Some say there’s been no shortage of hate towards millennials in recent years. Most likely you’ve read articles blaming millennials for the “downfall” of local businesses, capitalism or even democracy. However, as the millennial generation starts to occupy a larger percentage of the workforce, some believe it’s time for the older generations to ease up.
Millennials Fight Back
Millennials have been more vocal about their dislike for being thrown under the bus. In 2016, they hijacked the Twitter hashtag #HowToConfuseAMillennial. This trend was originally created by baby boomers to air out their grievances with the younger population. However, The hijacked hashtag was repurposed to provide insight on how millennials view older generations as hypocritical, ignorant and privileged.
The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword
More recently, millennials have taken to old-fashioned letter writing. Towards the end of 2017, a letter that 16-year-old Jenni Herd wrote to The Times in 2014 gained media circulation. Her letter articulated disappointment with the hate towards millennials and presented aspirations for the future of older and younger demographics.
In her letter she targets articles such as “How to Understand Your Teenager’s Brain” as evidence that the older generations have distanced themselves from the younger generation and refuse to see the value in young minds. She writes, “I would like to see adults treat us not as strange creatures from another world but as human beings with intelligent thought…” She alludes to “adults” not taking the time to understand the circumstances surrounding the millennial upbringing which has led to the rift between the two sides of misunderstanding.
As communications professionals, it’s imperative to strategically tailor your messaging. As the younger demographic gains more purchasing power and authority within the working world, hate towards millennials may cause resentment and rigidity. This could produce toxic backlash when the older generations reach retirement age. Though it may be simpler to point the finger when turmoil occurs, creating a more inclusive media environment is a step in the right direction towards social harmony.
It’s as they say, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
To read Jenni’s full letter to The Times, click here: