Before taking the quiz I thought to myself, “I’d be willing to bet I’m less millennial than most of my peers.” I enjoy spending my time outdoors, talking to people face-to-face and am not as immersed in technology as many of my friends are. Much to my surprise, I scored a 93 on the quiz. The surprising results made me think about what defines our generation. In an attempt to discover the answer to this question I used a variety of technological tactics (how millennial of me). To start, I read a couple articles and was somewhat alarmed as to what I came across. While many of the articles claimed the millennials were educated and smart, many others characterized the millennials as having a lack of work ethic. Similar to what Emily Smith and Jennifer Aaker did in their NYTimes article, I also typed “millennials are” and “are millennials” into Google and was greeted with “lazy,” “the worst,” and “entitled” as autofills. The article also mentioned that the millennial generation is less concerned with making money and more concerned with happiness and making a difference in their careers. In fact, “a 2011 report commissioned by the Career Advisory Board and conducted by Harris Interactive, found that the No. 1 factor that young adults ages 21 to 31 wanted in a successful career was a sense of meaning” (Smith & Aaker). How can a generation be extremely educated, lazy and eager to make a difference all in one I thought? There must be certain underlying factors that have had significant influence on these widespread characteristics. I then watched the Generation WE video and began to see how some of these characteristics can emerge. In the video it was described that the millennials were the first generation in American history to inherit a nation in decline. Could this be a primary cause of young adults eagerness to make a difference in society? Other questions that crossed my mind included whether or not the social media craze amongst millennials made us lazier in general. It has certainly made us far worse communicators.
I then thought back to the quiz. Was I really wrong in my initial assumption that I’m less “millennial” that most of my peers. To test this, I took the quiz again, yet this time I answered the questions as if I were one of my parents. I was not surprised when I (acting as my mom) subsequently received a score of 91. Maybe I was right. Maybe I’m not as different from other generations as I thought. Either way, it’s difficult to come to any concrete conclusions based off of just 15 questions. Personally, I would need a more in depth study to feel comfortable with the results. While I don’t feel research such as this reveals all that much, I have no doubts that are underlying differences between the generations that stem from a variety of places.