Editorial: Millennials are ruining everything


Millennials are ruining everything from diamonds to bar soap to the workforce — or at least that’s what the internet would have you believe.

It has become trendy to blame millennials for a plethora of changes and issues. It is a type of clickbait that manages to fault a large group of people for something, even though they are only grouped together because of their age.

It’s easy to blame millennials for seemingly random changes. It’s also just a cheap way to get clicks on articles and place blame on the up-and-coming generation.

Individuals who were born from 1977 to 1995 are generally considered millennials, which is an 18 year range. This large range means most millennials have grown up in vastly different circumstances yet are considered members of the same generation. So it doesn’t seem logical to pin changes and issues on such a diverse group of people.

Even with that, it makes sense most millennials aren’t buying diamonds. Most of us aren’t out of college yet, and we do not have an immediate need for expensive rocks.

Maybe sales for bar soap are down because body wash is a more convenient and portable way to get clean. The workforce has been around for a while, so it doesn’t seem like it will suddenly meet its demise because of millennials.

American industries are constantly shifting, as are opinions of consumers and the reasoning behind these decisions.

Should we blame baby boomers for the death of typewriters? Should we blame Generation X for the death of letter mail? Blaming a group of people for a large cultural shift doesn’t make sense. Even with that, the youngest generation at the time is routinely blamed for the destruction of old ideas and habits. These changes should not necessarily be looked at as destructions, but instead an evolution of old ways.

For example, millennials are credited with ruining marriage. Maybe this is in part because many are too young to get married, but maybe it is because we are waiting to get married until later in life than our elders. We can’t be blamed for ruining something we are too young to experience. We also can’t be credited for ruining something if we are just delaying it. Ruining it almost implies complete destruction.

This evolution is human nature. It is not a generational issue. It’s hard to have things in common with people who were in the workforce when current juniors at Lehigh were born. It doesn’t seem logical to pin an issue on such a diverse and expansive group of people.

There is not even always a direct connection between millennials and some of the things we are credited with ruining. Somehow we are killing trees by reading books, as if we are the first group of people to read books and use paper.

Don’t believe that millennials have ruined everything from trees to the American dream. We’re just a scapegoat for naturally changing habits, and scapegoating millennials just makes a good headline.

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