Everyone likes to talk shit abut Millennials. Old fogeys are always like, "You don't know the value of a dollar and a hard day's work!" Hey, all you oldies. As a millennial, I know what hard work looks like. One time, my parents didn't get me an iPhone when they just came out even though I worked really hard as a hostess at a restaurant. They told me I should pay for it myself, but like, I had to put my paycheck towards cute outfits for hostessing! I deserve an iPhone, Dad! Why can't you understand that?!
A new research focused on high school seniors in 2005, 2006, and 2007 has found that materialism in Millennials is at historically high levels, while their attitudes towards work don't reflect the kind of pay offs they, or shall i say "we," expect. Participants were asked to rate how important various materialistic goals were for them, like buying a new car every few years, owning a sick pad (that's what we call a nice house these days), and having a lot of money. In the same survey, they were asked whether they thought they expected work to be a central part of their lives and their attitudes towards work in general.
Surprise, surprise. The results show we suck, and not only do we suck, we suck a substantial amount more than our predecessors. "Materialism rose substantially from the mid-1970s through the late 1980s, peaking among members of Generation X," the report reads. "Although materialism then declined slightly, youth in the late 2000s were significantly more oriented towards materialistic values than they were youth in the 1970s."
It doesn't take a professional to point out that not as much really cool shit existed in the 70s. Materialism is more fun when you can that Givenchy shirt on sale with your all-white iPhone and cute J. Crew case. Like, duh. Whatever, let's hear what else these dads have to say about us.
39 percent of Millennials said that they did not want to work hard, and the number of respondents who said they saw work as a "central part of life" slid from 3/4 in the 70s to 2/3 in Gen x The Worst Gen Ever x.
So who do we blame? This is CLEARLY not our fault, because nothing is our fault. That's what my therapist told me as she patted my hand and prescribed me Klonopin. "Youth raised during the times of societal instability (e.g., unemployment) and disconnection (e.g., more unmarried parents) were especially likely to endorse materialist values," wrote the authors. "Furthermore, when a larger percentage of the nation's economy was oriented toward advertising messages, youth were also likely to prioritize materialistic aims."
AHA! It's capitalism's fault. You guys were making me feel really bad about myself for a second there. But also: Sorry for party rocking, YOLO, don't hate me cuz you ain't me, etc.
Images via Rich Kids of Instagram