Okay, I’ll admit it. This is a deliberately click-bait-y title. I obviously don’t think there is a major society-destroying problem with so-called ‘Millenials’. Unsurprisingly, I and all of my friends fit under this category of young people (roughly those born after 1980) who are often demonised by older generations (particularly ‘Generation Y’) for being lazy, work-shy, and phone addicts. I do, however, think that Millenials have a problem with themselves. We are a generation of anxious, depressed, scared people just trying to do our best.
The problem we have is that there is an overwhelming pressure to be doing something. We constantly see our friends and acquaintances plastering photos of their holidays, volunteering experiences, and days out all over social media, and we think to ourselves “why am I not doing that?” We read articles about work-shy attitude of our generation, whilst tapping out the fifth job application this week, and lamenting that we’re not good enough to earn above minimum wage. We think that if we’re not doing anything ‘productive’, we’ve wasted our day. We don’t see the millions of other young people doing the same as us, sitting on our beds at the end of a day of school or lectures, watching TV and wishing they were doing something more exciting.
The drive to be productive is one of the burdens of capitalism. We are not free to simply live and to enjoy our surroundings, but instead feel the need to be contributing to the economy. Our generation is beginning to realise this, and rebel against it. We feel that no-one deserves to be in poverty simply because they do not have a particular number in a bank account. To be alive is good enough. When we think in this way, we see that the idea of paying everyone a base amount per month and scrapping benefits isn’t so crazy. Admittedly, paying a millionaire more money just for being alive seems odd, but if everyone has at least some money to live on, we can concentrate on other things.
But we can’t enact our ideas without being branded unintelligent by the older generations. We will be ridiculed for our wishes until we prove them wrong. We have to try.