I’ve been wondering…
Do millennials owe the world an apology?
Everywhere you turn you see ridiculous headlines:
“Millennials Aren’t Eating Cereal Because It’s Too Much Work”
“Why Are Millennials So Obsessed with Food?”
“Millennials Are Killing the Movie Business”
“How Millennials Are Ruining the Workforce”
And even… “Millennials are Killing the Napkin Industry”— really, people?
Why is everything, big or small, the millennial generation’s fault? The headlines shared above are more comical to me than anything, but more and more people have been noticing this “millennial bashing” occurring in the media. And many times we are criticized because of our dreams of travel and how we spend our money.
“Millennials’ Wanderlust is Killing the Canadian Tourism Industry”.
Since when is how someone else spends their money anyone else’s concern? And since when did articles about a generation so “obsessed with food” become good journalism? Is there nothing more important going on in this world, like say, I don’t know, groups of people calling for genocide, or the fact that there is a huge achievement gap between white and black students in education? Yes, heaps of young people DO post pictures of delectable and aesthetic food to their Instagrams; but who’s to say that generations before us wouldn’t have done the same thing if they had social media?
See, the thing is, we can’t go comparing generations.
You can’t compare apples to oranges (that’s how the old saying goes, right?). The millennial generation is unlike its predecessors. We grew up with technology. We grew up having a MySpace, then a Facebook, then an Instagram, then we moved to Snapchat, and so on…
Boys don’t need to call girls’ house numbers to talk or ask them out on a date. Geeze, most people don’t even have landlines anymore! We are living in a time where everything is instant- texts, direct messages, etc. Even dating occurs online for a majority of people.
More millennials are traveling, working remotely, and living as digital nomads.
I am not lucky enough to do this just yet, but I travel as much as I can. I know a man who is currently participating in a “study” for a few weeks, and then with the money he earns for essentially donating his body briefly to science, he is going to backpack around Asia for a month.
OK, maybe that is a bit drastic— I did give him a hard time about this type of income. He assured me that the drugs were just as safe as the ones most Americans take every day. So, to each their own…
However, the point is, millennials are doing whatever it takes to get out there and see the world. We’re fearless. We’re putting in long hours. We’re saving up. We’re starting our own companies. We’re taking advantage of social media and monetizing our accounts. Millennials are studying abroad like it’s a requisite and taking jobs overseas as au pairs or English language teachers to get a taste of different cultures and landscapes.
Millennials aren’t mundane. We aren’t boring. We don’t want to lead tedious or monotonous lives. And we’re doing something about it. Maybe older generations are jealous of the amount of traveling younger people are doing? I can’t seem to wrap my head around it. Shouldn’t our elders be proud of us, heck, even supportive, since traveling only opens our minds, opens our eyes, and opens our hearts?
Maybe we are killing the napkin industry, I honestly don’t know. And I don’t care. Because our generation is breaking the mold. We don’t see things the way many previous generations do. We believe in equality. We fight for the rights of our homosexual, transgender, and minority brothers and sisters. We stand up for what we believe in. We protest. We speak up, we speak out. We travel to other places and learn from our experiences. We are globally-minded and culturally-aware. We cook more. We hit the gym more. We care about our fitness and our health. We can connect with people anywhere in the world through the internet in an instant. It truly is an incredible thing.
No, I’m not saying people before us didn’t travel or work out— I’m just saying with us, it’s a movement. The majority of us have very similar view points and perspectives, and I guess that can be either good or bad. For now, I believe it’s good. Our generation watches the news and keeps up with politics. We hold people accountable.
And, no, since I know some of you are thinking it: we are not all part of Antifa.
I am traveling to my 15th country in January. This summer, I spent two weeks in Greece. People ask me, “Angela, how can you afford to travel so much?”. The answer is: I set goals and I strive to achieve them. I am smart with my money. I am a responsible spender and an efficient saver. I keep my eye out for good deals. That’s it.
I don’t make a lot of money. Let’s be real here, I’m an elementary teacher. I didn’t go into the profession for six figures, I went into it because I’m passionate about helping others and making a difference. I love children and I want to make a positive impact on our society and our world.
I am equally as passionate about traveling. So many millennials are. And yes, we’re passionate about our food too, damn it! So maybe that’s the problem other generations have with us: we’re too passionate.
I’ve been asking myself, do I need to apologize for my travels? Do millennials need to apologize for exploring opposite ends of the earth and sharing pictures on social media? I would like to think that if we are happy, that is enough. We don’t need anyone, especially the media, to (attempt to) tear us down. If we are conducting our lives the way we wish, why is that of any concern to others?
We fund our own travels. Most of us have careers and we work really hard. Many of us work nights, weekends, and holidays. Several work second and even third jobs. We’re very budget-conscious travelers; we don’t need lavish resorts. We may travel solo, with friends, or with travel groups like Contiki. It doesn’t matter. We are putting ourselves out there and leaving our comfort zones. We embrace any and every opportunity presented to us. We’re go-getters.
I am tired of seeing all of these click-bait headlines that insult us millennials and our choices. But maybe I’m wrong here. So I ask you, do millennials owe the world an apology?
What am I missing?
MILLENNIALS: comment below and share either a) an amazing trip you just returned from, b) where you’re traveling to next, or c) a recent accomplishment you’re proud of… Let’s show the world what we’re all about! 🙂
Not a millennial? What’re your thoughts on our generation?