). However, his other two laws simply erected a singular post office building each (meh).


What do you think?

Will Sanders be able to deliver on his campaign promises? Are you bothered that he’s running for the Democratic nomination, despite being a self-proclaimed independent? Is he like other career politicians? Has he been successful enough to justify his tenure in office?

Are you still “Feeling the Bern”?

Millennials according to the media

Source: Flickr via Colleen Simon for opensource.com

I am a Millennial. I was born in 1995 – the same year eBay launched, TLC topped the charts, and Time Magazine selected Newt Gingrich as “Man of the Year.” Based on my date of birth, I can learn exactly who I am according to today’s headlines.

I am clueless about cellphone etiquette, despite existing before the advent of smartphones, flip phones, and even texting. The Washington Post agrees, reporting that “a third of Millennials whip out their cellphones in public ‘for no particular reason’.” I suppose this is one of the many side effects of being raised with technology, and The Sims in particular. Additionally, I am distrustful of the digital economy involving personal security. Of course, everyone knows the over-thirty crowd loves identity theft.

Speaking of the economy, CNN states that “market chaos” is most harmful to Millennials such as myself. Therefore, it makes sense that I lack faith in the stock market – however, NBC News experts claim this is a problem as well. Why shouldn’t I give all of my excess income to Wall Street? After all, I’m not leaving the nest, and I’m crowdfunding my college tuition. Whether irresponsible or ingenious, I am changing the job market altogether as a result. That’s right, I’m the one who chose to be an unemployed college graduate.

In fact, my liberal arts education is likely why my morals are fast, loose, and up for political debate. I’ll put out in ten text messages or less, according to Mashable. I might even identify with the one third of Millennials who aren’t 100 percent straight. (I know nobody asked about my sexual preferences, but I let some researchers publish them in the Washington Post anyways.)

Thanks to Market Watch, I am just now realizing that growing up is hard to do. Is it because I have a bleak future, as The Week Magazine says? Is it because I’m reliant on social media, my parents, and memories that “only 90’s kids” remember? Is it because I’m investing my money in education, leaving myself at a loss for a mortgage, a 401k, and the stock market? Is it because I’m defined by the year into which I was arbitrarily born?


Major news media outlets report ad nauseam about Millennials: the “cohort of Americans born between 1980 and the mid-2000s” that makes up one third of the US demographic. We are polled, analyzed, and churned out as eye-catching headlines and statistics. We are labeled “diverse,” yet dissected by stereotypes based on our color, gender, sexuality, class, etc. We are framed in the context of conventional paradigms – but we are so much more.

My goal is to mitigate the negative portrayal of Millennials in the media. My goal is to demonstrate that we are capable of communicating without emojis. My goal is to promulgate ideas that might not appear on CNN, NBC, or FOX. My goal is to open up honest, bipartisan discussions to find common ground on issues that matter (not that cellphone etiquette isn’t dire to our survival as a species). This blog is ultimately about politics – but like my generation, it is about so much more.

Welcome to Politicana.