Recently, I watched the video above and as a millennial, I was fully prepared to disagree with everything that was said in this video. It bothers me when older generation complains about mine because they depict us as entitled, depressed, and lazy people. Not to say that isn’t true in some cases but it is certainly an awful stereotype. In order for me to agree with this video, I had to separate myself from the equation. I don’t see myself in this description of “millennials” but I see a lot of people I went to High School with fit the bill. So let’s talk about some of the thing discussed in this video.
Technology & Impatience
This is where Sinek talked about instant gratification, which I touched on in another blog post. This is the idea that constantly getting what you want is a bad thing. So to combine parents telling kids that they are special all the time and giving them everything they want when they want it is and the instant gratification social media gives kids… this was just a set up for a disaster. How no one saw this coming is incredible. If we want to watch a movie we can stream it online, if we want to was a TV we can binge the whole season, we can basically get anything we want whenever we want it. So the problem with this is that it leads to incredibly bratty children. Just think of the little rich girl from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory… same thing. So now they expect the perfect Disney Princess life style where a prince swoops into our lives and we are instantly in love. That need for everything to be instant goes beyond love, but happiness and the workforce.
In this section of the video, Sinek essentially says that if you want to work successfully with millennials you have to provide them with an environment that makes them feel like they are actually making an impact. Their lives have all been handed them on a silver platter and when they left home to join the real world, the facade their parents and technology built came crumbling down. That left the lazy, depressed, and entitle millennials we all know and love. Sinek is suggesting that since millennials were dealt such a bad hand at life the work force has to change how they interact with their employees. Which to be honest, would not just benefit millennials. If these CEO’s and managers stopped seeing their workers as dollar signs and as actual people is that really a bad thing?
Although I agree with this video, I don’t think it tells the entire story. Yes, I do believe that low self-esteem and depression can be caused by poor parenting and instant gratification. However, you can’t place all the blame on two aspects of our lives. We are a generation that is growingly healthier, environmentally friendly, and generally aware of what is going on in the world thanks to social media. So when someone older sees a 20-something working at a dead-end job they see a lazy, depressed, entitled millennial with no drive because they are lost in the hopelessness of never “making an impact.” I see a 20-something working a job to be able to pay back the $30,000 worth of student loans they racked up going to college. I see a person who is going to have to teach their kids what a polar bear is only through pictures because there won’t be any left. I see a person who is going to have to teach their daughter that it is ok to a little bigger than the models on a magazine.
It is so easy to place the blame on technology and instant gratification… and I hear all the time from my own family “Why are you always on your phone?” This is a question I think so many older generations have because they just can’t fathom what could be so interesting to divert all our attention. Well, my response to you is: What is on my phone is a distraction. However, it is not a distraction from the boring conversation about the weather. It is a distraction from all the problems your generation caused.