Hi. If you’ve taken the time to read my About page, you know why I think my blog might be of value to you. And if you’re still here, hopefully that means you agree with me (because why else would you still be here).
But this is a message to anyone that might be here even if they don’t think I have anything valuable to say.
A lot of people, Baby Boomers and Gen X, generally speaking, think that all young people are self-obsessed, believing their every thought is worthy of attention. Hence Twitter updates, selfies, and the endless amount of blogs and other means of expression granted by modern technology.
How do I know this? Well, for one, there’s the evidence provided in complaint-driven articles by older generations and market research firms (which anyone on Facebook or LinkedIn has seen, AKA “Millennials are ruining brand loyalty” “Millennials are ruining the diamond, housing, and napkin industry” etc. etc… see here for a list). But I’ve also experienced such criticisms in a number of casual and professional scenarios.
Here’s one: I have personally worked as a remote editor and content creator for a Gen X man trying to build his following and engagement (he was an author of business-oriented nonfiction). I managed and edited all of his blog posts and social media updates for him. He wasn’t aware of my age, only my qualifications, and so didn’t know that he was paying a young millennial to edit blogs which specifically bashed on millennials for a variety of things:
- Inability to be separated from their phone
- Inability to work in traditional workspaces
- Inability to socially interact with other humans
- Inability to maintain work ethic
- Inability to communicate or empathize with other humans
- Inability or inadequacy to be a “contributing member of society”
You can imagine my frustration in having to edit these blogs posts without changing the intent of his words. He never did learn my age, and for the duration of our relationship, I struggled with having to edit these blog posts wrongly (and childishly) calling millennials wrong on all accounts for things like the housing market, the way we spend money, the way we interact with the world, etc.
But, you know what millennials also do differently from older generations, making it into something they don’t typically understand and consequently dislike?
We have less brand loyalty and traditional advertising doesn’t work on us because we know what pandering sounds like. We are going to look into who you are as a company before becoming brand loyal. Are you environmentally conscious? Do you treat employees well? Do you interact with your followers in a respectful and relatable way?
Our access to internet and ability to communicate with anybody in the world has actually made us MORE empathetic and more of an activist generation than others. We have access to information, and we feel we can personally have an impact on something bigger.
Let’s leave the economy and job market out of this for now, but do older generations know why we don’t buy diamonds, shop at department stores, or buy houses? Aside from the fact that minimum wage hasn’t risen in years to match cost of living, or that entry-level positions and unpaid internships require 2+ years of experience, or that student debt has never been so severe, it’s because
1) millennials are pickier in their brand loyalty and
2) they’ll definitely buy a plane ticket to travel or a subscription to Netflix to binge their favorite shows (learn more in a future post about the necessity of mental well being in a budget) before investing in most other things—especially the things that earlier generations deem as milestones of success.
But, millennials (and Gen Z, which is a thing now) don’t need you to agree with them, and they already know you probably aren’t listening to them.
In all sincerity and kindness, this is my simple, straightforward message: If you don’t like my generation or what I have to say, you don’t have to read this.
If you think valuable content and self expression can come from anywhere, no matter the age or generational habit, read on 🙂