How Millennials Became ‘Generation Meh’

How Millennials Became ‘Generation Meh’, by Teresa Mull.

There exists a prevailing opinion that Millennials are boring. As a member of the generation born between 1980 and 2000, I can attest that this view is for the most part true.

People — myself included — love to criticize Millennials, to the point that the term “Millennial” has become belittling (though if you prefer there’s also the less-than-flattering moniker “Generation Me”). Ben Shapiro recently declared in Breitbart that Millennials are “the worst generation.” A Washington Post article on “Five really good reasons to hate millennials” observed, “The Millennial hit-piece has practically become a literary genre unto itself.” …

A Business Insider article reported earlier this year that Millennials are stereotyped as “infamously narcissistic, entitled, lazy, and arrogant.” Oh, and boring. Don’t forget boring, which inherently comes with the self-centered territory, since no one is ever as interested in you as you are. …

A barman in Leeds, England fumed to The Economist that “Kids these days just want to live in their f***ing own little worlds in their bedrooms watching Netflix and becoming obese.” In an article speculating about why Millennials are disillusioned with drugs, sex, and rock n’ roll, Vice noted, “Smartphones have increased…‘isolated socializing,’ which leads to less drinking and drug taking.”

So instead of meeting up, making bad decisions, and having fun together, Millennials are busy obsessively trying to impress others with their pseudo-enviable lives through filtered and Photoshopped images on social media. Life then becomes a never-ending search for validation by one’s peers—or virtual peers, anyway. …

How did the millennials get this way?

Millennials were raised by Baby Boomers. Helicopter parenting came into vogue while we were kids. Small families, too, became the norm, and there was a dearth of siblings to keep the others from thinking too much of themselves. …

We were raised in a politically correct culture that has, to quote Mel Brooks, been “the death of comedy.” Our parents and educators worshipped at the altar of “self-esteem” and offered us as child sacrifices. With such little fun to be had and nothing to do but take ourselves seriously, we failed to develop an interesting identity …

Our parents created “Generation Me” by constantly telling us how great we were. Everyone was a winner. Everyone got a trophy. Nothing — save competition —was ever off limits. Saving sex for marriage, giving your child a normal name, staying married, and other traditional moral principles had been completely unwound from the pillar that holds a Christian society together by the time Millennials came along. …

The traditional values of faith, family, and freedom that have been the basis of American culture since its founding were replaced for Millennials by relativism, the Self, and fascism. …

We were raised with, and sometimes by, a big and ever-growing government. With more government comes more regulation, and regulation makes everything regular, including people.

Millennials don’t know how to rebel, but in our defense, we never really had anything to rebel against, because the generation that invented the Free Love Movement didn’t have “no” in its vocabulary. … Instead of defying authority in the youthful rite of passage, we actually embrace “the man” as a cornerstone of comfort! …

Millennials have managed to take the attitude towards life that prompted Hunter S. Thompson’s youthful, maniacal consumption of American culture (and a whole lot else) and snuff it into a whiny little expression that isn’t even really a word so much as the sound a baby would make: “meh.”

There’s no arguing with “meh” because you can’t debate feelings. The 60s radicals may have come to the wrong conclusions, but at least they were asking the right questions. With Generation Me, or Meh, there is no longer argument; we simply exchange emotional reactions summed up by platitudes: “You’re sexist!” “You’re racist!” …

Millennials were raised to seek and receive praise. It’s all we know, and we aren’t growing out of it. We’re afraid to lose our sense of approval and will do whatever it takes to fit it.

hat-tip Stephen Neil