Do Millennials Deserve Criticism?

Millennials are a target for criticism because they are wired differently but being different isn't always bad

December 12, 2016

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Many older generations feel that millennials are too concerned with their phones and the generation is often considered lazy. But there are reasons to celebrate millennials.

Millennials. By definition, millennials are individuals born from 1980 until about 2004 (hence the name millennial—they are the first people born into the new millennium). But the time millennials were born seems to be their least defining characteristic. Many people consider them the “ trouble generation,” thinking that they are lazy and entitled. However, others would disagree that millennials could be the salvation of our society.

Of course, not every single millennial should be considered bad. After all, there are troubled teens and angry adults no matter the generation marker they were born into. Millennials are not deserving of the bad impression they are given, and now millennials need to prove that people have misconceptions about this generation. Dawn Maxwell, 44, part time owner of the Iron Horse Grill in Round Lake worries about hiring younger people for fear of driving away the restaurant’s older customers.

According to Maxwell, “ It’s not that I don’t like all millennials, it’s just that our customers here at the Iron Horse are typically older folks.We have tried to hire youngins, however they just didn’t seem to grasp that this wasn’t a ‘chill spot’ for their friends, but a place to have a nice breakfast or lunch.”she said. She also stated that millennials seem to be too in tune with the technology around them. 

There are also complaints that millennials are too disconnected from reality because they’re too connected to their phones. Studies show the average Millennial spends 18 hours per day using any type of digital media. And 90 percent of young adults use social media, which is up from 12 percent in 2005, the Pew Research Center reports. But scientists at the National Institute of Mental Health say the human brain continues to mature until age 25. And if millennials’ brains are constantly assaulted by backlit screens, some researchers worry they might not develop in the same way as their parents’. While there are definitely negative repercussions to this type of technology use, it could also be the beginning of an evolution to a group of humans who are more plugged in and who think on a different level. 

Technological savvy and a rerouted brain are beneficial, as is the mentality millennials have about work. “Today’s young job seekers have grown up with a startup mentality,” wrote Sanjeev Agrawal in his article, “Six Reasons Millennials are the Best Workers.” “The value of embracing failure has been etched into their psyche by entrepreneurs and tech titans like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk. So, unlike past generations, they are not necessarily looking for stability.”

Jean McCue, owner of The Pizza Place, believes that millennials have a strong work drive regardless of how others view the generation. “ I hire millennials because I want them to have a chance without being criticized,” McCue said. “I haven’t had many issues when it comes to my employees, which are or course the younger generation, so truthfully I believe that they aren’t much different than us older folks.” 

Ultimately, just because millennials are more reliant on technology and just because their brains may work a little differently does not mean they should be passed up or criticized. 

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