Things Older Generations Just Don't Understand About Millennials
Baby boomers and Generation X members sometimes have a lot of trouble understanding the perspectives and actions of their descendants. The world today is an entirely different place than it was half a century ago, which has led to a massive gap in empathy and comprehension among the generations. Many people belonging to the older generations don't understand why millennials aren't buying homes, having children or using doorbells anymore. That’s why we’re here to clear up some misconceptions.
Being Young Doesn't Mean You're a Tech Genius
Millennials are intrinsically and permanently linked to their electronic devices. All ages and all generations use laptops, smartphones, tablets and desktop computers. But millennials rely on their electronics for information, communication and financial gain in a way that previous generations never have.
Participation Trophies Don't Matter to Anyone
Many boomers have complained about participation trophies and certificates. The act of rewarding a child for merely showing up is a shocking idea to many. Still, the funny thing about participation trophies is that millennials didn't decide to make them.
Millennials Aren't Children or Teenagers Anymore
It can be difficult to remember that, as you get older, so does the rest of the world. While millennials were once children just like any other generation, they’re now adults. Older generations seem to assume that millennials are still teenagers or children.
Their Wages Are Different Now
Wages are higher than they were during the 1950s and 1960s, that's true. But when you account for inflation and the rising cost of living, salaries just aren't keeping pace. The cost of rent has nearly doubled since 1960, and the price of a home has risen by 73%.
Fact-checking Is Necessary
When a young adult is on their smartphone, it doesn't necessarily mean that they're scrolling through social media. In addition to using their phones for work, many millennials use their phones during normal conversations to fact-check different topics or points. While it may seem strange to older generations, ensuring that the information they’re sharing is correct is crucial to millennials.
They Know Global Warming Is Something to Worry About
Though global warming has been a contested subject for the last few decades, many millennials not only believe that it’s real but also know it’s something to be seriously concerned about. Rising global temperatures and sea levels could significantly impact the way future generations live.
College Is Optional for Them
The baby boomer generation was raised to believe that a college education was the key to a successful career and a happy life. They then instilled that belief in their children, and those children passed it on to their children. While these ideas came from a well-meaning place, they’ve led to a current debacle.
Everyone Has the Right to Fight
Baby boomers and members of Generation X seem to forget just how much protesting occurred when they were young. Civil rights, anti-war and feminist movements are all examples of public protests and social groups that existed long before millennials.
Having a Child Is Expensive for Them
The age of the housewife ended long ago, and with it, inexpensive child care went out the door. Also, hospital care has risen in price and complexity, with some institutions charging new mothers a fee for merely holding their babies after they’re born. This is starkly different from the way children came into the world in the 1960s.
Jobs Expect More of Millennials
The act of getting hired is completely different now than it was 50 years ago. And once you’re hired, the tasks you're expected to complete are often varied, complex and multi-departmental. Rather than being responsible for one aspect of a job, millennials are expected to be masters of their workplaces.
They Have More Apathy but Less Fear
Millennials, as a whole, are far more cynical and apathetic than previous generations. Many have lived to see the rise of the personal computer in the home, the growth of the internet, the War on Terror and violence in schools and public areas.
Chasing Dreams Is Meaningful to Them
Older generations may remember being told that their dreams were just that: dreams. Many potential artists, actors, writers and musicians ended up working in factories or offices because their families told them that was the only way to be successful. But millennials are turning down well-paying jobs that don't help them reach their dreams and goals.
Most Office Jobs Are Passé
The cubicle-based office is going extinct in America. Millennials — warned of the dangers of submitting themselves to boring office jobs — decided to avoid the office and stay at home instead. Remote work is more prevalent today than it has ever been before, allowing young workers to file paperwork and fill out spreadsheets from the comfort of their couches.
Takeout Isn't Only Preferred — It's Necessary
Because many millennials work multiple jobs, they have little time to cook for themselves in the rare moments that they’re home, have food in the refrigerator and aren’t busy doing something else like sleeping. Time and tiredness ensure that millennials aren't slaving over hot ovens but rather heading out for quick meals.
