We have all heard the negative stigmas that come from being born into a generation filled with new technological advancements, the growth of social media and electronic devices, and the birth and emergence of very liberal ideas. To many, being born as a millennial, means being born into a society of lazy, good-for-nothing, liberals, who do nothing but sit at home and demand change, while scrolling through their cell phones. However, as a millennial, I am here to attest that we are more than that.
Being a millennial means being able to change, adapt, and understand.
This means that we are constantly being bombarded with new thoughts, ideas, and movements and we have to learn to adapt. We are taught to think on our feet, and to be ready for change. With the ability to connect with a larger audience through the use of social media, as well as being able to tap into a whole new level of awareness, this also means that we are more prone to being accepting, understanding individuals.
We know our technology.
Yes, older folks love to give us lip on how much we are on our phones or computers, and how much we love social media, and cell phones. More than not, we are hit with the line, “back in my day,” which usually is continued with a talk that involves words such as “hard work,” and “morals,” or how they were productive and not lazy. However, the first time their phone has a glitch or they do not know how to operate a computer, we are the first ones they come to for help. Here is the thing, it is not wrong with us being aware and educated about the gadgets and useful materials of our time.
The definition of Millennial is not “lazy.”
I simply have to put it out there — we know what hard work is. We do not expect everything to be handed to us. Admittedly, yes, times are a lot easier for us than they were to many boomers, but that is not our fault, we are products of our time. Calling us lazy for driving to work or using calculators, or other things that ease our load is not us being lazy; it is us being smart and using these products to our advantage. We recognize that hard work equals reward, and many of us do not have things handed to us, we have had to work hard for what we have or aspire to have. As a millennial, I would like to speak for other millennials, and say that we do not appreciate the stereotypes and stigmas associated with our generation.
Yes we have experienced hardships too.
We understand that many people prior to the millennial generation experienced a lot of turmoil and war. We understand that there have been many events that perhaps have shaped many other generations before us but with that being said, we do not have it easy, and it has not always been happy. In our generation, we have experienced 9/11, an event that heavily altered the world, and our view of those who look any different than us. It resulted in bloodshed and the deaths of many many innocent lives. We have also withstood wars, natural disasters, diseases such as ebola, shootings, bullying, especially with the increase in mediums in which bullying has become more easy to do, suicides, and many many other life-altering and catastrophic events.
We see what happens, we are not blind to the world.
We are misunderstood, but have good intentions.
I read an article by the Washington Post titled, “Five really good reasons to hate millennials.” The writer states, “Millennials care less about free speech than other generations.” I am sorry to break it to you, sir, but no we do not. However, we do think that perhaps freedom of speech is a reason why a lot of hate and -isms such as racism and sexism are so rampant in society. Just because you can do something does not mean you should. We are simply wary that this freedom can do if not used properly. I mean even the title of the piece had the word “hate,” in it. Why? Simply because he could. We know that having freedom is a privilege, that is the difference. We know when we need to bite our tongues.
We are not selfish for maintaining a positive self-esteem.
Yes we take selfies. Yes we post on Snapchat and Instagram. Yes we talk about ourselves a lot. But here is the thing: we are constantly having to compete with the media and what it tells us that we should have to look like, without acknowledging that photoshopped images are not real. We are constantly put down for not being a size zero, for not having pearly, white teeth, for not having abs and a pretty smiles, and perfect eyebrows and eyeliners, designer clothes, fancy cars, etc. So what IS the big problem when we decide to love ourselves for who we are despite what we hear and see around us?
Of course we will never hear the end of our generation and the problems that it came with, however with every con, there is a pro, and many choose to ignore that.
We are not terrible people, we are a people that is simply using its resources and trying to stay alive in a society that repeatedly attacks us for using what we have to our advantage, while stereotyping us as a whole.
I am a millennial, but I am also hard-working, know how to use technology while knowing the harms that come with it and choosing to do good instead, I care about others, I am aware that we have bad seeds, but when you look at the overall picture, we are accomplishing many things.
I am proud to be a millennial, I am proud to know that although there are many harms in the status quo, I choose to make the best of it.
We would appreciate it if we were understood instead of judged. I am an individual, I am not feeding into every label out there that suggests anything other than what I mentioned above. I am a good person and I refuse to be told otherwise. Together, we millennials, can impact the world.