I’ve had an argument with my 17 year-old son who says that some millennials – he cites comments sections, blogs and discussions online – are not the empowered, enlightened consumers of marketing myth, but among the worst racists, misogynists and homophobes. The problem is that millennial as a label covers a huge demographic which strictly speaking should include LadBible devotees, gamergate fascists and anti-immigrationists as well as fashionistas, the gender-fluid and Vloggers.
If we can realistically generalise about them it goes without saying (but it’s constantly repeated) that their generation is the first whose experience of life has been so profoundly influenced by electronic media and messages and the accelerated globalised interactions that come with them. For a babyboomer like me the difference is that they have unfettered access to information and also the means to explore and express the widest range of views – but they also sometimes display an unquestioning consumerist instinct, ruthless competitiveness (taking in the shaming culture and vindictive peer-pressure mentioned previously) and hyperindividualism bordering on narcissism. Oh, and – another generalisation – I forgot millennials’ awful tendency to gush/use hyperbole (totes devs/I’m dying/can’t evn… etc).
Here are some further thoughts on millennials and language, in a piece by Zoe Henry for Inc. (…and more will follow)