Why old people complain about millenials


What’s weird to me about the complaints about millennial not growing up is that it seems that its the parents that are wanting to keep their children, well, children forever. I have a cousin in this category and I like her a lot but I get the feeling her parents would be happy if she lived in their basement forever - and she is as close to that as possible while still being more or less launched.

My daughter is 16 and I see the same trend with her age. I try to support her to be more independent but as a group they are much more coddled by their parents and expecting to remain that way forever - very few seem to care to start driving, or go out and start making their own money, and it seems like they expect that they will stay around their home during the college years and not so much expect to go away to college and transition to independence. It’s sort of odd to me that there doesn’t seem to be an idea of having an life independent of their parents at this time of their lives.



Good point, and good rhetorics Beschizza

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Old people complaining about young people while other old people try to figure out why? Truly this is a thing that has never happened in human history.


Ageism followed by a reverse-ageist rejoinder. Sociology is tricky stuff, man.

Also acceptable

Millenials are anyone who hit puberty since:

  • Music became free
  • The world wide web
  • Video games had 256 colors
  • Prince went visibly mad

Well the wide range of differences in definitions of a generation really shows how they are a poor way of organization. I recently read an article that Gen Y does not start until 1985. Of course that kind of blends digital natives in with Y, but it all seems pretty silly like astrology. Sure some things are right and there are certain things that will resonate with different groups but once you pick at the edges it all unravels.

One weird trick about the Millenial “generation,” though,



When my stepdaughter was about 9 years old, her dad and I were having some conversation about Michael Jackson, and somewhere we were bringing up the fact that he was African American. “MIchael Jackson is not Black!” she insisted.

We thought about that a while.

“Well, he hasn’t been in your lifetime.”

We had to fish up a video of him from his Off the Wall days to show that he had once been.


That’s interesting. There are probably multiple factors at play, but I wonder if part of it is the sour economy, or, more importantly, the way the sour economy is portrayed. We’re told, repeatedly, that it’s difficult to get a job, buy a house, or even just survive. At a time when fast food workers are striking for a living wage because a job at the low end of the fast food industry is the best job that’s available to them–and may be the only job that’s available to them–I could imagine kids who are living comfortably looking at that and asking, “Why bother leaving?” And I could imagine some parents feeling the same way. Why would they thrust their kids out into such an unforgiving world?

 "The counts of the indictment are luxury, bad manners, contempt for authority, disrespect to elders, and a love for chatter in place of exercise. …

Children began to be the tyrants, not the slaves, of their households. They no longer rose from their seats when an elder entered the room; they contradicted their parents, chattered before company, gobbled up the dainties at table, and committed various offences against Hellenic tastes, such as crossing their legs. They tyrannised over the paidagogoi and schoolmasters."

–Kenneth John Freeman, 1907

(In before this gets attributed to Socrates, Plato, Cicero or Lincoln)


Obama is not GenX, he’s near the end of the baby boomers. From Wikipedia:

“A baby boomer is a person who was born during the demographic Post–World War II baby boom between the years 1946 and 1964”


agreed. Gen X is just about to start turning 50. The last cohort of the Baby Boom is just passing that mark.

Yeah really.
Who’d ever believe a no good GenXer could become president.
What a joke.

While technically a millennial according to many definitions (born early 80’s), the fact that I’m too old to be a true “digital native” makes it hard for me to think of myself as part of the “millennial” generation. I didn’t get email or download music until late high school or college, didn’t get my first cell phone until after college, and didn’t join an online social network, get a smartphone, or get broadband internet until my mid to late 20’s. These things still feel like additions to my life. The 18-22 year old students I teach at university are very different. These things are utterly and intrinsically interwoven into their lives.

And I say this as someone who grew up in Silicon Valley in the 80’s. It’s not like I was just behind the pack. It’s just that I’m old enough to remember when online meant things like BBS’s that you dialed directly into and a 486 dx2 66 was the most amazing computer one could have.

I don’t relate to the generation that has been texting since they were tweens.


But, but, but…if we don’t judge and criticize each other based on arbitrary generational divides, that only leaves race, religion, place of birth, income, attractiveness, recreational interests…


Why old people complain about millenials

Because I had just finished raking my lawn and these damn kids …


it’s the generation that just won’t grow up. The flip side of that coin is that it’s the generation that just won’t end.

It’s like the Eternal September of maturity then.


I think the current “You kids get of my lawn!” nonsense is especially shrill because of a combination of sublimated guilt and projection. The previous generations — especially those doing the most whining — had an extremely easy youth, with abundant opportunities, high paying jobs, and cheap housing. I was talking to a more introspective member of that generation recently and he told me that on his first salary, barely a year out of college, he split up with his wife. So he left her with the house he’d just bought for them, and he bought another.

But this is also the generation whose waste, narcissism, and in the end cowardice (look who put George W. Bush into office) has nearly destroyed our country, and left it a virtually hopeless place for youth.

Sitting in between the two, my lot’s not so great, but the fact that young people today still have the positive, can-do attitude I always find them with (generally mixed with significantly more wisdom and perspective than the old dessicated turds whining about them in the editorial pages) always astonishes me.

There needs to be a hashtag for millennial bashing. Atrios does a pretty good job of calling it out when he sees it, but I don’t see a good way of gathering the threads.


As an older fellow, I can safely say that any whining the older set does about the younger set is a projection of their own failings.