The Millennials: The Good, some Bad, and hopefully not any Ugly

Before I took the quiz, I thought to myself that I probably wouldn’t score very high. I have social media accounts, but aren’t that active in them and use them mostly for news about what’s going on. Also, I don’t feel like I’m as absorbed by my phone as many of my peers. Despite these feelings, I received a score of 93. Not only was I surprised by my results, but I also wasn’t sure how to feel about them. When it comes to the term “millennial,” I feel like there is more of a negative connotation to it. I decided to do a little research into the topic to see what credible sources had to say about us millennials.

In my Strategic Management class this semester, we had a guest lecturer speak to our class. One of the topics he touched on was millennials in the workplace. He said that millennials are very educated and technologically savvy, but lacked social skills and manners. This speaker is the CEO of his company, and said that it infuriates him when he sees workers walking around the office with their eyes glued to their phones, instead of noticing coworkers and saying hi to them. Also, this speaker said that many millennials lack common sense. Many will show up late to meetings, underdressed because they feel they are dressed up good enough for themselves. In a Forbes article I found, the article states that the prevailing feeling about millennials is that they are, “nothing but spoiled, self-involved brats.” In that same article, psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow refers to millennials as, “deluded narcissists.” Dr. Ablow believes that there are three main reasons behind millennial behavior: (1) social media allows millennials to create and be attached to their ideal selves, (2) video games allow users to role play as the hero that saves the day, and (3) receiving participant trophies and A’s for effort.

However, there are many good things coming from the millennials. According the Pew Research Center, Compared to Generation X, the Baby Boomers, and the Silents, the Millennials are the most educated generation, due to the millennials scoring the highest in “Some Years of College” and “Four Years of College or More” categories. Millennials are more socially progressive than past generations. They  appear to be less judgmental when it comes to race, due to the fact that interracial marriages are increasing, and the distribution of different US races is supposed to become more even by 2060. Despite the fact that some may see the millennials attachment to technology as a turnoff, technology is clearly becoming more and more important in the business world. Also, in the same Forbes article quoted earlier, the author (a self-admitting millennial) makes the point that what’s wrong with wanting to succeed?

Below is a video of millennials addressing some accusations of older generations. This blog made me see the friction between different generations that I had not really noticed before. The older generations like Baby Boomers seem quick to call Millennials lazy and self centered, while the Millennials want to blame the Baby Boomers for the problems they have. This was clear even while reading the comment section of this video.


8 thoughts on “The Millennials: The Good, some Bad, and hopefully not any Ugly”

  1. Thomas I wrote my blog on the exact same topic. The speaker is Frank Brown, class of ’78. That was probably the first time I felt like I had received relevant advice from a visiting lecture, and not just general guidance.


    1. I was looking though my class syllabus to find the name of the speaker and it was actually George Bernstein who I was referring to. I find it interesting that two different speakers that came to talk appear to have the same opinion on millennials. One that respects their intelligence, but criticizes their common sense and social skills


    2. Did you really need to be told to dress for the workplace and to say hi to people?

      Look, I am not telling Mr. Brown what he sees or not, but I don’t get bent out of shape of people looking at their phones. It is more context-specific. I do find it annoying when I am talking to you to look at your phone. I also don’t find that happening so much.


  2. I was intrigued by the example you brought up of a young employee who does not respect the dresscode. Maybe I just trying to defend Millennials but I would argue that perhaps going underdressed is not through disrespect for the current system, but rather a distrust and skepticism that comes about through the diverse range of knowledge we acquire. We are going to have to live with the new cultures that are created, and we understand the instability of the current ones installed. Perhaps there is a silver lining?


  3. Do you think that the generalized characteristics of our generation being “nothing but spoiled, self-involved brats” is linked with the gap between different generations? While it is normal for our generation to be glued to our phones etc., it was not this way for older generations. Therefore, do you think a lack of understanding from older generations is tarnishing our reputation?


  4. Cate I agree that a possible factor in tis stereotyping of millennials is a disconnect between older generations. I think that since we were never had too big of a transition into a technological world and rather just had to adjust to existing technology, older generations find our use of technology overwhelming. I am not disagreeing with them because I do think that we have become too attached to certain devices, especially our phones. This worries me because I fear that eventually individuals will lose people skills which can have a very negative effect on our everyday relationships and relationships in the workplace.


  5. Why wouldn’t people who read comics (the boomers) or watched too much TV (Gen X) be as likely to see themselves as heroes? And, what is wrong with heroes?

    This social construction of a big “crisis” because Millennials are all narcissistic sounds overblown to me. I would want to see the evidence. Narcissism is a specific psychiatric condition. Is he confusing changes in norms, which may be a problem unto itself, with mass increases in psychiatric disorders?


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