“No house…no money…just avocado,” reads one Urban Dictionary definition for millennials, the controversial younger generation. According to a 2014 YouGov study, 74% of people of all ages think that those under thirty have less of a work ethic than those older. There is somewhat of an age bias— a whopping 87% of people aged 65+ think non-Millenials have a better work ethic while only 55% of those aged 18-29 feel the same way. People generally believe the younger generation is getting lazier. Young people in the workforce today are often seen as lazy since, in the age of technology, so many things can be done without leaving the house. Poké bowls can be ordered right to our doorsteps. We can learn new languages, make new friends and buy all of our furniture online. Since millennials grew up or came of age in this world, it is what we are accustomed to. Even in my own life, once I got a smartphone in eighth grade, I’ve definitely read for fun a lot less and wasted more time on social media, and I know many people around my age feel the same way. Millennials have relaxed dress codes, switched jobs much more than past generations and overall questioned the traditional 9-to-5 by working at home through technology,
However, the world is changing. Young people are having kids later, moving out later, and getting married later, or not at all. Despite the results of the last question in the survey discussed above, 78% of people believe 18-29-year-olds are entering the workforce at a tougher time. Economic uncertainty, technological change, threats of global warming, longtime post 9/11 unrest and fights for equality are just a few things we are faced with. We have to undo old rules, literally pick up old trash, and learn new online languages. It’s definitely not easy to be a young person in 2019.
But it’s impossible to compare when only given one period of time to live in. Older generations faced World War II, the Cold War, and an incredible amount of adversity for minorities (and we still have a long way to go). Fifty years ago, women weren’t even allowed to have credit cards— banks could refuse to give them their own card. Mixed marriages had been legal for two years (for perspective, this is half the time same-sex marriages have been allowed in all fifty states in 2019). On that subject, homosexuality was still seen as a mental illness. We still have a long way to go, but thankfully we are a far cry from any of these in 2019.
Overall, I think we need to give each respective generation more credit. We’ve each faced our unique challenges that are hard to understand if we aren’t the same age. Seeing everyone as an equal extends to age, and it’s important to have empathy for all walks of life.