The generation born between 1984 and 2004 (this is just a rough estimate, considering most generations are categorized in 20-year increments) is known disdainfully as the Millennials. Generation Y, otherwise known as Generation Me, is possibly the most disliked generation in our most recent history. The word “entitled” is most likely the first word that comes to mind when a discussion about the Millennials comes up in conversation, and rightfully so. According to an article by Mackenzie Dawson, “A recent survey found 71 percent of American adults consider millennials ‘selfish’ and 65 percent find them ‘entitled.'” (“STFU Millennials”) This just proves the point being made here: my generation (I say that only as a technicality, because I am not happy to be included in this nonsense) is the most entitled generation and simultaneously the one with the lowest work ethics to match the entitlement.
While some would argue that the entitlement exhibited by this generation is a positive thing (demanding nothing less than the best, empowered youth, etcetera etcetera), I cannot say that I agree even in the smallest amount. I look at people my age, enamored by their social media and smartphones, soaking in their celebrity gossip and the latest fashion trends, and I see a bunch of young kids with no set of morals or work ethics that want everything handed to them with no effort given in exchange. We are the generation raised by parents that feared for our broken spirits and self-esteem, and instead of giving us the strength to succeed regardless of the challenge, they encumbered us with the weight that comes with a lack of what it means to earn anything. We are the generation raised to believe that we are all special, we are all winners, and that the world is our pretty little plaything. But reality is harsh, and the truth is uglier than we could have ever imagined: we are specks on the face of a planet full of people ready to eat us alive, and Mommy is the only person who ever really WANTED to kiss our boo-boos.
Generation Me is full of entitled, selfish, self-absorbed young people who want the expensive party lifestyle without having to put forth any work into earning it. This is where we get creative: we have created lazy “jobs” for ourselves that bring in the big dollar signs with so little effort. The perfect example of this is the YouTube fame we have created for ourselves: people my age make more money than teachers making senseless videos with little to no educational value while the rest of us work 40-plus hours a week just to pay our bills. We are a group of youth obsessed with ourselves and intent on having everything we want for nothing. Did you expect more from us? We are not our parents after all. No, we are much more “enlightened” than that.
Young adults nowadays have grown up in an environment of instant gratification, large amounts of praise with little to no criticism tied into it, and parents that make us the bosses instead of the other way around. Having been raised by a single mother who worked multiple jobs and pursued her degree to make our lives easier, I see how much damage she unknowingly did by making my life so easy. I never knew the value of money, only that mom always had it and if I asked nicely and pouted a bit, my whims would be met. I never knew the value and meaning of hard work, and earning everything you had in life because I was told that my only “responsibility” was to go to school. My mother woke up though and changed my reality for the better (though I didn’t see it that way initially): she forced me to get a job and I began paying for my own toiletries and other desires. This is the moment when my realization of the fools I share a generation with kicked in. I look around and I see a group of youth that are not only entitled and selfish, but they are completely blind to it and justify every single bit of it.
You and I are not the only ones that see this technology-obsessed, self-absorbed generation as a problem of sorts. Employers are beginning to see us as divas in the workforce, and without jobs, there is no money. But we’ve been taught that without money, welfare will be your safety net. Many Millennials expect and often times demand the jobs we really want without any experience or any effort behind that pursuit. Most Millennials also have little to no sense of gratitude, and this is something that I find to be so impertinent to our growth as spiritual human beings. According to the article by Mackenzie Dawson, “Whether they’re hoping to get a job, some advice or help on a school project, many younger millennials seem to have missed the memo on how to network without irritating the people who are in a position to help. After all, it’s only networking if you’re successful at it.” (“STFU Millennials”) This statement supports my previous observation regarding Millennials and employers: we have a huge issue with being grateful and having a realization of the need to earn our place in society, and employers see this. Our parents and teachers see it, our superiors and mentors see it, and even most of us that are in this generation are beginning to see all the signs adding up.
I am still young, and I am still learning every day how to break bad habits I built up in my youth. I am still learning how to be truly grateful, and what it means to work hard to earn everything my son and I have. I am learning to rely less on technology and more on intuition and being self-reliant. I am learning to step back and really look at this generation and see it for what it is: a group of entitled, self-absorbed wannabe hippies with little to no sense of work ethics and morals that have lines so blurred they may not even be there anymore. Some call us the generation of information or the generation of self-discovery. While I find much of this to be manifesting itself as truth in my own life as I get older, I look at young people around the age of 12-18 years old and I want to shake them all awake. These kids want everything handed to them on a silver platter, and oftentimes they go so far as to demand it without any concern about what it takes to actually bring that into reality. We want everything our hearts desire without having to lift one finger to get it, and the world does not take kindly to those who do nothing. Darwin called this the “survival of the fittest”, and you cannot become fit without committing to a workout routine first. The Millennials are defined as Generation Me, and I cannot think of a better name for the most entitled generation our country has yet to see. The next generation has yet to be defined or named, though, and I have a feeling they may turn out worse than we are. Good luck, Generation TBD: we didn’t do much of anything to build a bright future for you all, we were too busy looking at our social media feeds on our smartphones!
Dawson, Mackenzie “STFU Millennials: 5 Easy Ways Not to Act Entitled” New York Post. Web. 27 April 2015.