If we want to be taken seriously, let’s get serious

I recently stumbled upon this site, Canadian Millenials, while searching for blog inspiration. It was actually the first hit when I typed “canada” and “millenials” into Google.

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The site claims to be “The Most Comprehensive Canadian Millenial Resource on the Web”. Well, let’s see shall we?

The whole project appears to be inspired by the fact that older generations don’t know quite what to make of us. The project is prefaced by a report entitled, “R U Ready 4 Us? An Introduction to Canadian Millenials,” so I figured that was a good place to start.

The report is quite lengthy, and includes many subtopics including: Growing Up Millenial, Social Media and Social Life, Priorities and Aspirations, Millenials at Work, Millenials as Consumers, and Millenials as Citizens.

Let me start with my initial impression of the report, and its introduction.

First off, I’m not sure that I like the abbreviated aspect of the title (i.e. R U Ready 4 Us?). The report clearly states that its purpose is to prove that our generation can and should be taken seriously. If that’s the goal, let’s try a serious title. The only time I see those abbreviations anymore are in texts from my dad, “r u home 4 dinner?”

It gets better. Take a look at the two visuals on the front of the report…

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The first depicts a happy couple on a shopping trip? Or going to a birthday party? The other, a set of cartoons. I’m not sure what kind of message these were meant to send, but they don’t fit with the theme of the report. The first depicts frivolity, while the cartoon image just reminds me of The Weekenders.

So, first impression, not great. I moved on to the introduction. The first two sentences: “Who are the Millenials? Why are they so different from me and is there any way I can avoid them?” Apparently this is a common sentiment, which I find concerning, and also somewhat insulting. I guarantee you that if our generation expressed an interest in “avoiding” another, we would be criticized as disrespectful youth.

Much of the report is based on research from Abacus Data, indicating many Canadians view our generation negatively.

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Out of the top five traits used to describe our generation (tech-savvy, materialistic, coddled, lazy, and connected), three are negative.

For the millenials, all those 20-somethings out there, how does this make you feel? Do you believe that these descriptors are unwarranted, or accurate? Are the ways that we interact with other generations indicative of these traits? Or is it just a couple of bad bananas ruining the bunch?

And for the non-millenials, do you share these views? What words would you use to describe our generation? Do you make it a point to avoid us?

Images and quoted text were all sourced from the report, also linked above with the full title.

5 thoughts on “If we want to be taken seriously, let’s get serious

  1. I think some of it is the outflowing of information paired with the virtual community movement. There is lots of information, and now we have to decide what to do with it. Some of what is being done is the forming of our own communities–and of course the economy, post-9/11 culture affect the arts. Most people wouldn’t consider couchsurfers an artistic gesture–but I believe it all ties together. (http://stereogum.com/1277712/amanda-palmers-ted-talk-what-we-learned/news/ Amy Palmer’s video on this illustrates it well). Millennials can’t make more money and are on social media and are in search of meaning and fulfillment. This gives rise to an open source culture, which some of us will outgrow as we become “Successful” and put our trust in the “securities” of life. But ultimately, I feel it will change our idea of community and give us new ways to relate to one another.

    • Thanks for expanding on your point Katy. I think that you have a great perspective on the issue that is taking into consideration how quickly our culture is changing. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Pingback: materialistic, coddled, lazy… but it might not be our fault | 20-something

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