They Feel Doorbells Are Pointless
As soon as cellphones entered the hands of the millennial generation in the early 2000s, doorbells became superfluous. A phone call or text is a direct, quiet way to let someone know that you’re at their home. A doorbell, on the other hand, disturbs every person in the house.
Wine Is Fine
Wine came back into fashion with the millennial generation. It’s a slightly healthier option than beer that won't immediately cause you to gain weight, and millennials were attracted to the sophistication associated with wine.
Virtual Learning Is Just as Effective
There's no shame in earning an online degree or attending a virtual school. Technology has improved, allowing instructors to communicate and lecture via webcams and microphones.
Comparing Salaries Is Beneficial
Talking with your coworkers about what each of you makes was not only taboo in days of yore — in some cases it was illegal. While some companies still adhere to this rule, many others encourage their employees to compare salaries. Fairness is an imperative idea for most millennials, so making sure that you're earning a proper amount is crucial.
Consistent, Constructive Feedback Is Important
Rather than waiting for quarterly performance reviews, millennials expect constant feedback about their performance to do their best. Small, consistent errors or sudden large ones are expected to be communicated to them via their managers immediately. Bringing up a past mistake long after it has happened is a terrible way to help a millennial improve their performance.
Cohabitation Is a Smart Move
Cohabitation before marriage is still sometimes thought of as religious sin and social faux pas. But modern relationships require modern solutions, and with marriage becoming a less attractive option for many long-term couples, cohabitation has become a requirement more than something to avoid.
Starter Homes Aren't Worthwhile
Millennials find it amazing that young families or newly married couples could afford to purchase "starter homes" back in the day. The cost of a home has risen so much within the last few decades that many young adults feel that the first home they buy will also be the last.
Online Streaming Services Are Better Than Cable
Cable television is dead. Why spend $100 or more a month on a service that only provides certain programs at specific times when you can have every single film or TV show that strikes your fancy always available, and at the tips of your fingers?
Community Gardens Are Fantastic
The idea of "the suburbs" has transformed within the last decade. An emphasis placed on community togetherness and recreation has replaced the emphasis on manicured lawns and brightly painted homes. Many neighborhoods are built with community centers inside or near the entrances to these developments.
Google Gives Great Advice
Though some millennials fervently hold onto older search engines, the majority rely on Google to solve their day-to-day problems and answer questions. In the past, children turned to their parents (or the library) for advice or information. However, many millennials were raised by daycare workers, television programs and VHS tapes.
Instagram Is the New Photo Album
Physical photo albums are things of the past thanks to the internet. Facebook photos, Imgur and Instagram allow people of all ages and types to save their precious memories online. Rather than going to the local drugstore and handing over a film canister or disposable camera, millennials make virtual photo albums to share with family and friends.
Shopping Is Better Online
Department store browsing has now become internet browsing. Instead of driving to a store, parking the car and spending an inordinate amount of time looking at products, consumers can search through thousands of items from the comfort of their desks or sofas.
The Internet Is Key for Getting a Good Job
Most companies only hire through online applications. Paper resumes are now Word or Google Drive files that simply need to be uploaded to the right place. This process has proved limiting for people in older generations attempting to find new careers; many don’t have a strong online presence.
Quitting Doesn't Mean Giving Up
The idea of quitting something you don't enjoy was once considered a personality flaw. If your father signed you up for baseball, but you actually loved to run track, you'd still be seen as a quitter if you left the baseball team and joined track. This concept makes no sense to millennials.
Personal Space Is a Must
Older generations were often part of large families — the "boom" in "baby boomers." But family size has dwindled since 1950, with many young people deciding not to have children at all. This is a significant reflection of how important the self and personal space are to millennials. While older generations prefer a few or many companions, millennials need their alone time.
Millennials Are a Diverse Group
No matter what, no two millennials are the same. A lot happened between 1981 and 1996, and the political, social and religious beliefs held by Generation Y (the millennials) vary considerably. Clumping everyone together under one name can be frustrating because, while many young people share common traits and qualities, every millennial is a genuine individual.