Millennials get a lot of hate, don’t they? I mean, I’m sure all “younger generations” have been moaned about by the “older generations” since time began, but we’ve got the internet now, and that hate and disrespect is more prominent than its ever been. I wanted to talk about this during Mental Health Awareness Week because this topic in all its complexities is, and always had been, one of the most angst-inducing issues I face on a daily basis.
Let’s talk about Millennials, shall we? We’re called the lazy generation, self-indulgent, narcissistic, too surrounded by the dusty participation trophies of our childhood to see that we’re essentially worthless and have a fundamental lack of understanding of how the world works. We’re too busy Twittering and posting duck faces on our smartphones that we have no idea how to have meaningful relationships or even conversations with people. We’re probably all vitamin D deficient because of the amount of time we spend indoors on our video games and various social media platforms, not contributing anything of worth to society. Obvs.
Lovely picture, isn’t it? One I’m sure a lot of you will recognize. It seems like it’s relevant to you, though it’s really not, but people can’t stop bringing it up. It’s like the same annoying un-skippable YouTube ad that shows up every time you spend five minutes catching up on your subscribers’ new releases (fucking Clearblue can fuck the fuck off). Well guess what, for Mental Health Awareness Week it is my personal goal to stop listening to this shit.
We’re called narcissistic because of our selfies, because of the participation trophies that people claim we constantly received (I never got one), because our parents praised us and told us we were good children and that we can do anything we set our minds to. What the fuck is wrong with praising your children, giving them dreams and ambition? What is wrong with taking selfies, sharing the fact that you’re feeling pretty today, promoting a healthy self-image and fighting against the fashion magazines that promote body-shaming and eating disorders? Older generations than us created the idea that people need to look a certain way. But it’s our world now, and we know that we cannot let this continue.
We’re told we’re self-involved because we think we deserve a pay raise or a promotion for working hard at our jobs, regardless of how good we actually are at our jobs. Some older generations link this into those damn alleged performance trophies again (where the fuck was mine, then?), but I seriously just call bullshit. Guess what baby boomers, when you were our age you were rewarded for your hard work. Back in the day, a lot more people than now got a job at a company and worked their way up the ladder. Companies used to reward work and loyalty; they often promoted people based on those factors instead of qualifications or aptitude. Does the world work like that any more? Does it fuck. And you judge us for job-hopping? You judge us for wanting to be rewarded for working hard just as you were?
Even if you were one of those people who didn’t enjoy these “perks” and have never earned a pay rise or promotion within the same company. Your salary still got you on the fucking property ladder. That was your sodding reward. It was so damn easy to afford a mortgage back then, the baby boomers have royally fucked the housing market. Forty years ago, the average home cost four times the average annual wage. Today it costs 12 times the average annual wage. Of course there are more millennials living at home, you dickhead. It’s because you bought your house for £80,000 and now its market value is £500,000.
Of course we want a fucking promotion. We have no money. We’re not paid enough to save and most of us are already in crippling debt due to university fees (which UK baby boomers did not have to pay, funny that). Of course we want a reward for all the shitty hours we work. Baby boomers got their rewards: a family home, an affordable car and enough money to put aside for a holiday every year to Maga-shitting-luf. Oh, and a pension as well. Nicely done.
Of course we call you corporate drones when all you to is try to tell us you’re just “working to live”. That’s because you get to live in a house that’s your own, going abroad, eating M&S food, while spending your working week feeding a system that has worked for you, currently but is fucking us over. We work the same – and often more – hours than you, but we’re not working to live, we’re working to survive. We’re the only ever generation to place so much importance on the work/life balance between the ages of 20/35. Don’t criticize us for that! How can you blame us when our non-working lives are often the only times we are actually happy? We’re the first generation to grow up with the internet, with increasingly teen-oriented films, TV and literature. So many of these things teaching us to live our dreams and live life to the full. But we can’t do that when we’re spending all of our income on rent and bills, only working towards the day when we’ll hopefully get a better job earning more, to maybe one day getting a mortgage when we’re 60. Not retiring until we’re 75. It’s depressing. How can you blame us for failing to climb this 50 ft wall with a ladder that you’ve taken all the rungs out of?
We’re all still children to you, but you need to change your way of thinking. We’re not trying to forge our way in your old world. We’re trying to make it in the real world, the one that the baby boomers have created. You didn’t have to go through this: we are. You have no right to criticize our failures when you have never been through what we are currently going through. Do it among yourselves if you have to, sip a Prossecco on your package holiday with the missus, shake your heads at your misguided kids, pretend you haven’t fucked up the environment with your unsustainable ways of living. Do that all if you want, just don’t say it to me, or my generation, ever again.