When I think of millennials, I think of a tight-knit, spunky and badass culture with a lot of attitude. Maybe a little too much attitude. Millennials have been given the wrap of being out-spoken, headstrong and perhaps a tad bit selfish. As a millennial myself, I have to agree that all of the above traits are pretty spot on. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing.
I believe that our generation has been exposed to a life that our elders can’t quite understand. Because observing a time-period and growing up in one, are two different things. And oh how very different things were during our parents and even our grandparents time. There’s been a dramatic shift from starting your adult-life at a young age, to… what’s the rush?
Millennials are more independent than ever, determined to accomplish their aspirations and confident in their future. Even if it means being a little selfish.
Here are 5 reasons why millennials are considered selfish:
1. We’re glued to our phones.
Every single of of us. Whether we like it or not, millennials have adopted the innovative life by relying on devices for almost anything that comes up throughout the day. It’s become the social norm to have a phone in hand at basically all times of the day, that we wouldn’t really know what to do without it.
Some would consider this to trait to cause millennials to be “out-of-touch with the world,” but I say that we’ve never been so in-touch. Because, we don’t consider our phones to be a means of building strong and long-lasting relationships with people, we just consider it to be a tool. A tool that we use when we need it, not to distract ourselves from what’s going on. A tool we have mastered and used in situations that require research, quick answers, directions, how-to’s and news-related material. It’s right at our fingertips and it helps us to not only stay smart and safe, but to stay ahead of the game as well.
2. We love social media.
Social media takes up a huge chunk of our lives. With the constant traffic to popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, it’s almost impossible to keep up. But what do all these platforms have in common? The ability to promote one’s life and accomplishments. It’s all based on the sole value of promoting yourself, what you do, what you’re going to do, who you know and where you’ve been. It’s very rare to come across a millennial who doesn’t use at least 2 of these platforms or hasn’t at least tried all of them at one point in time.
This can be considered an extremely selfish time-period, there’s not doubt. And yes there are long-winded Facebook posts about accomplishments, never ending photos of new puppies and selfies for days. But you know how I see it? You know how us millennials see it? We see it as having drive, connectedness to one another and inspiration. I don’t know about you, but I love seeing posts from friends about their happiness or achieving some goal. It doesn’t make me feel jealous or mad about what I’m doing or not doing. If anything, it encourages me. It encourages us. It’s made millennials open, outspoken and more comfortable with not only what they to say, but the person that they are.
3. We spend a lot of money.
Millennials LOVE to spend money, it’s true. The whole “save save save” culture isn’t one that’s too influential to us. Of course, we do save but it isn’t as intense as it once was for the generations before us. We aren’t worried about paying a ton of bills, settling down and buying a home. It just isn’t in the books for us now, so why worry about it?
Spending money can come off as a very greedy trait but I don’t believe millennials have that intention. There’s a difference between a spending problem and just spending money on the things you want, which I think a lot of other generations get confused. That because we choose to spend our money on materialistic things or even experiences, we aren’t too concerned about our future. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. We ARE concerned about our future, we’re just more concerned about living our lives right now.
4. We aren’t in a rush to get married or have kids.
Most of the parents of millennials probably had their first or second kid the same age they are now. Most met their spouse young and got married within the first few months to first few years. Millennials can’t even fathom this lifestyle right now, which is where you see the memes “My friends are here getting married and having kids while I’m here still not able to wear matching socks.” It’s considered abnormal to partake in such an adult-lifestyle like this at a young age.
So not wanting to share our life with someone or reproduce makes us selfish? Yeah, I guess so. But that doesn’t mean millennials don’t plan on doing that someday. It’s just not in the books for right now. Trust me, we have far more important things to do than to worry about settling down. Our lives are just getting started and there’s so much to accomplish first. We want to be good story-tellers for our kids, don’t we?
5. We put ourselves first.
A lot of our decisions are based on whether or not it’ll make us happy. Whether or not it’ll benefit us in the long-run or whether it’s worth our time. Millennials have embraced the “do what makes you happy” motto and we really don’t let anyone else tell us otherwise. I guess you could say we just aren’t afraid of what people think and know we know we have a lot more potential then we’re given credit for.
If something or someone isn’t adding value to our life, than we want no part. It’s as simple as that. It isn’t selfish the way other generations may perceive it as. It’s the ability to filter out all the BS and know that we deserve the absolute best. Our happiness matters and it doesn’t mean we don’t care about the world.
We just want to be able to make ourselves happy before we make the world happy.