Hello Beeple people,
I'm offended. Just kidding ;) but I do have something to say about Millenials and the not so positive image that is given to this generation. First of all and according to my research on the internet, Gen Y and Millenials are the same generational cohort. In essence they are the individuals who were born between 1977 and 1994 (years may slightly vary according to different sources). That being said, I am indeed one of those infamous Millenials.
It seems everyone is taking a jab at us lately and I'm getting a little sick of hearing the same generalizations and pointless accusations. We are either too sensitive or too entitled. We are either too connected but then disconnected. That being said, I would just like to put in my two cents about all the negativity surrounding our generation and share my point of view on this non-sense as you will realize that much of it is actually history repeating itself in different ways.
Every younger generation seems nuts to the previous ones
Yes, yes. We've heard it all. We are the overly sensitive who had classes cancelled when Hillary lost the elections because we were "upset". What a demanding bunch we are. Not like any one else ever skipped class for important social events in the past, say like five thousand fans, mostly young girls, crowding the upper balcony of the airport's arrivals building Friday February 7th 1964 to welcome The Beatles to America. Nahhh! Screaming Beatle fans who were so...oh what's the word I'm looking for...oh yes, upset, that they fainted for the love of music?! Pfff! Of course not. Just for the record, I would have been first in line. But this is what I mean by history repeating itself. The younger generation of individuals will always seem like a bunch of crazy people to the previous more experienced and understandably so. We weren't born at the same time and the world was a much different place for everyone of us. The veterans who watched their kids scream and cry deliriously at a Beatles' concert didn't understand the music revolution their children were experiencing and most probably, their interest for the most part may have been focused elsewhere at their age. It is only normal.
Gen Y, the entitled
Let's go back to where this entitlement could have sprung from. For the most us Millenials, we have grown in a society that has largely stimulated us to ask questions and encouraged us to be free. Take a look at Sesame Street: forging dialogue, singing, teaching us how to mingle with individuals who are different than us and fostering curiosity! Then we get to elementary and high school where we are graded on oral presentations, team projects and creativity. Who were we watching on TV then? Amazing movies like Back to The Future and Ferris Bueller's Day Off were on the big screen and taking us places we'd never been. Remember how Who were inspiring our styles and thoughts on the radio? Madona, NKOTB, Bonjovi, Guns n' Roses and many other revolutionary bands (I was still on The Beatles as well). In my case, I had already been using a computer mouse for quite some time and was gaining agility and speed with my typing. Yes, we used books for our projects and the teacher wrote on a chalkboard.
Next comes CEGEP and university where you will actually lose marks if you do not participate in class i.e. raise your hand and ask questions or present your work in front of the class and defend your thesis in graduate studies. I don't know about my other fellow Millenials, but ICQ and MSN became huge and that's when I truly became master of my keyboard, managing at least three conversations at once. Already this was like texting but on the computer. More than any other generation, we have been exposed to more cultural differences and have witnessed if not contributed to the important changes that took place in the so-called traditional family household (gay and lesbian movement, transsexual movement for example). We saw the previous generation suffer or were told about their hard times and this inspired us to change or to want to make it better. Just like your generation did by fighting for causes that were important and made the path easier for those who followed.
Now in the work force: of course by now we are not shy to speak up. Of course we'll challenge existing and old systems that make no sense for 2016. We have been wired to do so for quite some time. Also, did you not hire us to "initiate change" and be a "team player?" Yes you did or please stop putting that in your job descriptions. Previous generations seem to forget that they too were once young and ambitious. Back in Baby Boomer days and a little later, hardly anyone needed a university degree to get a good paying job that would last you a lifetime. You could step out of high school and be told by an employer "come on in and we'll train you!" and voilà, nothing like learning on the job as you go. That means that those folks were probably say 19 at the oldest when they began working and that is how and why they easily racked up those famous "30 years of experience". Someone trusted them and gave them a chance while having less education in most cases.
At least 40 years have past since the days where a high school diploma sufficed. Now? The minimum requirement is a bachelor's degree to make it in the work force. Yet, four years or more later, with internships often done without pay, we are told we "don't have experience".....haaaaa did I miss something here? Did you NOT want the degree or what? Even students who worked during their studies still manage to not have the "pertinent" experience. Now who's being entitled, really? Who is power tripping just a little in his big corner office (that really doesn't impress us Gen Y by the way). I often feel like responding for my next fellow graduates entering the workforce "and what about you, sir? Did you have what it took straight out of high school? Did you have those five years of experience?" Yeah, didn't think so. Someone gave you a chance and you gained their trust and that's great, what about us? We studied and now we really would like to work. On top of this, Boomers are living longer (god bless) and are still occupying jobs, making it even more competitive for younger generations to find their place. Are we so off-base to be a little frustrated?
