Now that Christmas is over and 2018 is in sight, it’s time to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions. And, while thinking about ways to improve yourself in the new year is fun, why stop there? Especially when you can make up a few resolutions for other people in your life.
Recently, people started making fun of millennials by tweeting satirical new year’s resolutions under the hashtag #MillennialNewYearsResolutions. It’s things like “Limit my ‘I’m a vegan’ announcements to three times a day,” or “Looking up from my phone 30 seconds every day,” or “Fighting back against unfair generational stereotypes by asking mother to address situation next time she’s in the basement dropping off snacks and gathering laundry.”
Fighting back against unfair generational stereotypes by asking mother to address situation next time she’s in the basement dropping off snacks and gathering laundry. #MillennialNewYearResolutions
— Dolph N. (@KrinkleKult) December 15, 2017
It’s funny stuff, and it speaks to the current sense many of us have that millennials are sanctimonious, impolite freeloaders. They’re the founding members of the SJWs, they retreat to their “safe spaces” whenever they feel “triggered,” they’re obsessed with their social media personae, they seem to expect their parents to take care of them long after they’ve graduated college, and they can’t handle anyone whose opinions differ from theirs. I’m not defending them in any way — they annoy the heck out of me too — but was it really all that much better “in my day”?
Limit my "I'm a vegan" announcements to three times a day.
— Kerry Waysman (@KerryWaysman) December 15, 2017
My husband always says that the minute anyone starts talking about “kids these days” or how much better it was when they were young, he immediately stops listening. If everyone (no matter how old) says things used to be so much better than they are now, then someone has to be wrong. I mean, we’re complaining about millennials, but what must older adults have thought during the 1960s and ‘70s when all those baby boomers were off being hippies, embracing communism, and having tons of premarital sex? (They were thinking things were so much better in their day, that’s what.)
Looking up from my phone 30 seconds every day. #MillennialNewYearResolutions
— No good at this (@Protogenes1) December 15, 2017
Now all these former hippies are sitting around shaking their heads at millennials and complaining about “kids these days.” So, which is it? Is every subsequent generation worse than the last, and humanity is in the process of orchestrating its own destruction? Or are all young adults just kind of temporarily crazy and, once they get a little older, they calm down and everything is actually okay?
I’m not sure anyone is really qualified to answer that. But it does seem that this tension between the old and the young has been around since time immemorial. And the problem, of course, is that the young are much more open to change, embrace new technologies, and think outside the box to make new breakthroughs, but the old are wiser, more experienced, and are slower to fly off the handle. So there will always be conflict there, and each group will always think the other is misguided.
In response to #MillennialNew YearsResolutions, BuzzFeed collected millennials’ ideas for what baby boomers should resolve to do in the new year. There were a lot of “get with the program” suggestions. Things like, “Learn how to set up a new phone or tablet without any help,” “Learn how to screenshot,” and “Learn how to rotate PDFs.” But there was also some justification for why millennials are the way they are: “Stop dragging us for not getting a job. I’M SORRY I NEED A PhD, 3 MASTERS DEGREES AND A SACRIFICE TO LUCIFER TO GAIN EMPLOYMENT” was one colorful suggestion. Or, “Stop getting offended by the amount of people who get offended these days,” was another turn-the-tables post.
Personally, I’ve got to admit that I’m pretty worried about the cultural climate millennials have created. The silencing of opposing viewpoints that’s happening on college campuses, the name-calling of anyone who disagrees with you, the refusal to acknowledge gender differences, and the mainstreaming of socialism leave me concerned for the future. And, as a mother, I have a hard time just putting those feelings aside and acknowledging that the future isn’t mine, it’s theirs. Because I know — and I mean know to the very core of my being — that the road millennials have put us on is not the right one.
But I also know that lecturing young adults (who are, and always have been, full of the sanctimonious self-righteousness of being suddenly allowed to sit at the grown-up table) about why they’re wrong is the very best way to make them stop listening to you. Obviously, the only real way to change anyone’s mind is to listen to them, talk to them, and work to logically persuade them (even if you think the person you’re talking to wouldn’t recognize logic if it came up and politely introduced itself).
And since older people are wiser and less impetuous, this task falls to them. Sorry, it just does. Our job as parents, mentors, teachers, and leaders is to parent, mentor, teach, and lead. Screaming, yelling, name-calling, and lecturing (as fun and satisfying as it may be) is not the best way forward. Plus, someone might think you’re a millennial.
Of course teasing is totally okay. I mean, if older people can’t tease younger people then we’re really in trouble. So feel free to share those #MillennialNewYearsResolutions. Because, I mean seriously, they’re kind of asking for it.