The Millennial Generation: Are we better or not?

It seems right to say that each new generation is much different from the previous. “Different” I think is a save adjective when talking about the millennial generation in comparison with the older generations. Better or worse, the comparative terms when applied to describe the 21st century youths, I feel uncomfortable. Maybe we the new generation is better adapted to the technological innovations and hence survive well within a highly progressive media culture, but that does not conclude that the millennial generation is smarter or better. We might be good at handling the new technologies but we may not be good enough to undo all the achievements of our forefathers that propelled us to where we are today.

In the reading, “The Next Great Generation”, the authors highly romanticized what they call the “specialness” (if there is one) of the millennial generation. They portray the millennial youths as having a positive out look on the life, confident, ambitious, over achievers, obedient to the authorities, team-oriented, intelligent, tech-savvy, family-oriented and intricately connected with the world and hence they are global citizens. As much as it is tempting to buy in the idea that we are the perfect generation – a generation that generates the best of human potentials – it is hard to ignore the fact that the authors exaggerate the best of the millennial generation to the point, where majority of the youth fall out of the picture. The authors did not address the fact that the diversity among people who are born into the millennial (also true in the previous generations) generation is so much so, that it cannot be contained on a few pages. The authors therefore tries to create a utopian 21st century where everyone has equal access to wealth – which determines who can gain access to education, technology,  internet and so forth – and share the same aspiration and goals.

I doubt that we can ever define the millennial generation in collective or generational terms. Even within a family, there is always an undefinable differences among the members. Smart parents maybe not give birth to a smart child. Or a smart child do not necessarily come from a family of doctors or engineers. A generation, thus, is too big a picture to paint with the colorful colors such as, “confident”, “intelligent”, “over-achievers”, “optimistic” and so on.

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2 comments on “The Millennial Generation: Are we better or not?

  1. I tend to agree with your reasonings on this topic. Whether our generation is “better” than other generations is very much something to be determined in the distant future. How the rapidly developing technological culture plays out in the long run and what long-term impacts this has on culture, political, and the economy will be the determining factors in my opinion. I also tend to question the whole idea of rating/ranking/assessing a generation as a whole. Can we really say that all the people born after 1982 form any type of coherent social group or even share the most basic perspectives and values? I tend to be skeptical of this whole “generation” idea, there were plenty of people who weren’t hippies in the 60s and there’s plenty of people of who consciously avoid social media today.

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