Every generation argues that the ones coming after it are less than worthless. As a Gen Xer, I sure heard plenty from the Baby Boomers about how we were going to be the death of America: we were lazy slackers with no prospects for the future, etc.
Millennials hear the same stuff, to be sure. However, science now backs their parents up:
If today’s men think that all those video games are helping them maintain optimal hand strength, they’d better think again.
In a series of studies testing grip and pinch strength, researchers report in the Journal of Hand Therapy that among the 237 healthy millennials studied between the ages of 20 and 34, men today are significantly weaker than their counterparts of the ’80s.
Specifically, men could squeeze with 120 pounds of force in 1985 and only 95 today, reports Today.com. The strength of women dropped off, too, but not as substantially.
The prime reason, the researchers propose, is that men are simply less handy — fewer work in manual labor jobs, hence the reduction in strength over these past three decades, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
Hand strength was used as a proxy for overall strength, since one is usually indicative of the other.
Anyone who has walked into a Starbucks and seen the bearded, glasses-wearing scarecrows who pass for coffeehouse denizens these days shouldn’t be overly surprised.
However, part of that reduction in strength makes sense. After all, we’re not a manual labor society anymore. While there are still trades hiring in the U.S., many blue collar employers have left the country. And despite what any presidential candidate claims, they’re not coming back.
However, the distressing part of this — which relates to character — is that millennials seem to revel in their weakness.
What? You don’t believe me? Stories abound of how they’re weaker physically and emotionally.
Baby Boomers and Generation X are used to being the butt of jokes on television, but we take it in stride. Meanwhile, millennials get outraged because a show dares to mock their outrage. Of course, the irony of this may well be lost on the generation that otherwise communicates entirely in irony.
Will millennials get their rears in gear? Probably — reality forces you to eventually pull your weight. My generation slacked too, but eventually got to business. We created the internet, for goodness’ sake.
Somedays, millennials will probably hit their stride. In the meantime, keep telling them to man up, quit the whining, and to learn that getting offended constantly is not “speaking truth to power,” it’s just plain emotional weakness.
And give them a few bales of hay to lift, or some firewood to chop. Tell ’em it goes well with the beards.