THE MILLENNIAL GENERATION: ITS VICES AND ITS VIRTUES

According to Time magazine in one of its May 2013 editions, the Millennial generation comprises persons born between 1980 and 2000. As stated in this prestigious magazine, this group of young people is characterized as being lazy, narcissistic and believing they have a right to everything. As an educator, I believe that these characteristics truly do present a challenge to anyone who tries to deal with these young people — especially school personnel.


The Time article mentions that these young people are self-absorbed and spend more time in social webs than any other generational group. Furthermore, it reports that these youngsters talk more about themselves than any other group in history. They take pictures with their cell phones and upload them to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Selfies are among the latest fads for them. As I see it, educators in this country have a difficult task competing with electronic devices and the excessive use of social media striving to attract the attention of these youngsters.


Moreover, the Millennial generation, or Generation Y, as they are sometimes called, is composed of young people who do not want to work, but who feel they deserve it all. As an educator, I constantly witness the great demands of many youngsters. The majority of these kids demand from their parents luxuries that range from designer clothes to imported cars, apparently without appreciating the great sacrifice that their parents have undergone to be able to provide such luxuries.


According to this article, the Millennial generation is a product of the 9/11 era and came to this world in the middle of one of the worst economical and unemployment crises ever seen. Additionally, Time reports that this generation has the lowest possibilities of fulfilling their expectations regarding the satisfaction derived from their employment and careers. The magazine cites a video titled “You Are Not Special which illustrates the problems of the Millennial generation. This video can be seen on You Tube, and it has been visited more than two million times.


In my years as an educator, I have seen how technology and the social media have come to change the world, both for the better and for the worse. As I have always said, technology is marvelous if it is used wisely, but it can be extremely detrimental to the future of our youngsters if it is used irresponsibly.


Without a doubt, our youngsters are experts in the use of technology. The Millennial generation was born using computers and this is what they know best. Gone are the days when letters were typewritten and mailed. All that is history now. Technology has arrived to stay, and what one day was the norm is now a distant memory. We are now living in the era of great inventions. Technology is changing our lives in quantum leaps. One day in the not-too-far-off future our descendants will be asking, What is a printed book? With the advent of electronic tablets and electronic reading devices such as Kindle, books as we know them will become a thing of the past.


To be fair, our youngsters are not to blame for having been born in the technological era, and we, as parents need to understand that perhaps we ourselves are much to blame regarding the expectations we have placed on our children while trying to give them everything without thinking of the harm we are causing them.


To conclude in a more positive note, it also is true that the article from Time asserts that though the Millennial generation comprises mainly lazy and narcissistic young people, this generation has the skills to save humanity through its technological knowledge. Therefore, it is yet to be decided whether the Millennial generation will destroy us as a society or lead us to a more visionary future.

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