Every generation criticizes the next for various reasons.
The next is either too rowdy, lacks gumption or is of inferior moral character, which yielding the obligatory “back in my day” speech.
These long-winded speeches given by old timers describe an era of unmarred morale and undying love — something millennials “wouldn’t understand.”
Today’s proclaimed “heathens,” the millennial generation, are depicted as unruly, disconnected and pretentious fornicators. Those of older generations are appalled by their infamous one-night- stands, lack of commitment and endless capacity for rebounds.
Why has this generation earned a reputation for being self-centered, heartless and plain “thotty,” a term coined by millennials to describe promiscuous individuals?
Like everything else, our parents and the more seasoned individuals of our society can blame our reputation on technology.
People are more accessible than ever because of innovative communication technology, such as texting, social media and video chat.
Unlike past generations, millennials have access to almost all the fish in the sea, and we just might like more than one out of billions.
With so many qualified options to chose from, millennials are overwhelmed and stressed by the thought of forgone options — well, at least I am.
I think I speak for the majority of millennials when I say our biggest fear related to commitment is the prospect of committing to someone and missing out on a better alternative.
Choosing the wrong one is an overwhelming prospect. In a world where determining the best option for nearly everything is just a tap away, committing to a person for all of eternity is a little scary.
According to a 2010 survey done by Peww Research Center, 44 percent of the millennial generation believe marriage is becoming obsolete. The same research shows an increasing trend in older marriage ages since the 60s. This data shouldn’t be alarming — it should be comforting.
Originally, people married very young because A) it was their only way off the farm, B) they were probably going to die very soon from plague or influenza or C) Paula got knocked up during an attempted one-night-stand and her Daddy isn’t giving Bill any other option.
With that said, I interpret the statistics above as a representation of a highly analytical generation that refuses to settle for anything other than love. Many say marriage doesn’t mean anything anymore, but I think marriage means even more now.
Unlike past generations, many of the millennials chose to marry because they actually believe they found someone special, not because it is a societal norm. In generation where shacking up is becoming widely accepted, marriage is the ultimate proclamation of love.
If the 51 percent of marriages in 2010 were made of couples moved by the forces of love, the decline from 72 percent in 1960 doesn’t bother me one bit.
Having a life of normalcy was the ultimate goal of the Baby Boomers and Generation Xers, but millennials could care less. We do not ignore marriage issues and resort to sleeping in separate rooms in the same home.
We aren’t unafraid of divorce and the criticism that accompanies it. We would rather be talked about and happy than miserable than socially accepted, hence the support for the LGBTQ+ community and push for cannabis.
Though we have our differences, millennials share many similarities with past generations; our lives are simply exploited through social media and degrading reality television shows like “Sixteen and Pregnant.” Because of technology, our voices are louder, and we find a sense of community through wide-range social interaction.
In the past, premarital sex and “bastard” children were things to be ashamed of, but now millennials celebrate the road bumps in life.
Flings and the single parents they create are now becoming acceptable in our evolving, more tolerant and loving generation. We enjoy the things in life that are #relatable. We rejoice with each other in victory and we cry with each other in defeat.
I encourage the Baby boomers and Generation Xers to take a break from their relentless critique and learn from us. We are by no means the model generation, but we do know what love is.
Love is accepting and supporting someone through times of adversity — not judging or shaming someone into compliance.
Although we’re indecisive and shallow at times, we are not afraid to admit it. We might even tweet it, along with the meal we microwaved at 2 a.m. No matter how much our progressive ideologies are criticized, we won’t stop being authentic.
We will not stop taking selfies. We will not stop making up words. We will not stop innovating.
Millennial Miley Cyrus said it best, “we can’t stop.’