The Millennial Generation (also known as Millennials or Generation Y or Echo Boomers) is defined as those people born from the late 80s to early 2000s. (source). The term was coined by Strauss and Howe, initially to describe toddlers born in 1982 who would graduate from high school in 2000.
The exact dates are not important, but the general consensus is that this generation was born between 1980 add 1995. I’m no sociologist, but I believe a generation covers a period of about 20 years, from a philosophical, relational perspective. Outside of those years, one cannot relate to the experiences of that generation at all–which is ultimately what makes them a group. A better definition might be: those kids who entered adulthood during the 2000s decade.
Okay, so, if you grew up during the Millennial decade….that’s your generation.
Meaning, my four kids are not Millennials. No wonder I can’t relate to them! I can’t even relate to Millennials, let alone the next generation to follow….
I’m. Just. Too. Old!
So, what if I weren’t? Too old. What if I were a Millennial myself?
I started thinking about that this morning while eating my usual breakfast of eggs benedict with sausage on a bagel–hold the cheese–plus coffee. Working on cup #2–no, 3— at the moment–it will be a whole pot kind of Sunday. And I shouldn’t even be writing this, I should be working on my next novel.
Novels pay the bills (sort of); blogs save on psychiatrist bills.
But I came to this thought after browsing Goodreads (my most frequent online haunt these days). It’s a hipster hangout, and aside from a love for reading, I haven’t a thing in common with hipsters. I find them easy to hang with, though. Kudos on them. Some of their things are kind of annoying, though, like their grammar and love of animated GIFs. But, there are Chrome plugins to deal with that….
So these are my thoughts on if I were a Millennial.
1) As a Millennial, what makes me me is more accepted today than it was while Gen Xers were fighting against Boomer insanity. That took a toll. Look, we owe Gen X! At least a thank-you. They buffered us, did most of the heavy lifting. From what I’ve heard, we have no idea just how crazy their Boomer parents were. This only scratches the surface:
New Age Spiritualism. Free Love. More Religious Fundamentalism. Passing The Buck. Tent Revivals. Narcissism. Self-Congratulation. Accumulating (is that considered profanity?). Unchecked Greed. Raping The Environment. Consumerism. Short-Term Goals. Greed, Greed, Greed. Gimme, Gimme, Gimme. Social Welfare (Because I’m Not Responsible For My Own Choices). That’s enough…
They didn’t give a crap about their kids, that’s the bottom line. And don’t even get me started on the national debt. Like their personal debt, Boomers love to spend, spend, spend, without thought for who will pay for it. Even though many of them inherited from their parents, they get a reverse mortgage to live on, and their kids get nothing. After putting up with them for 40 years. Thanks, folks. One last screw-you in the end. By the way, if you also spent your reverse mortgage, don’t expect me to take you in.
2) The problems of life are more widely shared with others my age, as a Millennial. We have a lot more in common that people had in past generations, because we have been able to talk to each other far more easily, more universally. We don’t just automatically believe what our parents tell us. We don’t fall for brainwashing gimmicks. We aren’t easily moved to emotion by charismatic preachers. We don’t fall for bogus advertisements that generally caused Boomers to pee their pants with excitement.
3) Some of my fellow Millennials had straggling Boomer parents, which makes them honorary Xers. But, our biggest worry growing up was broadband latency, especially during a raid or video chat. Some of us died in war–may they rest in peace. That makes me pretty angry that some of them fell for it and joined up. But who started that war? A crazy Boomer. So we have that in common with Xers. We’re war buddies or something. Makes me think Xers (like my parents) should get a little more credit for that.
4) Patriotism? Pfft. Stop sending off 18-19 year olds to die and I’ll start to feel a little more love for my greedy country. Or, spend a little more time thinking about what really matters and then I’ll start feeling the love. Because, right now, I ain’t feeling it.
5) While I’m on the subject, what’s the point of voting anyway? I know you’re messing with the system. And even if you aren’t, my vote is just a popularity contest, while the national Board of Directors (so to speak) casts the real votes. I don’t buy it. Like every other gimmick. I don’t buy it, and none of my friends buy it either.
6) I talk to my friends a lot. Not just on the phone once a day. Continually. Every day, all day, 24/7. We know stuff before the news people know it. Call it the ultimate grapevine at the speed of…electricity.
7) What gets me really passionate? I mean, really riled up, full of anger? Spitting nails? I’ll tell you what: People taking what they want without concern for anyone else. We all live in this world together, so stop pretending it’s ALL YOURS FOR THE TAKING!
8) I recycle everything with the little symbol on it, and get angry when someone throws anything away. Idiots. Boomer is becoming a label for them. Waste stuff, you’re a Boomer.
9) I got a college degree on the cheap by first going to a junior college, and then finishing in the state university system. I made it out with only $25,000 in student loans. Some of my friends owe over $100,000 by going to a private college. Some of them got a free ride, some had wealthy parents, but most of us figured out a way around the college tuition/student loan scam. Another gift from Boomers in congress back in the 90s. Thanks, people. Should have left the USDE alone.
10) I’m working at Google as a software engineer and loving it! Every year, more and more older employees die or leave or go start their own company, making more room for people who I really can relate to very easily. I wouldn’t say I’m in favor of unions again, but what benefits all of us is more important than what benefits a few. Treat us all the same. Same benefits, same rules. And that CEO needs a cutback. That’s paramount on my mind. They make too much. It’s beyond too much–it’s Boomer-esque greed. I’ve got some ideas how to fix that….
What do you think, am I way off the mark, or did I nail it? If you’re a Millennial, please share your thoughts, whether you agree or not. I look forward to your comments.