Saturday, October 22, 2011

Don't call me Millennial

It's hard to sum up a whole generation. Especially in this day and age, where lifestyles vary and differ so greatly, it is increasingly hard to come up with a name for my age-bracket. Sociologists love to stick a label on something and just like with every other field, I assume, it's a race to be the person to come up with that label. Everybody wants to be the next Gertrude Stein, summing up a whole group of people whose only common factor is the span in which they are born. But while the title of the "Lost Generation" is poetic, each passing generational label has tried and failed to grasp at its resonance.

I love the word resonance.

Those born between the mid-1980s-to-1990s are just too young to be truly defined with one title. All the other generations were allowed to prove themselves a bit. There is no doubt that the Greatest Generation (or, less dramatic, the G.I. Generation) earned their title. Baby Boomers, sadly, were named only by the degree of their propagation. Generation X's general dissatisfaction and outgoing spirit led to both their name and a romantic comedy starring Winona Ryder.

The early 90s film market was saturated with films like this.

The fact is, these past generations didn't look for names, the names found them. But, even before my generation filled out, naming attempts have been made. Lame attempts like Generation Y or Generation Next have been coined but none has stuck. Generation Y is insulting in its insistence in describing us as simple continuations of Generation X, but it's hardly the worse name. The name I hate the most would be Millennial. Millennial is just one more sad attempt to identify a group of people that has yet to identify themselves and it insults us.

It's the biggest cultural insult since Kidz Bop.

We are not the Millennials. To label my generation Millennials means that our only definable trait is the fact that we were born around the year 2000. While we were all born around that time, it's hardly reason to name us after it. It's an unnecessary nickname that means nothing to anyone. It tells nothing of our character or general disposition. Instead it traps us into mediocrity, like a schoolyard nickname.

Some people never get over being called MC Pee Pants in elementary school.

What scares me is the name might actually stick. It's been passed around enough, social analyzers and talking heads wearing it like a new pair of pants. We as a generation cannot let them lazily refer to us as Millennials though. Because we are capable of so much more than that. Though they claim otherwise I can't imagine someone from my generation actually coming up with the term Millennial. It just rings soulless and hollow. It's just too early to reflect on the younger generation. It's like when VH1 ran I Love the New Millennium back in 2007, before the decade was even over. Let the identity sink in before you feel the need to commentate on it. Let us instead find ourselves.

I just hope we don't become the "Occupy Generation" in a year.

1 comment:

  1. Love that last picture and caption. Maybe you will be called "The Occupiers." Haha. It will be interesting to see how your generation unfolds.