What the Millennial Experts Fail to Mention

I feel like, wherever I go, there's someone trying to tell me how I'm feeling. Whether it's a newspaper article or a psychiatrist on daytime television.

And it's funny, because no matter how many times I listen to them or read what I have to say, all I can think of, is how they're not a millennial themselves.

When researchers try to diagnose something, 9 times out of 10, it's a something which can't voice itself. From trying to grasp the psychotic behaviour of humans, to studying the songs of whales. There are limits which stop researchers from going to the 'horses mouth', otherwise, the subject would be able to tell you exactly what's going on in their mind.

Yet, somehow, the generation born between 1990 and 2000, have become part of this study. A group which are spoken about and not to. A whole generation of individuals, each with their own unique thought, senses and experiences, being diagnosed as a whole.

And ironically, this 'blame', is never placed upon the generation before us. Apparently, 17 year olds who live at home, who are growing and learning and watching every move of the individuals around them, are the ones to blame for their own behaviour.

Or, the old favourite, it's due to 'video games'.

I read an analogy recently. If you are a point, you see only yourself. If you are a line, you will see one line, to that point. And if you are three dimensional, you will see each line and each point which connects the whole shape. How do you explain the complex three dimensions of millennials, to an individual who can only see one point. A point which is shrouded in negativity. In 'hoodies' and 'chavs' and 'social media influencers.' A point which has no room and no ability, to see the bigger picture. A point which certainly, could not comprehend, listening to the voice of the subject.

We are different.

Not groundbreaking-ly different. And not special snowflakes. But we are different from the generations before us, just as the baby boomers were different to those before them. Except it seems, 50 years ago, everyone had a bit more of a purpose and the pull of daytime television didn't make 40 year old men decide they needed to diagnose the generation after them. Probably, because they had better things to do.

So, I thought I'd save all of those people the trouble of explaining why millennials are different. Why some of us are fucked up. Why some of us are not. And this time, it is actually coming from a millennial.

1) We Think We're Special
We think we're special, because we see extraordinary things happen every single day due to the ridiculous mass of social media. Not because we're brought up with silver spoons in our mouths. The best bit is, we actually are changing the world. We're winning Nobel Prize's and creating billion pound apps. We're writing music in our bedroom and becoming famous from it over night. We're co-founding stem cell research centres and rewriting laws on gay rights. I know all of this, because it's at my finger tips with a little bit of research. But I also know, that the generation before me have done extraordinary things. The only difference is, they weren't told they couldn't.

2) We're Ungrateful
If you define ungrateful as being annoyed when we've payed £40,000 for a degree and land jobs we could've without higher education, then yes, we're ungrateful. If you believe ungrateful is complaining about earning above £25,000 and not being able to afford a deposit on a house, then yes, we're ungrateful. We may be ungrateful, but don't you think you would be too? 

3) We Don't Understand Consequences
This is one of my favourites. Because we probably understand consequences better than anyone ever has. We'll be walking head first into the worst economy in centuries, the highest house prices, and we're some of the highest educated individuals walking into low-paying jobs. We understand consequences because we have instant access to social media, telling us about 15 year old's who are suicidal, and how oil will run out and the icecaps are melting. We have been subjected to terror far beyond that of the IRA or anything which has existed before. Trust me when I say, we understand consequences. 

4) Social Media has Ruined us

To be clear, I understand the failures of social media. But, how do my failings in social media, make me more of a failure than David the 35 year old might decide to quit his job and finally travel the world because he sees his mate Paul doing just that on Facebook. Or Brenda, the 68 year old who gets into arguments over Facebook with strangers about Brexit. Or Jackie, who spends hours scrolling through her friends weightloss progress pictures and decides to start the 5:2 tomorrow. We are ALL susceptible to social media. Only, because we've been brought up with it, it's somehow to blame for only our fuck ups, and not everyone else's.

5) We're Rebels Without a Cause

I couldn't count on all fingers and toes and every fibre of my body the amount of comments I saw, after the UK's General Election, about how we concluded in a hung parliament due to young people voting against tuition fees. But actually, no matter how you voted, here is what we are rebelling against, just in case you weren't sure: Austerity, raising tuition fees (not abolishing them), privatising the NHS, privitising the railways, cuts in the charity sector, cuts to emergency services, cuts to mental health, lack of acknowledgements of LGBTQ+ human rights, raising tax for the poor. I think we have quite a lot to rebel against, to be honest. 

Millennials are a generation of the butterfly effect. We have the ability to see someone making a difference in Australia, and in France, somebody else will make a difference as a reaction to that. We believe we can achieve things, which may be mistaken as being 'owed' things, not because we're spoilt, but because every day, we witness people living their dreams. People who aren't famous, or celebrities, ordinary people who are travelling the world for a career, individuals who have sold websites for millions.

We are different, because we are a different generation with different experiences and influences, just as baby boomers are different to the generation before theirs. 

We are special, because we are currently the most innovative, technologically developed and globalised generation. We are selfies and memes and Love Island. But we are also the most tolerant and empathetic generation to pass through the Earth. Whether in terms of race, gender, animals, we are far more a community than any generation before us. 

What the Millennial experts fail to tell us, is that yes, we are different, but that is not a bad thing.

Love, Alice x 


  1. Thank you for this!!! Needed to be said.

  2. Good stuff. The generation before always loves to comment. I was part of the Punk generation. The generation before saw only negativity and threat. Not innovation and creativity and that's what each new generation brings to the party. This should be met with open arms- not finger wagging disguised as analysis.

  3. Thank you so much for this! It has said exactly what I've been trying to say to older generations!