OUR VIEW: Millennials deserve respect


CW Editorial Board

Millennial bashing has become an incredibly popular sport amongst, well, basically every member of any older generation. 

According to older pundits on the right and the left, and probably your uncle, millennials are lazy, entitled, economically irresponsible, godless individuals who are too busy looking at their phones to form real connections with the people around them. 

We have been blamed for the death of a plethora of industries, from fabric softener to casual dining chains. We don’t want kids or houses; we seem to represent the death of the American dream as we know it.

One of the biggest accusations that millennials receive is destroying the economy. Millennials aren’t spending enough, millennials aren’t buying homes — the indictments are numerous. Many among our generation like to point out the fact that boomers, not us, were responsible for the Great Recession and its subsequent economic damage, but this column isn’t meant to bash any one age group, just defend another. 

In truth, millennials do spend money differently. We place less value in things and more on experience; we love spending on travel and fancy meals and curating these experiences on social media. But different doesn’t mean bad — the economy is constantly transforming and along with that is the way people spend money. People in the 1920s started spending their money differently, too, with the advent of purchasing on credit. Change is historical and inevitable, and millennials don’t deserve to demonized for natural progressions. 

Another criticism of millennials is that we are overly connected to technology. Though many of us have spent regrettable hours scrolling through Instagram, on the whole, technology is an incredible resource that millennials understand deeply and have used to help progress society. 

We stay on top of world news with Twitter, stay connected to friends all around the world with Facebook, create tech startups, and revolutionize fields like healthcare and education with technological improvements. Contrary to the popular talking point that technology has isolated us, millennials are the most interconnected generation of all time. 

Many more traditional segments of society are also worried about millennial trends when it comes to family and religion. We’re getting married later and having fewer kids, if we have kids at all. We’re becoming increasingly secular, finding spiritual fulfillment outside of established religion and churches. 

Though this may give pause to older people who centered their lives around family and faith, fear not for the souls of millennials. In today’s world of declining environmental conditions and increasing population, it is a much more responsible decision to have fewer or no children at all. The world desperately needs less strain on its diminishing resources, and millennials are doing their part to help with this. 

Additionally, increasing secularization does not mean decreasing morality. Millennials tend to care deeply about gender and racial equality and speak out against oppression wherever they see it. Millennials care, maybe not about rosaries and Seders, but they care nonetheless. 

Older generations should take heart. Millennials may want different things than their parents and grandparents, but this generation is filled with creative, well-educated, and compassionate individuals who are more committed to social justice and equality than any of our predecessors. 

The world may be facing incredibly difficult, complex challenges, but millennials are more than equipped to find the solutions.