I wasn't trying to slag Xers, I very much remember all the shit that used to be talked about them when I was growing up and, even as a child thinking "that's a bit rough".
I was specifically thinking about my work place. It's run by boomers and xers and they're always reading out articles and surveys responses that say who millennials are and how to get them to come to our workplace.
Once a quarter we'll get a millennial report - where a boomer stands in front of a crowd of millennials and tells us what we want in the workplace. The speech comes with a fair amount of "this is what the data says you want and it's more than we got - so be grateful." None of it really resonates with me or with the other people my age, but there's data and old people are wielding it, so Who Am I to say it's not what I actually want?
I get why they do it - they don't want the workforce to age out and we're a confusing group. I'm not admonishing the efforts (half the reason I go along with it is because of the effort - at least they care, right?)
I'm more reflecting on my (and many of my cohort's) tendency to accept the outsider's assessment instead of being confident in my own. It feels like a common crisis for people my age. And I've seen the most passionate among us flare up in harsh rebellion to the assessments. The result is usually some form of radicalism, those who go first seem to go big, but it's still a reaction to the same assessments.
That's not what has me curious. My mom and dad we're Joe and Sue. They always made a point to tell me, against millennial tradition but in accordance with Lutheran, that I am most likely in most ways average. That's simply how it has to be for the math to work. So when I start to feel these discomforts and trepidation, they don't make me feel alienated - they make me wonder how the cohort is going to deal with them.
I wonder how the millennial masses will come to terms with who they are. What personalities will shake out when they realize what shitty yields come from investing in looking cool. What they'll really value when then number and expense of appliances means you really can't have them all. How they'll act when they work for 8 hours, play with their kids for 5, and have 1 glorious 60 minute period left for them to truly be themselves.
It's already happening to the masses in some ways. The industries we're killing, the complaints we're making, the culture we're refusing - they're all the result of a critical mass of completely average people simultaneously thinking to themselves, "no, I don't think that's the way I'll do it."
It's our right, just like it was your right, just like it was our parents' right. I think how we exercise that right as we become functioning adults is going to be fascinating.