eneration Y or Millennials, here are 10 facts about the group that is coming of age between multi-billionaire tech IPOs, endless wars and game-changing demographic shifts.
Passionate, informed, rude...is this really the way we are?
1. They're Informed:
Most millennials are well informed about current events. I believe that being aware of the world around us is very important and makes a person much more interesting.
2. They're Passionate:
Many millennials are passionate about any number of topics. Young commentators are quite capable of debating the most esoteric subjects. However, most of their perspectives have been acquired through reading and not from real life experiences.
3. They're Critical:
Millennials are resentful towards the older generation. As baby boomers, we hated the music of our parents, the way they dressed, their aversion towards sexual freedom and their efforts to avoid risk. But, I do not remember criticizing them for the oil embargo or the Vietnam War (we criticized Johnson and Nixon). To their credit, millennials are more focused on social injustice and mistakes made by their predecessors. In my opinion, today’s youth is deeper and more substantive, but overly critical at times.
4. They're Idealistic:
Millennials have not accomplished very much to this point, so their criticisms sometimes hollow and too idealistic. Most have not been married, had children, served in the military, owned a home, etc. Unfortunately, they are accruing debt at a frightening pace because of the higher cost of education.
5. They're Rude:
At times, millenials are rude and disrespectful. They are unable to control their emotions and are quick to attack. With age, they will learn to be more discreet and focused on societal issues as problem solvers rather than commentators.
6. They're Liberal:
Millennials are predictably liberal and do not realize that many in their midst will become more conservative as the years pass. Appreciating what you have accumulated in life and trying to protect it becomes more important over time. I have many friends who began life as flaming liberals and now have come over to the “dark side.”
7. They Can Be Violent:
Millennials are quick to endorse violence. Baby boomers did more than their fair share of protest, but violence occurred most often when the establishment instigated it. Today, young people are prepared to go to war over issues that are best resolved in negotiations.
8. They're Apathetic:
Young people in general have not proven to me that they are not apathetic. The PolicyMic readership is greatly involved and needs no encouragement to vote and be civically responsible, but I believe the vast majority of millennials are not this way.
9. They Protest Capitalism:
Millennials aggressively protest against capitalism and affluence. I am unsure whether this is because they do not believe they have opportunities in these regards or because they believe that affluence is inherently evil. This issue has become a major sore point for some baby boomers.
10. They're Skeptical:
I am skeptical that millennials are receptive to the lessons learned by their predecessors. They believe the older generation has screwed up the world, want to dismantle the establishment and rebuild it from scratch. This is not going to happen.
Note from the Author: I have enjoyed my experience with PolicyMic enormously. The opportunity to hear new and fresh ideas is exhilarating, and the debates are stimulating. Yet, I feel frustrated by some of my most aggressive opponents and the comments I read on the site. Terrorists, bigots, pedophiles, misogynists, liars, frauds and cheaters are our enemies, not an older class of Americans.