Growing Up Millennial

Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 3.54.51 AMAs a person born in the 90s, I am classified as a millennial, which means I am everything that is wrong with the world today. I stare at a screen instead of talking to people. I expect everything handed to me. I am lazy. I binge watch television shows. I overuse the word “binge”. I expect a trophy when I fail. I take selfies everywhere. I am narcissistic. I am entitled. I don’t read the newspaper. I spend too much time on “The Twitter.”

Or at least that’s how I’m categorized.

As if I’m a book and my date of birth is the summary on the back, telling everyone exactly what I’m about.

I feel as though there is a sense of pride that people have for growing up when they did. I look back on the 90s and am thrilled to call that decade my childhood. Just as people born in the 80s, 70s, 60s, 50s, and so on, would probably say the same about their childhood.

Once we grow up, I think we start to look down on the next generation. As if they’re growing up wrong.

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve had someone tell me that back when they were a kid, it took them an hour to walk to school – uphill, even. And that I should be grateful for all the methods of transportation readily available to me.

Excuse me, what part of me told you I wasn’t grateful? Was it when we were stuck in traffic? Was it when the bus was late? Was it when the subway told everyone to get off and wait for the next one?

Because if you take my complaining about inconveniences as me being ungrateful, then you’ve once again judged me by my date of birth.

Can I blame them? I don’t know. Probably not.

I mean, my generation is the punching bag for many people these days. With good reason, too. Just look at the celebrities that represent people my age. I won’t list them; you know who they are.

I can’t text, let alone touch my phone, without one of my grandparents asking me who could be so important that I have to talk to them. Do they have a point? Perhaps.

But I also think there is a lack of understanding.

Technology brought the world closer together, while simultaneously pulling us apart.

Growing up in the 90s, I was a part of the end of an era. Everything back then seemed proper. Life was simple. The older generation passed on their wisdom to the younger generation.

I didn’t grow up in a house with a computer. Not one that I was allowed to use, at least. I learned how to type on a typewriter. A typewriter! I bet it doesn’t say that in the summary on the back of my book.

I grew up with backyard rinks, road hockey, fruit punch breaks, and “Car!”

I grew up with Arthur, The Magic School Bus, and Boy Meets World.

I grew up with the multiplication table taped to the patio window and The Series of Unfortunate Events books glued to my hands.

I grew up required to finish my homework before I was allowed to blow air on an overheated Nintendo 64.

I grew up sitting in a lawn chair on the driveway just feeling the breeze go by, as I ate an ice cream sandwich and took part in an impromptu Spelling Bee, set up by my parents. Yes, I had a mini chalkboard to write my answer.

And then the turn of the century came and there was a shift. Technology took over.

I got a computer in my bedroom when I was 10-years-old, so I could type up school assignments. The Internet was so foreign to me. I didn’t know what to do with it. I had seven sports websites bookmarked, and then once I finished reading them, I turned off the computer. Crazy, right?

At school, we were using computers more. The first thing some people did when they signed in was change their cursor to an image. Remember that? We’ve come a long way since then.

But it just goes to show how new everything was to us.

I had the hardest time figuring out what the difference between “Save” and “Save As” was in Microsoft Word. I eventually taught myself.

And I think that’s what millennials have done. We have adapted to a world that didn’t exist before us. A world that we were born into, and forced to grow up in. People talk down on us for not acting like they did when they were our age. I don’t understand it.

I had no say in what era I was born.

So, I’m sorry I don’t walk everywhere. I’m sorry I have a cell phone. I’m sorry I like to listen to music from an iPod. I’m sorry I text people, instead of phoning them. I’m sorry I don’t have to get up to change the channel on the TV. I’m sorry I’m on the Internet for hours every day. I don’t have a selfie stick, but I’m sorry that people do. I’m sorry for growing up differently than you.

Is that what you wanted to hear?

I mean no disrespect towards older generations who have formed these opinions about millennials because, (un)surprisingly, I’m no different.

