Millennials vs. everybody

Ethan Fogle, Intern Reporter

A few weeks ago, NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced that the NBA is looking into the possibility of fans paying to watch the final five minutes of NBA games.

“Obviously people, particularly millennials, have increasingly short attention spans, so it’s something as a business we need to pay attention to,” Silver said.

The stereotypes given to millennials by older generations are well-known: laziness, feeling a sense of entitlement, being soft, not knowing what hard work is and having a short attention span, just to name a few.

The pokes at millennials gained local attention when radio talk show hosts on 97.1 The Ticket discussed the topic for several days.

They mentioned the stereotypes associated with millennials. Some agreed with the stereotypes, and others disagreed.

They then asked listeners to call in and answer a couple of simple questions: “Does the term millennial have a negative connotation, and is the connotation actually true?”

Angry millennials called up to disagree with the stereotypes, saying that all older generations blame the newest generation for society’s problems.

Members of older generations called up to validate the stereotypes with their personal experiences.

Some millennials even said that the stereotypes about their generation are true.

So, where lies the truth? Probably somewhere in-between these opinions.

What millennials do well

First things first, millennials are not lazy. That 40-hour work week that Henry Ford came up with over 100 years ago? Well, it doesn’t apply to our generation.

According to, millennials in the U.S., on average, work 45 hours a week. U.S. census data from 1970 to 1990 show the average person worked just under 40 hours a week.

Working more than our elders, millennials often do not have the same job prospects that their parents and grandparents had, as the days of plentiful factory jobs are long-gone.

Pew Research polls say that millennials are more accepting of social differences, as well. Millennials favor the legalization of gay marriage more than any other generation.

Diversity is something millennials do not fray from. A Harvard University Poll found that 80 percent of people age 18-to-24 have a friend of a different race or ethnicity, while 55 percent of millennials also said they have a friend who has a different sexual orientation than them.

Millennials are certainly a hardworking bunch and more accepting than previous generations.

What millennials need to work on

Critics of the millennial generation often say that we need to understand what it feels like to lose. Participation trophies are a favorite metaphor of millennial critics.

Although partially due to the way millennials were raised, this criticism has some truth to it.

We grew up with our parents telling us we could do anything. Even if we did lose or fail, they would tell us the opposite.

Millennials need to be more accepting of failure and constructive criticism. We need to understand that failure can often lead to opportunity, and listening to criticism can be useful.

Coming out of college, millennials can’t expect to get top-level positions; we must work hard (something we already do) and climb the ranks of the companies they work for, just like generations before us.