Well, if you read what older folks (people my age) say on social media, you’d think the millennials are the laziest, dumbest, ignorant, and the most narcissistic generation EVER in human history. I think reality is much more complicated than these general statements.
What is a millennial? These are the young people born between the 80s and mid 90s. In other words, they’ll (barely?) reach adulthood by the beginning of the 21st century. From my observation, laziness, stupidity, ignorance and narcissism aren’t the sole commodities of the millennials. In fact, I bet baby boomers (the generation to which I belong) have heard the same complaints about our rock music, our weed smoking and our tendency to get too groovy. Have our old memory so easily forgotten the psychedelic 60s? Does anyone remember the event called Woodstock? Some of us are known for smoking enormous amount of weed while listening to rock music or demonstrating against the Vietnam War or having sex with our unshaved bodies in the great outdoors. Far out? I think we’re all products of our own generation and our weaknesses express themselves in different manners through different media. We’re all humans with huge flaws. The unfortunate thing for millennials is that they now have the social media (which they’ve mastered) to demonstrate those flaws for all the world to see. They aren’t both masters and slaves of social media. My generation luckily has no means to show off our own stupidity.
Before we blame millennials, let’s be very clear that our generation (the older folks) invented things like the internet, the iPhone or whatever favorite toys these “annoying” little millennials are using. In other words, WE made THEM (if our complaint is indeed legit). The problem isn’t the age of the millennials that made them flawed. The problem is that our invention of new media (and all sorts of advanced technology) have run way ahead of our wisdom (and this includes old guys like me). What we have isn’t a millennial problem. What we have is an ethical problem. What we have, indeed if we do have a problem, is an educational problem. If we criticize the millennials, we need to ask harder questions to those who educated them, starting at the home. Are we bringing them up in wisdom? I don’t have concrete answers, but I believe we often are asking the wrong questions and launching half-true accusations.
Therefore, every time we look at some social media meme that mocks the millennials (or any generation), we would be all the wiser to say that these are only individual cases of stupidity. Every time we read statistics, we would be all the wiser to cast a critical eye at the framework that resulted in those statistics. I think as Christians, we need to avoid blanket statements that may be partially true without pausing to reflect on the deeper issue that may reveal the whole truth.
Meanwhile, anyone wants a selfie with me?