Mocking millennials is certainly one of America’s greatest national hobbies. I imagine millions of citizens are doing it right now. Some of them are probably even making future plans to do it. They’re literally scheduling their days or weekends around it. “Hey, baby. You free Friday evening? I thought we could go to dinner, take a nice walk, and make fun of millennials.” Somewhere, in some place, someone is making fun of millennials right now.
I admit that, even as a millennial myself, I’ve enjoyed partaking in this particular trend from time to time. After all, when it comes to my generation, there’s certainly no shortage of things at which to poke fun. We’re spoiled. We’re selfish. We’re entitled. We’re lazy. We’re narcissistic. We have expensive tastes for things we can’t afford. Most of us can’t even change the oil in our own cars or boil an egg without asking a Gen-X-er or Boomer for help.
And now, we’re apparently stressed out. Like, super stressed out. And we demand that everyone know it and believe it. In fact, we’re more stressed out than anyone else on the planet. Or so we think.
Yes, in what seems to be one of the most absurd and altogether pointless surveys ever conducted in the history of human civilization, a CBD oil company known as Endoca, in conjunction with OnePoll, recently polled 2,000 individuals in the infamous 23-38 age demographic and found that over one-third of today’s millennials believe that their lives are more stressful than the average person’s life. Furthermore, almost 60 percent of millennials think that life today is more stressful than it ever has been at any time since the dawn of mankind’s existence.
But, what’s the source of all this stress? Where is it coming from? Gone are the days when Americans were concerned about random outbreaks of polio or the prospect of nuclear war with the Soviets. The Great Depression is over and the smallpox scare is a thing of the past. Those were the sort of worries that weighed on the minds of our parents and grandparents. The Greatest Generation stood strong in the face of death, chaos, economic uncertainty, breadlines, gas lines, and other societal horrors we can’t even fathom. This is 2019 for God’s sake.
By contrast, today’s millennials seem to be worried about their own brand of apocalyptic disasters. You know, really frightening atrocities like “losing my wallet/credit card” and “arguing with a partner” and “traffic delays.” And there’s also the nightmarishly terrifying possibility of “cracking my phone screen” or, wait for it, “slow WiFi.” Dear Lord. It’s truly a wonder that these folks manage to make it through the day in one piece. These persecutions and challenges make the Gulags of Lenin’s Russia look like the Ritz Carlton. It’s simply mind-boggling that millennials are not an extinct species by now.
I suppose one could argue that these things are micro-stressors that contribute to an overall increase in stress levels, which then lead to negative health reactions and side effects. Maybe this is the case. Maybe not. Regardless, someone should really sit a lot of the lunkheads from my generation down and have a chat with them about what it was like to fight against Japan in World War II, endure the Vietnam draft, or struggle to put enough food on the table to feed your family. If nothing else, it might, at the very least, make them more appreciative of the era in which they live.
Truly, the egocentric individualism of today’s millennials is incredible. Compared to the America of old, we practically live in a modern-day Garden of Eden where nearly every resource, want, and desire is within arm’s reach. Think about it. With our iPhones alone we can buy movie tickets, purchase clothing, request an Uber ride, summon a corporate staff meeting, instantly send messages and photos to friends and family, order coffee before we arrive at the local Starbucks, have dinner show up at our house, download hours of music, watch endless amounts of movies and TV shows, and read any book, newspaper, or magazine we want. The entire world is literally in our back pocket.
And yet, here we are in one of the most prosperous and technologically-advanced times in U.S. history, whining like spoiled brats about having to wash dishes or go through the sofa to find our phone chargers. (Yes, seriously. Go back and look at the list.) Sure, our generation experienced the 9/11 terror attacks, the war on Al-Qaeda, and violent civil unrest in places like Ferguson. But, in the big picture, most of us were not directly affected by these events on a personal level.
Today’s young people will never know the frustration of searching their pants pockets for enough change to make a long distance call from a phone booth or trying to remember what time their favorite TV station will be “signing off the air” every night, much less be intimately acquainted with the horrors of war and death. Stressed out? Give me a break.
If you’re a millennial and you’re stressed, odds are you’ve created the source of the stress yourself; or you’re letting your emotions control you, rather than the other way around. Either way, you have no one to blame but yourself.