I think we’re all tired of hearing how bad Millennials are

Really

It’s probably about time we stopped with the whole “Millennials are bad at stuff” thing, and there may be a way that we Millennials could kill it. Kind of like how we’re killing off other unnecessary industries. 

Every month or so, there’s an article that says something like this: “Millennials are terrible at [thing] compared to [previous generation].” The latest one that I saw came from the New York Post and had to do with DIY skills and home repair. These articles pretty much get pretty much the same reaction every time, and it goes a little something like this: the publication points out a difference between the generations, the Millennials get angry about it, and they share it around to make fun of it, which causes it to get spread around even more. Here’s the real talk for you: that is exactly what those publications want. 

The grim truth of the matter is that traditional media is not doing well right now. The switch from print to digital media has been especially unkind to smaller, local news publications, and even larger organizations have felt some of the sting. This creates a new problem for media companies. In order to stay relevant, they need to compete in digital spaces. In order to do that, they need clicks. To get clicks, they do what everyone else does on the internet. They write the kind of garbage they know will get spread around.

To simplify it quite a lot, there’s a lot of money in advertising, but advertisers will only put ads in online places where there’s enough traffic to justify it. So clicks mean traffic is going to the website, traffic means the advertisers are happy, and when the advertisers are happy, the publication is making a profit. Again, that’s vastly oversimplified, but the basic truth is that no one cares whether you’ve shared or clicked on something in anger or in agreement. All that matters is that you clicked. 

To circle back to those “Millennials are terrible at things” articles, the reason they get written and published is that they are going to get clicks and shares and the people who write them know that. That’s the whole point. If I’m being really cynical about it, that’s the ONLY reason that kind of drivel gets published at all. 

So here’s my advice on the whole thing: if we really want the Millennials-are-terrible style of clickbait to not be written anymore, what we should really do is stop responding to it. Like a lot of the mildly obnoxious stuff that’s out there, responding to it fuels the fire, but ignoring it can make it go away. When publications start to realize that they are no longer getting clicks and shares on that kind of article, they’ll probably stop writing them.

But that’s just my two cents on the topic.

-PWC

3 thoughts on “I think we’re all tired of hearing how bad Millennials are

  1. I agree, yet when I voice similar things I wonder if I am unintentionally reinforcing the stereotype that “Millennials are whinny.” We aren’t above criticism, that’s for sure, and we are old enough to take responsibilities for our actions. That said, we didn’t grow up in a vacuum. No that doesn’t mean our short comings are our parent’s and school’s fault, but we should always keep context in mind.

    Like

    1. That’s a good point. We’d probably all do well to remember the contexts in which we grew up. There are some legitimate criticisms that anyone could bring up about Millennials, but I think that overall, the supposed generational differences that keep getting highlighted are mainly a ploy to make a quick advertising buck. You know… not to be cynical or anything.

      Cool blog, by the way!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I can see that as part of it. I think another component is that it is human nature to generalize. Also, we tend to examine other groups/people more than we do ourselves. After all, it was the hippy generation that raised us and certainly that has societal impacts on Millennials.

        Thanks for stopping by! Always appreciate new readers!

        Liked by 1 person

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