Recently, Reddit user u/AlmostBarbie asked, "Gen Z and millennials, what’s something you wish the older generations understood?" and millennials especially had a LOT to say. Here are some of their responses!
1. "Millennials are grown-ass adults. Literally the youngest conceivable cut point for millennials (ability to candidly remember pre-9/11, at least for the US, in my opinion) is in the latter half of their mid-twenties. The oldest possible cut point is in their early forties."
2. "You gave us the fucking participation trophies, although I agree they’re dumb. You were the snowflakes who couldn’t let your precious little angel grapple with the fact that he won't be one of the, like, 500 NBA players one day."
3. "That $15/hour in 2021 does not give you the same purchasing power that it did in 1985. When I hear an older person say, 'I used to get by just fine on $15/hour,' I want to slap them."
4. "How much college and housing really costs compared to when they bought those things. And it's just a domino effect, too. The less reasonable college is, the harder it is to buy a house with all your loans. And both of those things make it very difficult to have children."
"Not to mention that if we do end up having kids, it’s harder each year to afford them, as daycare costs are increasing at a rate faster than normal inflation. In the past year, my daycare costs have risen 9%, then 6%, then 3%. I only got a 3% raise at work and every penny goes to daycare, so I’m essentially earning less now than I did a year ago."
5. "That it is reasonable to not want kids and enjoy life with your spouse. I can’t have kids, buy a house, and go on vacation even with my $100k+ salary. At least, not if I want to have money saved for emergencies."
6. "That the American economy is fucked and unbelievably slanted against younger generations. Because those with power and money exerted their influence to gain more power and money. So now all the resources have been sucked up to the top, and young people are left fighting over table scraps."
7. "Customers ARE NOT always right. The original phrase reeks of privilege and self-entitlement."
8. "Just because I know where/how to find the answer to something doesn't mean I 'think I'm smarter than you.' I'm just trying to save both of us from wasting time."
9. "My ability to find the power button on a computer does not make me anymore a genius than your grasp of the Dewey Decimal System makes you a genius."
10. "Stop telling me directions, I'll just use GPS. No really, just give me the end address. Stop. STOP TELLING ME DIRECTIONS. I'M NOT LISTENING TO YOU. JUST GIVE ME THE ADDRESS AND I'LL USE GPS."
"They always give you BS directions too. Like, turn left at the ye old liquor store...'You mean the one that burned down 15 years ago and is now a Starbucks?' 'Yeah, that's the one!'"
11. "Throughout our schooling, we had to write research papers using online sources, and our teachers really stressed the importance of being able to identify a credible source before citing it. Don't be offended when you send us an article from Americanpatrioteagle.ru and we dismiss it outright."
14. "I don't want the moon. I just want what I was promised after doing everything you asked me to."
"My worst times come when I have unexpected emergency financial issues that saving money out of every single paycheck of my 8–5, 40 hr/week job isn't able to help me with. I break down and literally cry. 'I did what I was supposed to.'"
15. "Millennials didn’t kill industries. Complacency and a lack of forethought killed them."
"Taxi monopolies had a decade or more to make an app or whatever that was transparent about pricing, route, and at least vastly more secure for riders than an anonymous pickup. We didn’t kill Applebee’s; the world is just more accessible now, and I’d rather eat something more interesting than frozen and microwaved dishes I can make at least as well at home for 10% of the cost. Industries killed themselves because they thought being the best when we were 6 was going to be good enough."
16. "That video games don't cause mass shootings. Things like neglect, bullying, a bad home life, and your shitty parenting are what cause mass shootings."
17. "Just because we're more aware of our mental health and allow ourselves to feel what we want to feel, it doesn't make us weak or 'snowflakes.' If anything, it makes us better at coping with, well, everything!"
18. "Dad: 'Just go in and ask for a job and keep going every day until they give you one.' Or, 'This random kid I was talking to at Wegmans (20 years ago) started in the mail room and worked his way up and he’s making $_ hundred thousand per year.' Me: 'They just tell you to submit a resume online and never respond.'"
"Anybody who has decision-making power, like hiring, will likely be protected by security and you will probably not be able to actually talk to them."
"'You'll have to start out in the mail room and work your way up.' ROFL, no. The job my grandfather had requires a master's degree — he had a high school diploma. If you're hired for the mail room? You're going to stay in the mailroom."
19. "Kids use computers/phones for more than just playing video games and scrolling through social media. I basically live on my computer. My best friends are online. My favorite activities are coding and making games. But no, my parents assume the devil computer is rotting my brain and making me stupid. As a wise man once said: phone bad, book good."
"Except that you can read a book on your phone. The internet is a tool, you can be learning physics on it or rotting your brain with some bullshit."
20. "That we aren’t completely oblivious to what happened when we were born. When I was a kid, we still had a VHS."
"I can't stand those Facebook memes of some '80s era photograph of a vinyl record all like, 'how to confuse millennials lol.' You don't have to be born before the invention of cars to know what a horse is."
21. "It’s productivity and efficiency that matter, not the amount of time you spend at work."
"Case in point: when I took over for a boomer coworker, I learned his entire filing cabinet of files could be put into a single excel spreadsheet. It was ridiculous how much paper that man wasted."
22. "I feel damn resentful when older folks tell me I should stay home with my kids. Like, yeah I’d love to if we could afford it, which we can’t. They act like it’s a choice to go back to work, when for a lot of moms, it’s not a choice."
23. "Your shitty jokes that objectify women or make fun of minorities won’t fly anymore. Get over it."
24. "School is much harder. In high school, both of my parents only required one algebra class to graduate. Today, I needed Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry to graduate, and another math class if you plan on going to college."
"With exception to Latin, everything my dad studied as an honor student in the '60s I studied as a non-honors student in the '00s. He also didn't start writing multi-page essays (7+ pages) until college. I started writing those in eighth grade.
School was significantly easier back then because there was no expectation for most of the students. After graduation, the majority of the boys joined the service, learned a trade, and got a job. The majority of the women got married, had kids, and if they did work, it was something menial that required very little training. That's not the case anymore."
25. "That not everything can be solved with immediate aggression. ... Being patient and thinking on the right thing to say rather than saying what comes to mind first goes a lot further."
26. "Yeah, we know. You rode in the back window of a car that had no seatbelts, you got measles, rode bikes with no helmets, and still turned out just fine. Just because you happened to be in the group of people who survived doesn’t mean any of these were a good idea."
"SURVIVOR BIAS, ugh. Nothing is so infuriating as a boomer giving me outdated and dangerous baby advice."
27. "They took everything. They are still taking everything. Their lifespan is draining our whole society — from pensions, healthcare, education housing, tax policy; the list goes on and on. They took advantage and were bad stewards of the society they inherited. The 'me me me' generation is not millennials...it's the baby boomers."
"Bad stewards of the environment as well, may I add?"
"Hell, they are even slowing modernization with the sheer fucking voting power they have."
28. "There was hope in your time. You felt like you could change the world. Nowadays, our economy is fucked, our environment is fucked, our privacy is gone, our governments are pitting us against one another, and the planet is going to kill us off within the next century regardless of what we do about it. So don't look down on us as 'weak' or call us 'entitled' if we're a little pissed off and/or depressed about it, okay?"
29. And finally..."Things change."
"Gen X here. I have conversations with my boomer/greatest gen mother who doesn’t understand that things have changed. 'We didn’t have air conditioning when I was in elementary school.' Things have changed, mother; that was 70 years ago."