Many people my age are no different. We look down on millennials too.

We already use the term, “Back in my day…” when judging millennials younger than us.

We cringe when we see 8-year-olds with a cell phone. We cringe when we see 12-year-olds on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. We cringe when we walk outside and see empty neighbourhoods. We cringe when kids would rather play video games instead of challenging an older grade of kids to a massive game of soccer at recess.

My childhood was different, yet we’re all millennials.

What I’m trying to say is this:

No one in the future will grow up like you did, just like no one in the future will grow up like I did. We can’t change that. We can’t refute that. We just have to live with it.

You will judge my generation, just like I judge my generation, and will judge the next generation, who will judge the generation that comes after them. It’s the circle of life.

However, all of us should know that our judgments are just that – judgments. Perception isn’t always reality.

I promise you that there are millennials that are everything that is right with the world today. They talk to people instead of staring at a screen. They don’t expect everything handed to them. They aren’t lazy. They don’t binge watch television shows. They don’t overuse the word “binge”. They don’t take selfies everywhere they go. They don’t expect a trophy when they fail. They aren’t narcissistic. They aren’t entitled. They read the newspaper. They don’t get all of their information off of “The Twitter.”

They are the ones overlooked.

They are the ones categorized by their date of birth.

They are millennials.

You just have to get to know them as individuals.

About Paul

I think of my blog as an all-you-can-read buffet. There's something for everyone and complimentary mints at the door as you leave.
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716 Responses to Growing Up Millennial

  1. Born in 90, never used a typewriter. Count yourself lucky. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. maeronamae says:

    Feels like I’m on to Elitedaily.com. This is awesome! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ponycat says:

    Reblogged this on heidithink and commented:
    This seems to be a big problem in today’s world. Times are changing quickly.

    Like

  4. I am still trying to figure out where the previous generation ends and the new begins. What do we call those born in 80s? Great writing

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I think people in the early 80s are known as Generation X. And people born in the mid-80s and later are Generation Y. Though “Millennial” is a term that starts in the early 80s and covers everyone up until now. I think. It’s all very confusing! Thanks for reading.

      Like

  5. Mavis Beacon taught me typing on a 3.1 Windows computer, who remembers those? And Sega Genesis? I get yelled at constantly for being on my phone, but generations before us don’t understand that you can 100% work from your phone these days. They see it as some sort of addiction that eats time and steals kid’s attention.

    This post took me back to my childhood, I loved it.

    Also, you didn’t mention playing in mud. I feel like 90s kids have also consumed a lot of mud. Perhaps that is a factor to our generation today? .. nah.

    US Lifestyle Blog // rebekahkoontzsite.com

    Liked by 1 person

  6. its3amradio says:

    Great post! I dont understand why judging, classifying and labelling people is such a big part of human nature. We have our own challenges other generations didn’t face, and you don’t see us whining about those.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      It seems like no one can do anything these days without someone judging them or wondering why they do something a certain way. Everyone just needs to relax and let other people do what they want to do without judgement.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi, this post is really good! When I am reading this, there are many parts to which I feel like, “Ah, this is true” or “Ah, I feel the same way.” I am gonna reblog this, and keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Very very well put. I’m an 80s baby, out of the womb wity crimped hair and mc hammer pants… and even I get branded Gen Y the root of all modern evil – selfish, entitled, vain and ignorant. The reality is, every generation has its narcissistic a**holes – in this case technology or access thereto is an easy scapegoat.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. lynn says:

    Reblogged this on handle with care.

    Like

  10. Reblogged this on Roaming Dinosaurs and commented:
    A great piece from a blogger friend that explains a lot. We see the smart staring millennials everyday. This is sort of an insider’s confessions to being a millennial.

