As a millennial all I want is an end to these articles about millennials
Enough is enough
Hi there, my name is Will and I’m a feckless cosmopolitan millennial. I work for a venture-backed start-up where I create bespoke content for an audience of millions of other millennials. Every day brings a new set of challenges, a fresh way of balancing contradictory priorities. Challenges like the irritation my hoverboard causes fellow commuters on the underground. Priorities like making sure my man bun stays in place while binge watching Rick and Morty. Nobody said it was easy being a millennial though did they?
Sometimes, when I’m not thinking about how expensive Life of Pablo merchandise is on eBay, after I’ve refreshed my Twitter interactions a dozen times (none this time), I stare at my reflection, captured on Snapchat, and think about the world. I think about how I’m going to integrate a handlebar moustache and a sleeve tattoo into my aesthetic. I think about how much better my life would be if I got more cross-platform likes on all the selfies I post.
When I can, I express these thoughts to my friends using reaction GIFs. When they ask me if I want to go out tonight I tell them I’m too tired, too exhausted to do so. If one of them asks me why I say I’m not sure, and I hear the phrase “unfriending etiquette” ringing in my ears, before wondering whether I should start a podcast about my favourite podcasts.
I’m so tired of stereotypes.
I’m obviously nothing like the paragraphs above and neither is any one I know my age. I’m so bored of hearing the word millennial, regardless of the context. The media needs to go on a diet, and it needs to cut out the word millennial. Did you know that millennial binge-watchers average four non-TV related activities a day? Did you know that millennials like Bernie Sanders and yoga and juicing and they do all this while using apps to hook up with other millennials? Did you hear about all the different flavours millennials have for their e-cigarettes? Did you know that the men who coined the term millennial now run an advertising consultancy and live in a glittering mansion made of gold and diamonds in Silicon Valley?
I’m not saying we’ve reached peak millennial because that would be too millennial wouldn’t it? We are way, way beyond that point. The M word has become completely meaningless through overuse. It’s been hollowed-out, a fruit with all the flesh and pulp chewed from it.
'I’d rather chill in and relax': why millennials don't go clubbing https://t.co/NWbd9BZfLM
— The Guardian (@guardian) March 24, 2016
No millennial I’ve ever met has done any of the chewing – I don’t recall millennials describing themselves as millennials. Articles about millennials exist to reinforce the preconceptions people who write about millennials have about millennials. It’s a massive, idiotic, patronising feedback loop. Every single thing tells us the same thing: the young people I’m writing about are slightly different to people my age – they can’t even live without a smartphone for a week.
Who would’ve thought it!?
And underneath this bollocks, like background radiation, a secondary feeling: worry. The old people are worried about you, they are worried about me. Of all the things in the rapidly disintegrating world – the world that they built – they’ve chosen to worry about the fact that you drink less than they did at the same age, about what a narcissist you are for owning a selfie stick.
They’re worried about us? Well we’re worried about them.
Those collapsing political systems, that fossil fuel addiction, the failed wars, the teetering banks, the demagogues – that is what our parents are bequeathing us. That’s what worries me, and that’s what none of the people our age have ever had any control over. No wonder we spend our time making tumblrs dedicated to pizza or desperately trying to get Justin Bieber concert tickets.