Are Millennials As Self-Entitled As We Think They Are?

Samantha and I would like to kick this off with a confession: We’re Millennials; for better or for worse. Many immediately label us along with the other 80 million Millennials as lazy and entitled, while some see our amazing potential as innovative thought leaders.

Whichever way you view “us,” one thing is for sure: “Millennial” has become the buzzword of the hour with countless articles, news stories and research studies dedicated to slicing us open and dissecting what makes us tick.

In our agency, we have at our disposal many opinions across many ages, so we decided to see what our coworkers thought about their own generation, stigmas and thoughts on their predecessors by taking an agency poll.

So as not to cause any confusion, as of 2016, the generations stand as follows:
Baby Boomers: ages 52-70
Generation X: ages 36-51
Millennials: ages 19-35
Generation Z: ages 9-18

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What do you think is the greatest attribute of your generation as a whole?
“So much of what we enjoy today started with Gen X. Video games, the internet, mobile phones – Gen X laid the foundation for all of that. The video games may have been crappy 8-bit. The internet may have been slow 56k dial-up and ugly. Our mobile phones may have been the size of cinder blocks. But I think it’s fair to credit Gen X with the core ideas behind much of the modern technology that Millennials have subsequently improved and innovated upon today.”
– Charlie Militello, Senior Digital Art Director, Gen X

“I think that our propensity to question the norm and not be afraid to go against it is both a blessing and a curse. It leads to greater innovation as new and obscure ideas are celebrated, rather than smothered.”
-Anne Myers, Account Executive, Millennial

What is the greatest misconception or stigma associated with your generation?
“I don’t think Gen X is stigmatized. I think we are pretty much exactly what Wikipedia says we are. We grew up slackers watching MTV and rolling our eyes when people tried to tell us that we were all alike because of what year we were born (sound familiar?).”
-Chris Wilkerson, Senior Account Executive, Gen X

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“People sometimes presume that we don’t have energy and are too old to make a difference. Not true!”
-Colleen Chappell, President/CEO, Gen X

“That we ALL expect the world to be handed to us. I was raised by extremely hard-working boomers who made sure I knew that I would have to work my ass off for anything I wanted.”
-Laura Ruden, Senior Account Executive, Millennial

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What do you think about the generation after yours?
“I see far too much entitlement brought on by Millennials’ parents, my generation. 11th place trophies, the constant need for approval…I also love Millennials for being more progressive in how we work and do life. The Millennial generation took this Internet thing and made it interwoven into the lives of the entire world, though I could do without seeing Snapchat images in my Twitter.”
-Scott Nosenko, Senior Copywriter, Gen X

“Our society has transformed from playing outside and making friends into playing video games online all-day. Unfortunately, they seem to be growing up on the screen rather than out in the world experiencing things first-hand. I have seen 9 year olds with their own cell phones now and they cannot ’live’ without them.”
-Heather Fako, Junior Art Director, Millennial

What do you believe is the greatest weakness of the generation after yours?
“I think communication is going to continue to be a challenge for people that never wrote a letter and do most communication through text messaging. Will they have the ability to truly connect?”
-Christine Turner, VP of Account Services, Gen X

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“I feel like younger Millennials and Gen. Z-ers are a little more internally focused. They live in the land of the selfie and feel if they’re comfortable sharing something with the world, everyone should be okay with it, and that’s not always how the ‘real’ world works.”
-Kaitlyn Loos, Assistant Account Executive, Millennial

So what have we learned here today?
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Maybe each generation has its own unique attributes and pitfalls? Or everyone thinks the generation after theirs is a bunch of lazy do-nothings? Or, it’s really fun to research memes for blog articles? We’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

*Please note: The Baby Boomers of the agency did not respond to our survey email.
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