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Friday, July 22, 2016

Are Millennials Lazy?

Millennials are typically defined as those born in the early 1990s through the early 2000s and characterized as digitally native, generally enjoy living and working in urban areas.

From The baffling reason many millennials don’t eat cereal (Washington Post, February 23, 2016):
A large contingent of millennials are uninterested in breakfast cereal because eating it means using a bowl, and bowls don't clean themselves (or get tossed in the garbage). Bowls, kids these days groan, have to be cleaned.

Cereal isn't the only food suffering from a national trend toward laziness. Coffee has suffered a similar fate. Despite talk of a third wave of coffee, which values quality above all else, and basks in artisanal rather than effortless methods of preparation, Americans still covet convenience above all else.

"Convenience is the one thing that’s really changing trends these days," Howard Telford, an industry analyst at market research firm Euromonitor, said last year....
More significantly, we read this:
...[H]ow families raise their kids [today] seems to be turning even the most mundane of responsibilities, like doing the dishes, into unthinkable nuisances....
Read the rest HERE.

Stereotyping is simplistic thinking. Still, there does seem to be a trend of despising any physical task as a waste of time. If there's not an app for a task, many Millennials are not interested in pursuing that task.

I don't know about your neighborhood. But here on this block of mega-mansions (all built long after my family settled here), I never see my neighbors' children doing any chores. Everything is hired out — particularly childcare, cleaning the house, and mowing the yard. What's more, only rarely do we see the children here outside.

Whither a society such as this?


  1. As a "cynical, independent" Gen-X'er who has raised a few Millennials, I will observe that most stereotypes are just that, with many exceptions.

    I find it hard to judge this based on my own experience. We are a family of stubborn people and squabbles over who last loaded or emptied the dishwasher are ongoing, but I am proud that my progeny are fine young adolescents who always garner compliments from older folks on how polite and engaging they are. They enjoy cooking, reading, shooting and engaging with the real world and do not have their heads stuck in social media all the time.

    I think many Millennials have been horribly misguided by counselors and education establishment types who have told them to go "follow their dreams," do what makes them happy," etc, and this has led to many broken dreams, from kids who never belonged in college dropping out, to people graduating with worthless degrees that leave them unemployable, and they are all saddled with debt.

    My WW II generation elders taught me to work hard, and that would enable you to set your own course. I don't know if Millennials are being taught that.

    They do seem a cautious cohort, perhaps because of Gen X helicopter parents, but not my kids. They have been solving their problems since middle school, with my wife and I as advisers who chime in as needed. Nothing wrong with watching from a distance as you children grapple with life's problems, learn valuable lessons and gain life experience while still living at home under the protective care of their parents (that's how my parents raised me).

    I have generally been impressed with the Millennials I've come in contact with, so I don't know. I do wonder how this crap economy, security uncertainty, etc we've been going through these past ten years will shape this generation. Will they become cynical, hedonistic and unmoored like the post WW I "Lost Generation?"

    Will they end up saying "enough is enough," overthrow the old order and become an engine for social and economic change?

    1. SF,
      My WW II generation elders taught me to work hard, and that would enable you to set your own course. I don't know if Millennials are being taught that.

      They are taught that -- at least some of them. But the education system has kids jumping through pointless hoops, one of which is today's college application process.

      Some of the questions on college applications are downright stupid!

      For example, on the most recent Princeton application, one of the questions is "What is your favorite word?" Don't explain the answer; merely fill in the blank. The most recent Princeton application also wants a short essay about what the student did for the past two summers.

      These kinds of questions make students roll their eyes in frustration.

      As for helicopter parenting, well, it's a huge mistake. How can someone grow up if an adult is always hovering and preventing their children from learning life lessons?

    2. "on the most recent Princeton application, one of the questions is "What is your favorite word?" Don't explain the answer; merely fill in the blank."

      I'd like Princeton to "explain" the purpose of the question. Is this sort of $#!t replacing the SAT/ACT? That's just rhetorical.

    3. AOW: One more of a myriad reasons to avoid the Ivy's and other pretentious schools. Unless you are looking to climb the diplomatic latter, conquer wall street, or join a prestigious law firm, the local state college will get the job done just fine, cheaper, and with a lot less hassle.

    4. Jon,
      Not replacing the SAT/ACT but rather in addition to the testing and other essays, including the Common App essay.

      Essay after essay -- and sometimes stupid question after stupid question. Princeton is one of the worst offenders!

      I'm learning more than I ever wanted to know about the application process because I'm coaching a brilliant student who is applying to Stanford, Cal Tech, Princeton, George Mason University (which has reasonable requirements), and more colleges the names of which I can't recall at the moment.

    5. SF,
      This particular student is Chinese American -- and brilliant. Probably the most brilliant student I've ever taught.

      I think that he's looking to pursue a career in physics.

      His brother is a different kind of kid, and the parents, wisely, will not be having him pursue application to an Ivy League school.

  2. I'm not sure how this may fit-in but more and more I seem to notice that many lives seem to revolve around some little gadget held in the palms of their hands, oblivious to all else. Where this leads, I guess, remains to be seen.

    1. It leads to people walking into walls, lampposts and moving traffic. Can't escape Darwin...

      More darkly, this trains people to allow government and corporations to track their every move and behavior by giving them a device full of mind-numbing pleasures.

      It also trains a people to mindlessly obey authority and do what the device (like a navigation app or a Twitterstorm of opprobrium) tells them.

    2. Jon,
      The gadgets are a bit part of the problem.

    3. I actually had a nursing mom, carrying the baby on the front, run into me on a sidewalk where I even called out "heads up!" as I stepped as far aside as I could. Yup, she had her head down in her phone.

  3. I had written to Aunt Maud
    Who was on a trip abroad
    When I heard she'd died of cramp,
    Just too late to save the stamp.


  4. _________ A Father’s Prayer _________

    Ask not, my child, what I can do for you.
    Forgive what seems like stinginess today.
    A lot will be required to go through
    The process of discovering the right way.
    Help yourself. Don't wait for me, my child.
    Each one of us must learn to stand alone.
    Rich rewards like Love can't be beguiled,
    Seduced or bought. They must in toil be grown.
    Perhaps to you I sound a bit too stern?
    Remember that I've lived a longer time.
    A joy cannot exist until you earn
    Your way. To do it FOR you'd be a crime.
    Exacting though I seem, my little one,
    Respect me now, and –– later –– you'll have fun.

    ~ FreeThinke - The Sandpiper

    1. FT,
      Don't wait for me, my child.
      Each one of us must learn to stand alone
      and A joy cannot exist until you earn
      Your way.

      Now many of today's parents recognize those realities?

  5. I duct taped my nephew's PlayStation 4 controller to a broom and dustpan but the hint was too subtle. Stereotype or not, the generation entering their 20s right now are worse than lazy. They're mostly stupid.

  6. We have wonderful millennial tenants (a couple) who have put amazing energy and work into decorating their apartment. While this is not the same as 'drudge' work like chores, they are also one of 2 tenants we've had in 10 years who did not have a cleaning lady. My apartments are entry level type, and the people who rent aren't wealthy. Yet everyone hires someone to clean 600 square feet of space.


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