“My bae is so swaggy; I posted a #WCW of her and her eyebrows were on fleek.”
“Noway? I just dumped my girlfriend, she was basic, but Yolo. I was like, bye Felicia.”
Sadly, as a millennial, I can understand these statements and am ashamed to admit that I use this lingo. Although the use of these words began sarcastically, it has slowly and consistently crept into my daily vocabulary.
Some may argue that the millennial generation is defined by these words, but I want to challenge that thought. Not only do we stereotype others based on socioeconomic status, race and gender, but we also stereotype based on our generations.
By definition, being categorized as a millennial means you were born in the years from 1982-2002. But the stigma behind our generation can be summed up and represented by the Urban Dictionary definition of millennial.
“This generation is something special, cause Mom and Dad and their 5th grade teacher Mrs. Winotsky told them so. Plus they have a whole shelf of participation trophies sitting at home so it has to be true.”
In addition, “They are the only generation in the universe to understand the concept of work life balance and to actually want to find a fulfilling career. All those Gen X losers just don’t get it what with hoping to keep their jobs and pay the bills but they are just corporate drone so who cares what they think? They should be smart like Millennials and get Mom and Dad to pay for that stuff until they can work out what they want to do with their lives and then get rich doing it.”
The idea stands that we are needy, reliant on our parents and have inflated self-pride. In addition, we are stereotyped as disrespectful to authority, spoiled and lazy.
I will be the first to admit that I use twentieth-century lingo, was raised in a white, middle-class, Christian home with two loving parents, and I have the desire to work in a job that I will enjoy.
You may be thinking, yup, she fits the mold.
But as a Christian millennial, I beg to differ. Although my parents helped to instill a healthy amount of self-confidence and self-image, they also instilled manners, humility to ask questions and respect for authority.
I understand from my father and older sister’s example that sacrificing the enjoyment of a job to provide is necessary.
Although many of us millennials enjoy watching Netflix, we are not incapable of holding a job, accomplishing extensive college research papers and forming intelligent thoughts.
We need to break the stereotypes for every generation. Our generation is equally responsible for stereotyping the Gen X or baby boomer generations. We do this by thinking older generations are incapable of using technology or keeping up with current events. I am guilty of teasing my mom for relearning how to copy and paste or attach a document to an email.
What I urge is that we listen and learn from each other. Just as millennials should not be too arrogant and ignorant to ask for help with learning about the past, Gen Xers should not be too prideful to ask for technology help.
The breaking of generational stereotypes lies in the way we treat people of all ages. Listen and learn from each other, not looking down on those who are young, yet not thinking too highly of yourself to ask the elder.
Hedges is a junior majoring in communication. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.