Don't get me wrong, we definitely have to prove ourselves in the workforce as well. However, remember that we were encouraged to "think different" and I quote the brilliant Steve Jobs. He wasn't a Gen Y now was he? How great a leader was this man? Just look at what your reading this from, he influenced whatever product your using. Yet, we, the younger followers who are using and loving this technology are to blame?
It is only normal to have generational clashes, as there have always been. We weren't born at the same time and also, you haven't been our age in a long time. But it's all good, we understand, we're sensitive like that or so you taught us to be.
Gen Y, the scandoulous
Meanwhile, technology is evolving at a speed we can hardly keep up with and greatly, this has enabled us to be more flexible and efficient. Indeed, our group is no longer impressed by suits and ties and the marble floors. Rather, give us wifi and trust and we'll get the job done. This seems to be quite the issue with previous generation. I don't mean a power suit is no longer impressive, but depending on the actual role you have, I don't believe that dressing with a "complet cravate" is necessary every single day to do your work. It shouldn't affect your performance, or in my opinion, should make you perform even better since you are a more comfortable and probably more confident. Yet, we still hear of stories where a nice pair of dark jeans are simply unacceptable...interesting, coming from the generation of individuals who most likely wore go-go boots combined with hot pants and tights at work. But no, we are the scandalous ones, I insist.
Same goes for the work environment, depending on what you do, it is now common to work from home or remotely. Not that we were the ones who created the technology, but Millenials definitely were the instigators to making this movement acceptable: we were the first to complete degrees online and work from coffee shops. Since we saw our boomer parents working day and night in hard corporate jobs, it changed our views on work-life balance and inspired us to fight for flex hours, working remote. Meanwhile, previous generations also benefit from this. Why, two years ago, I spoke to a 46 year old mother who was all proud to be able to be there for her children on Halloween night since she now worked from home. But please, continue to point the finger on us, we are Millenials, what do we know? we have no experience.
Gen Y, who raised you?
I'd like to end by saying to be careful who you accuse since Gen Y can easily turn around and say "ok, but who raised us?". Who dared to expose us and stimulate us to be these horribly outspoken, pro-environmental, high-tech and multicultural creatures that we are? Why, the same passionate generation who screamed at Beatles concerts, the same generation who marched down the streets for peace, women's rights or to voice their opinion on the war in Vietnam, the same generation who let their hair down at Woodstock, the same generation who couldn't say they were gay or unhappy because it was unacceptable and taught us to speak up and seek help so as to not suffer the same fate, the same generation who wished they would have travelled more and told us not to wait until later. The same generation who pushed us to do what we love but "FINISH UNIVERSITY!!!". Finally, it was the same generation who loved us and wanted the best for us.
Our world is what it is today because of our brave veterans, our hard working boomers, and our rocking Gen Xs. Now if only we'd realize that we all have our brilliance and our weaknesses but most importantly, that we can all learn so much from one another going forward. We aren't perfect, we know, god we know! But so weren't you at our age. For example, we are fully aware we didn't invent the whole "bio food" movement. However, somewhere between our ancestors who harvested the land and Gen Y, çTV dinners happened (circa 1953). Seemed like a great idea then, but along the years we eventually realized that fresh produce versus mass production is healthier and these bio products began surfacing. There! How's that for not entitled? And boomers were never blamed for the whole TV dinner invention in the process. They were trying to be practical and modern for crying out loud!
It would be nice to focus on the kindness and positivity that we too are striving for in this world. Alas, as with every other generation, it will most probably only be in contrast to the younger generation following ours and when we ourselves will be old and critical that our achievements will rise and shine. History repeating.
Peace, as one.
A fellow Gen Y who still believes the best music was in the 1960s herself,
N.B. All Gifs from GIPHY
My name is Ivana. I love photography and meeting people. I hold a Master's in counselling psychology and work as a career consultant. Music is my fuel and an important source of energy in my life. I drive my vespa around the city and I love what I do! :) About this blog: me on my artistic soap box!
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