I want to travel the world with my future children, fulfil my wild dreams and possess an ounce of Instagram success. I’m a classic millennial alright, some will say. But other than a few parallels connecting me to my millennial generation, I feel world’s away.
Anne Helen Petersen’s BuzzFeed piece on millennial generation burnout, went viral nearly two weeks ago. In summary, Petersen believes young people are struggling with ‘errand paralysis’, due to a burnout from the need to constantly work. “I’ve internalized the idea that I should be working all the time”, says Petersen. It’s even become a goal to achieve the perfect self-love relaxation. Instagram is home to lavish baths with bubbles and champagne on a casual Sunday evening.
Social-media – despite knowing it’s contrived, is as always, partly to blame. Petersen finds millennials are most admiring of those who showcase a perfect work-life balance, as oppose to materialistic uploads. “millennials are far less jealous of objects or belongings on social media than the holistic experiences represented there”, Petersen writes. Instagram accounts where a woman is happily juggling motherhood, health, career, travel and fun at ease, is inspirational.
Displaced and confused
The millennial generation is one big contradiction. Lazy “snowflakes” who can’t commit to jobs – over-workers experiencing burnout and struggling with heading to the post office because mundane tasks don’t provide enough gratification. As writer Madison Vanderberg for Hello Giggles points out, “Every couple of months, some think-piece or study or list or viral video comes out”, claiming to explain those born between the early 80’s and mid to late 90’s.
Since a teenager, I’ve felt misplaced amongst my age group. When I was nineteen, my best friend was 26. I skipped the years of cider drinking in the park and getting drunk past memory. While work colleagues discussed reality stars and diets, I was wanting to share opinion on the news and the changing face of society. I was conjuring up posts like this, before I had my blog.
Although healthy eating and sustainability are both linked to the millennial generation, so is a lack of reading books. Publications directed towards millennials are rarely complex. The biggest news story is someone having a life changing experience because they’ve spent a year not buying clothes. I think it’s a shame that plastic faces represent the online standard of beauty. Having a butt 10x wider than your waist, whether through surgery or from hard work, is an aspiration.
Issues affecting millennial generation
People are obsessed with viral stories. Celebrities not qualified for star status in the 90’s, are currently splashed across the media. Why everyone wants to attack Instagram I don’t know. The same people blaming ‘influencers’ for causing insecurity and self-esteem problems, are often the same people following those accounts, and trying to create a perfect feed of their own. I think magazines are much worse. Professionally airbrushed images of stars written about as mythical angels.
Young people face troubling career prospects. Free internships require experience. University degrees are expensive and no longer hold the same regard. Bosses can contact staff after working hours. And instead of aiming to reach the top of a chosen career ladder, millennials want to be their own CEO’s, work their own hours and travel the world whenever and wherever.
These to me, are the biggest issues affecting my generation. I have no problems with errands. I like organisation and I appreciate completing day-to-day tasks. I’m not burned out. In fact, I’m burning high on determination. I don’t relate to my millennial generation, because I’m not focusing on the same fears, reading the same material, or trying to make sense of what my age range means in society. Maybe I’m hypocritical. Maybe I embody far more than I consider. Until I meet more young people similar however, I continue to distance myself from relating.
How do you feel about millennial stereotypes? Do you believe you are different?