2013’s Worst Writing About Millennials

2013’s been a solid year for some lucky teens and 20-somethings: Lorde, One Direction, and Miley Cyrus topped the international pop charts; Jennifer Lawrence charmed the pants off of anyone with eyeballs; Lena Dunham scored a multimillion-dollar book deal. The rest of us, however, weren’t so lucky. The past 12 months saw more ill-founded, hysterical, condescending, and generally awful writing than ever about what so-called “millennials” are up to and why it’s ruining the country. Here are the lowlights of this year’s coverage, collected here in the hopes that 2014 will bring some slightly more nuanced accounts of young people and our problems than these.

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The Cover Story

It may be tucked behind a paywall, but Joel Stein’s TIME does would-be readers a solid by laying out his thesis right off the bat: the “Me Me Me Generation” is “lazy, entitled, selfish, and shallow.” Stein claims he’s got conclusive proof that the generation that’s currently bearing the brunt of the recession is somehow more self-centered than the generation that caused it, but — spoiler alert! — he doesn’t. Flavorwire’s own Tom Hawking penned a handy takedown of the story when it hit newsstands this May, tallying up the piece’s many, many problems, but among the highlights: citing frequent texting as evidence of narcissism; generally ignoring the sins of the far more famously egocentric Baby Boomers; and, of course, reducing an entire generation to a series of lazy stereotypes.

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I feel there is a major component of the articles you've critiqued that has gone vastly overlooked.  You try and break down the articles with logic and reason, as any professional writer would, but that's not what got this discussion on Millennials started.  At its core, this debate originated from raw emotion.  To put it simply, people got fed up.  Really fed up.  A human being doesn't get angry to prove a point.  A human gets angry because their mind tells them to. Unless that person is a sociopath, all they can do is strap themselves in for the ride.

So when you bring up this notion that we have no right to be upset at Millennials, what you don't realize that you are only re-inforcing the stereotype of being narcissistic and egotistical.  Your article has done more to prove Millennials are the worst than any other article I've read online. Yet you should know that it won't be much longer before these articles won't be based on the opinionated he said/she said, they will focus on the actual repercussions of this pent-up anger in the physical world.  Talk is cheap and let the games begin.

By the way, I'm 26 and I'm the Millennial's worst nightmare.