Millennials are defined by Strauss and Howe (Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation) as those born between 1982 and 2004. There’s something separatist sounding about the name itself, and millennials seem a little bit misunderstood. Here are some common criticisms that have been leveled at millennials, and what the real situation is.
“They Are Self Absorbed”
Yes, they might be a little too fond of selfies, and are always to be found in group photos, hugging, laughing and smiling at each other. They appear to be happy within their own tribe. Unlike some previous generations, millennials actually like each other, and themselves. They weren’t raised in an era of self-deprivation or self-blame, and so it’s true that they do feel more satisfied with themselves. Other generations may have been self-absorbed, like the Yuppies, but the Yuppies lived in an age of economic success, whereas it can feel a little hard to take the happy smiling faces of millennials when the economy is still so low. Chances are, if everyone was happy, no would mind the smiling faces of millennials on social media.
“They Don’t Respect Privacy”
The millennials have been charged with not respecting privacy, especially since every conversation online is like a group chat. They post private pictures and share everything about their private lives. But that’s partly because they embrace the group input, and feel that every opinion matters. If there was ever a generation that believes in “the more the merrier,” it’s millennials. They basically invented the concept of the “crowd.” Since they like each other so much, they figured out early on that many hands (and heads) make light work. Now we have a whole host of companies dedicated to taking advantage of many sources of thought, skill and labor from around the globe. We have crowd funding, crowd tasking and crowd ideas that are used to create cohesive wholes. If you really, really like to work in groups, the millennials have a spot for you.