For many years, I have been a fan of Millennials - even writing a blog of support for them last year which you can read here. Recently, however, I keep hearing Millennials disparage, mock, or otherwise belittle older generations – including my own Generation X – for their inability to adapt or change. While it can be tempting to paint with such broad strokes, it’s also horribly misguided.
I’ve got news for my Millennial friends: some of the most progressive thinking people I know are my age or older. By the same token, I know many Millennials who embrace the comfort of the status quo and are just fine with doing things the way they’ve always been done.
It’s time to stop assigning specific behaviors – whether desirable or undesirable – to an entire generation. Suggesting that someone “think like a Millennial” is one thing, but to indicate that Millennials are the only forward thinking people on the planet – or in an industry – is something else entirely. Yes, there are general characteristics of a generation, but those are broad observations that may or may not apply to specific individuals. The simple and lazy act of labeling specific generations as “set in their ways” or “having no ability to adapt” does each individual in that generation a disservice.
Being part of the Millennial generation doesn’t automatically make you a disruptor, more adaptive, or quicker to embrace technology any more than being part of Generation X unquestionably makes me resistant to changing the status quo.
Perhaps it’s time to stop believing that being a Millennial is simply an age range and instead look at it as a way people think, act, and adapt to change.