Millennials: Selfish in the Best Ways
Millennials are often associated with words such as: disorganized, selfish, yuppies, tech-reliant, narcissistic, and shallow. If you look at your average millennial, you could surely fit any of those words to them. But, those words aren’t necessarily negative when it comes to describing millennials.
As a millennial, I have had all of those labels tossed at me throughout my life by older generations. I used to deny those characteristics when I was younger. But over the past few years, I’ve started accepting them; they’re accurate. Millennials are completely health-conscious “freaks,” wise-guys, narcissists, and tech-dependent. We’re absolutely selfish; we want to be healthy, intelligent, tech-savvy, and look good. So what? Those aren’t bad things to be. Here’s why…
Millennials place more importance on health.
Though some data suggests otherwise, I feel like millennials place more importance on our health. From my own personal life, I have noticed that millennials don’t smoke cigarettes as much as older generations. I can’t decide if this is because trends are changing and smoking isn’t seen as “cool” anymore, or if it’s because our generation knows the effects that smoking has on our bodies.
Actually in 2013, a survey showed that 83% of 12th graders disapproved of adults smoking one or more packs of cigarettes a day.
Although our generation is said to have doubled the obesity rates, I feel obligated to defend us. Millennials were raised by Gen X. Gen X fed millennials whatever they thought was best when their children were younger. Now, unfortunately, young adult millennials reap the consequences of obesity and have to change their eating habits.
On the bright side, however, millennials (for the most part) seem very conscious about what they’re eating. They’re reading labels, they’re avoiding chemicals, and they’re buying organic foods. We’re getting to the point where we actually know what we’re eating now. Eating right and exercising are more important to millennials than to Gen X and the Boomers, according to Goldman Sachs’s Data Story.
Honestly, I’m really excited for the future children of the millennials. I have hope that the millennials’ children are going to be healthy and bring the obesity rates down due to the healthy habits millennials are adapting to.
Millennials are the most educated generation yet.
Well, kind of. The Millennial Legacy reports that millennials are “on track” to become the most educated generation in the United States. The Millennial Legacy also stated that 70% of millennials are either in school (40%) or plan to get their degree (30%). It gets better too; almost all—90%—of students in high school today plan to pursue higher education (yay!).
This doesn’t mean that any of the other generations are less intelligent than millennials. To be fair, millennials have had it a bit easier when it comes to getting information. Sure, we all had to search in a book for information at some point, but we also had Google and the internet as helpful tools too. Instead of having to pull out a globe to find China, we were able to just type it into Google and see an instant picture.
We are narcissists—but in a good way.
Millennials are more confident and not afraid to be ourselves. We don’t care about what people think about us—for the most part—because we are happy with who we are. The first person we want to please in our lives is ourselves. We set goals for ourselves, reach them, and then worry about others. Sure, it’s narcissistic, but at least we know what we want.
“I’m too selfish to have a kid right now,” was something I heard one of my friends say the other day and I thought it was a perfect example of how millennials think. Millennials, for the most part, know how self-absorbed they are. They know that they’re focusing on being the best they can be first before adding responsibilities that affect other people’s lives. Millennials are selfish, but considerate.
Also, I’ll admit it: millennials are a little vain. We like our selfies and making sure each photo that goes on social media has the perfect filter. Our brows must be groomed and our hair has the best ombrés. But honestly, I like this about our generation. I appreciate people who take pride in their appearance. I firmly believe that while appearance isn’t everything—what’s inside matters the most—it does affect the impression you leave on others. Millennials know that.
In fact, a study showed that women who wear “glamorous makeup” are perceived as more competent, attractive, trustworthy, and reliable than those who wear natural makeup or no makeup.
We are technology-OBSESSED.
Yes there are some of us that need to learn how to use tech-manners (like not using cell phones at the dinner table), but for the most part, technology is making us more skilled. We know how to do things in a few seconds that older generations still don’t know we can even do. Technology has influenced our shopping too. We check for reviews of products in stores, compare prices, and look at the more detailed information before we buy something (Goldman Sachs). We are making ourselves more marketable, adaptive, and intelligent in this ever-changing world—that other generations attributed to.
The bottom line…
No matter what people say, the millennials are going to continue to change the world and mold it into something more incredible than it is now. Sure, traditions are changing and things aren’t the way they used to be, but I’m confident that it’ll change for the better in some ways.
Each generation is responsible for change. The baby boomers brought divorce to the world as a “norm,” and showed us what free love and peaceful protests were all about. Gen X gave us many entrepreneurs and pushed for many more individual rights. Millennials have so far started the first “digital native” generation and place importance on expectations and goals. When looking and judging generations, we need to not reprimand them for how they are, but understand why they are that way. If we do that, I think we’ll see that no generation is necessarily “bad,” they’re just all different.