When news sites aren’t giving us that sweet outrage porn centered around Trump’s newest most awful thing, they spend a good chunk of time reminding us how much Millennials suck. If it’s a slow news week, elder journalists and content crafters can turn to an old standby: a trolling, clickbait, Millennial-bashing post teeming with exasperation.
It’s easy to make a case for Millennials destroying everything old people love about life because we’re a huge generation. Apparently anybody from ages 18–34 can claim to be a Millennial, meaning a person who could have played on their mom’s iPhone at age 9 is evidently in the same age group as a person who could have rewound their mom’s cassette tape with a pencil at age 9.
Sorry that we’re the generation who brought you social media, helped elect the first black (and likely female) presidents, was integral in the fight to legalize marijuana, and ushered in TV’s golden age, all while under a mountain of college debt during a recession. But sure, go ahead and blame us for literally everything.
Though it would be much easier to just copy-paste these lyrics from the Bye, Bye Birdie! song “Kids Today”—“Why can’t they be like we were / Perfect in every way? / What’s the matter with kids today?”—news outlets continue to point fingers at millennials for the demise a variety of things.
Here are just a few of the things that Millennials have apparently “ruined” in 2016.
Bars of Soap
This cranky piece from CBS’s MoneyWatch column claimed that because sales for bars of soap are down for ages 18 to 24, our generation is hellbent on the systematic rise of body wash as the supreme cleanser. The reason? According to the article, “Millennials believe bar soaps are covered in germs after they are used.” Later in the article, it is confirmed that Minnesota’s Department of Health agrees: Bars of soap are covered in germs. New headline proposal: “Millennials Are So Effing Right About Germs, It’s Scary.” Subhead: “Long live body wash.”
A “strange” name, as defined by this beating-around-the-racism-bushel Time article, is any name that’s “uncommon.” This groundbreaking article got 500 words in before using the adjective “selfie-obsessed.” Not to play the blame game but I do believe the couple who named their children Aryan Nation and Adolf Hitler are technically “Gen Xers.”
In June, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Burke said, “We wake up someday and the ratings are down 20 percent. If that happens, my prediction would be that Millennials had been in a Facebook bubble or a Snapchat bubble and the Olympics have come, and they didn’t know it."
No, Jeff, we definitely knew the Olympics were here. Remember when Twitter single-handedly made Leslie Jones a commentator based on favs? Maybe NBC’s total failure to understand how people consume content resulted in lower viewership. As I recall, even streaming the Olympics required a subscription via cable to NBCSports, a channel I did not know existed until this year.
The predictable answer to this Daily Beast article’s headline question: Millennials are poor, and also we hate unethically sourced goods. The good news for the old folks? More diamonds for you!
Who will weep on the trash island when our children have no more napkins? Not Millennials.
Who needs a vacation when you can work as an unpaid intern for four years after college during a recession, in the mere hope of landing a full-time paid job? Millennials are definitely to blame for fucking up your Hawaiian vacation plans.
Running (Yes, Running)
Raised in an obesity-addled country, how dare Millennials try alternative workouts besides running?
Spoiler alert: It’s because, contrary to everything you’ve read, we like to read paper books. Margaret, claiming that we kill trees because we read paper books is a leap at best, and we both know it! Come on, Margaret! You’re better than this!
The McDonald’s McWrap
These wraps were introduced in 2013 and they’re already off the market. According to Eater, “When it comes to McDonald’s, the people don’t seem to be interested in counting calories.” Perhaps people don’t seem to be interested in fake lettuce? Just a guess.
You didn’t think that was everything, did you? Here are some more honorable mentions of things Millennials apparently killed in 2016: the golf industry, the movie industry, the automotive industry, the cereal industry, the workday, the suit, the San Francisco music scene, the focus group, the cubicle, crowdfunding, Canadian tourism, Gen X retirement savings, retailers, restaurants, Home Depot, bosses, malls, gyms, credit, wine, email, light yogurt, car shopping stereotypes (that’s good!), the history of communism, talking, themselves.
Millennials are also apparently responsible for Brexit, lusting after food, lying about their parents’ mistakes, having great sex while also simultaneously not having enough sex. We’re not motivated to save money, we put federal IT systems at risk, we caused the AT&T merger with Time-Warner, and we’re responsible for Trump’s rise.
And to think, we’re still so young. We’re just getting started. Wait until you see what we have planned for 2017….