Members of previous generations tend to look down on us Millennials. We have been accused of being the laziest generation to ever walk the planet.
They say that advancements in technology are to blame for our inattentive attitudes. With easy access to information nearly any time we want, other generations believe we don’t work nearly as hard as they did to achieve goals.
Catherine Rampell mentioned in the NY Times that authors of books like “The Dumbest Generation” believe that we “feel entitled and are coddled, disrespectful, narcissistic and impatient”. They feel that we are spoiled and handed nearly everything in life.
Rampell also pulled statistics from a 2009 Pew Research Center survey which found that “…three in four Americans believe that today’s youth are less virtuous and industrious than their elders.”
But just because we have access to more information available to us, does that truly make us lazy and disrespectful?
There are negative aspects to this generation, I agree. But it’s difficult to assume that the majority of this Millennial generation is unappreciative of the world around us because a select few represent us as being lazy.
The advancement in technology is not making us this way, despite what previous generations may think. Things start to become questionable in how we are using this technology, rather than technology itself causing the problems. When used to our benefits, social media does not hinder our success, but amplifies it. With the easy access to social connections, this generation has participated in more community service projects than any generation.
We more easily network with others to create a better future. We have more opportunities than other generations, yes, but I don’t believe we lay them to waste. There are different types of people in every generation. The way you actually use the tools available to you will determine the type of person you’ll be. I believe most of us Millennials take advantage of these opportunities and use them to better both ourselves and the world in a very positive way.
With so many tools at our disposal, the pressure to achieve our goals is twice as great. We then have to work twice as hard to achieve them because if we were to fail, other generations may not understand how we let such opportunities slip through our fingers . Previous generations may believe that if we have all this information available to us then life is ten times easier, so shouldn’t we be able to accomplish everything?
There is a great deal of pressure placed on us. Our success highs are twice as high and our defeated lows are twice as low. These increased expectations amplify everything.
Standards of society have changed as a result: with more opportunities come greater expectations.
With boundless knowledge available to our every whim, the average GPA has risen significantly. Other generations believe that this is only due to the fact that life has gotten easier for us, therefore we don’t need to work as hard for our grades. This might be partially true, the fact that life has gotten easier, but what people don’t understand is that to accommodate for this increase in knowledge, the difficulty levels of academia have also increased significantly.
I’m not saying that the other generations didn’t work hard or that our generation is better than all the others. It’s just that society has changed so drastically that it’s difficult for other generations to call us lazy just because more things are available to us.
Back in the 1900s, there were more physically demanding jobs that did not label people as being lazy. Now, though, we have less physically demanding jobs and are more geared towards mentally demanding jobs. It might not look like we are working as hard as the previous generations did, but we really are. We are creators; impressive people who create and discover. We are imaginative. We are innovative.
These opportunities and technologies have allowed us to strive to be our best selves. With every opportunity out there and a life surrounded by social media, we are not hindered and lazy, but are motivated and driven to be even more successful, more impressive, more honorable in nearly every way.
Don’t write us off, we might just be the most diligent generation yet.