Entitled, bored, lazy, obsessed with social media: American Millennials have a bad rap. But are they really so disappointing? The jury's still out, and the debate is fierce.
Joel Stein infamously called the Me Generation's babies the "Me Me Me Generation" in Time magazine two years ago. But those born in the 1980s and 90s haven't actually had it so easy. They hit the job market in rough spots — the downturn after the 9/11 disaster and the recession.
Lots of Millennials are still trying to find a good-paying job. Recent statistics show that as many as 40% are still getting money from mom and dad. Most of them are between 18 to 25, but 22% of those 26 to 34 years old are also dipping into the parental till, reports USA Today.
The good thing about coming through tougher economic times is that it might make the Millennials tougher and more assertive, traits that will help them succeed, believe some social scientists. They're also a tech threat to the Generation Xers just ahead of them because they cut their baby teeth on computers and are super-savvy digital users, Andrew Challenger, a vice president at headhunter firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, tells NBC.
"Millennials are hungrier and more well-educated than any generation in history, and they understand technology," said Challenger. "They are knocking at the door of people sitting in comfy positions and that's where the negativity" towards the Millennials comes from — a real "place of insecurity," he adds.
One not-so-bright spot is that Millennials haven't evolved enough to be much less racist than their parents. When it comes to explicit prejudice against blacks, non-Hispanic white Millennials are not much different than Generation X (born 1965 to 1980) or Baby Boomer (born 1946 to 1964) whites. White Millennials (born after 1980) express the least prejudice on 4 out of 5 measures, according to surveys by the National Opinion Research Research Center at the University of Chicago, but only by a matter of 1 to 3 percentage points, reports the Washington Post.