    Like

  11. I love this, it reminded me so much of my childhood and echoed so many feelings I have about growing up when I did. We really did grow up on the cusp of all the new technology, and we can appreciate the best of both worlds. Well written post, sir.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. kuja411 says:

    I’m a middler, like many of those posting above. One thing I feel I should point out, not in disagreement or to contradict your stance, is that with age comes fatigue, and many before us are simply too tired to sacrifice their own entitlement simply because us younger folks feel a similar sense of entitlement. Also, there are still a great many people who won’t feel the heart behind the message here, simply because they can’t hear it out loud unless we say it. So long as we speak of the generational differences to the people we care about occasionally, then the biggest differences should be mostly superficial.

    Like

  13. samtumblin1 says:

    Nice post enjoyed reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. michaelfame23 says:

    Reblogged this on Diary of Original Man.

    Like

  15. Amazing Job, Paul! I am a fellow millennial. I am embarrassed to say I have a selfie stick. I used it at the bar the other night and a group of people in their late 30s snickered at our friends and I as we used it. They said how it was the stupidest invention ever created and how shallow we were. The thing is, I don’t get why taking pictures makes me shallow vs making memories. Growing up my Dad always had a camera in his hand, of course his was much nicer than my Iphone but I’m greatful to be able to look through our family photographs and reminisce. I would never call the photos of my father and I shallow but when our generation posts photos people judge us for being shallow? Oh gosh the struggles the millennials face 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thank you! It’s definitely a struggle. And I think there are many people like you who probably take pictures to make memories, while there are many people who just do it to boost their social media ego. I think observers just automatically assume that’s the case and don’t think of a logical reason.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. kaxtone says:

    Reblogged this on KaXtone's Blog.

    Like

  17. Loewe Chan says:

    I usually dislike articles or posts using the word “millennials”, but yours was a great read and I agree completely. Every generation thinks the way they were brought up was the “right” way. Reminds me of the comparison photos between people on their phones on the train vs. people with their noses in newspapers on the train.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thanks for reading! Yup, I think we all have to realize there is no “right” way of growing up. People grow up based on what era they were born.

      Like

  18. Loewe Chan says:

    Reblogged this on Sincerely, Loewe and commented:
    “No one in the future will grow up like you did, just like no one in the future will grow up like I did. We can’t change that. We can’t refute that. We just have to live with it.

    You will judge my generation, just like I judge my generation, and will judge the next generation, who will judge the generation that comes after them. It’s the circle of life.”

    Like

  19. daylasims says:

    Paul,
    Remember that Asa Hutchinson, the Arkansas Governor, was moved by his millennial son, Seth to veto a bill that smacked of LGBT prejudice. “In a Wednesday press conference announcing his opposition to the initial version of the bill, Hutchinson said his son had asked him to veto the legislation.

    ‘My son Seth signed the petition asking me, Dad, the governor, to veto this bill,” he said. “And he gave me permission to make that reference, and it shows that families — and there’s a generational difference of opinion on these issues.'”

    Also, Governor Haley’s decision to take down the Confederate flag, was hailed by all as the right thing to do. Watching the trending on Twitter by many millennials, one can only imagine how quickly the stores CEOs tripped all over each other to indicate that they too were no longer going to sell any Confederacy paraphernalia.

    So continue to use electronics and empathy to fight battles, millennials. Millennials speak up against injustice not just in their home towns, but everyone. And in so doing, have fulfilled the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s vision of a better future.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. matteroffactmichelle says:

    I love this read!!! Thank you for saying exactly what I think! It’s people like you and me who keep things in perspective and just live the way we choose to live no matter what others say! I’m going to reblog this!!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. matteroffactmichelle says:

    Reblogged this on matteroffactmichelle.

    Like

  22. Jules says:

    Reblogged this on Millennial Tracks.

    Like

  23. I was born in 1989, am I a milennial too? I am right? Haha, high five to that! 🙂 anyways I think those who blame us for what is wrong with the world today forgot the fact that milennials were raised by generation x and baby boomers so..doesn’t that make them responsible? Haha just sayin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      You are a millennial and yes you’re exactly right! Our generation has had very little say in how in the world is run. We’re more of trend setters than law makers at this stage.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. maybugwords says:

    Very well said!

    Like

  25. yumscrub says:

    Nice post. I love millennials. This is some of what I love about your generation: Your relationships are on a more equal basis; you’re not hung up on sexual orientation; you’re more open to change; you’re a driving force about many social issues and causes, such as social businesses, and you are more responsive to the older generation than past generations. I think millenials have actually the power to make substantial changes in society. Many think the leaders of the 60’s sold out and didn’t complete the work they started; I think millenials are refining what started in the 60’s.
    But, you’re right older generations will always find something to complain about the younger generation; it’s gone on throughout all of history. Society/media also love to label everything and put people in little boxes. I’m a Baby Boomer, was considered by some to be a Hippie and later on a Yuppie, disparaging comments were made about both. I didn’t consider myself to be either, ignored what was said, and lived my life how I saw fit. This is me doing this: “The older generation passed on their wisdom to the younger generation.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  26. raffythereadingelf says:

    This was very on point and I really appreciate your writing this. Probably going to make members of my family read this haha 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  27. raffythereadingelf says:

    Reblogged this on raffythereadingelf and commented:
    A very notable observation. I am glad these were finally put into words. 😊

    Like

  28. Reblogged this on Perfect Imperfections. The rollercoaster that is my 30s and commented:
    While I wasn’t born in the 90’s, I grew up in them and can relate!

    Like

  29. Absolutely LOVED reading this blog! Differentiating between ‘save’ and ‘save as’..the struggle was REAL!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Jasmine Pope says:

    Thank you for saying everything I want to when I’m looked down on for being associated with the judgments of my generation merely because of the year I was born. Another judgment I often hear is related to the liberalism that is so closely associated with the newer generation. I am a conservative… I don’t want to be grouped as a liberal by people’s attempt at generalizing the populations. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. parentingfosho says:

    Great post. I’m a millennial born in the ’80s, and I’m extremely frustrated at work how our generation gets categorized and everyone talks about how they have to be overly sensitive to this and that with us millennials… I’ve been forced to sit through one too many “cross-generational” and “millennial boot camp” trainings at work – which is becoming a waste of my time. It’s really at what stage of life we’re in which individually effects how we prioritize things and make decisions – education, maturity of work experience, multi-cultural background, being married with kids, etc. etc. I can tell you my gen X and baby boomer colleagues use their smart phones & tablets just as much as I do. So stop treating us so differently and being overly sensitive to all these “millennial stereotypes” – please treat us equally as you would any other gen X or boomer colleagues / employees.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I hear ya! It’s almost as if we are a completely different species just because we grew up in a different era. So then they try and cater specifically to us. When really, we’re just people.

      Like

  32. The Antidote says:

    And Mario Party required you to have friends and family on the sofa next to you because there were no wireless controllers, Bluetooth headsets and WiFi gaming. Multiplayer at its best!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. I was searching through a blog for my assignment this week. I had to find a random’s person blog and to piggy back off of to help my blog about video games. I’m not really going to do that, but when I saw your featured image was the Nintendo 64 with Mario Party 2 in it, I decided to give this blog a look. I am glad that I did! This was a very good read!
    I’m going to end up writing my blog about Mario Party this week and how it affected me and my brothers when we were little. Thank you for the idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Gelene says:

    Let me echo the others- great post!
    I’m guilty of this generation-judging too sometimes when my “millenial” cousins prefer to look down their gadgets instead of chatting with us, their GenY/X-ers elders, over a cup of coffee. I feel like they’re missing on a lot in “real life”. But then, I realize that I hated generations ahead me who were all-knowing and judgmental of me and my generation. That’s when I stop and let them be. 😉

    Like

  35. Dalo 2013 says:

    Fantastic post ~ shedding a good light on millennials (and my nieces and nephews). Typewriters, while very painful and I never wish to use one again, were kinda cool too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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