The media just loves to bag on us millennials. We’re apparently responsible for everything from closing overpriced department stores to eschewing homeownership in favor of avocado toast. Millennials really get a bad rap!
Most media outlets blame millennials for ludicrous things, and anyone with an iota of fact-checking ability can refute those false claims. That’s not to say that we millennials lack any flaws, though. There are definitely a few things I really wish people in my generation would stop doing. Working on these six behaviors may not make the media any kinder to our generation, but practicing them could lead us become happier individuals in the new year.
1. Treating a Forgotten Cell Phone as a Crisis Situation
Many millennials would no more dream of leaving their house sans cell phone than they would leave without pants. But our cell phone obsession prevents us from doing simple yet meaningful things, like having lunch with a friend without checking Instagram. Unless you’re heading into truly unfamiliar territory, resist the urge to run back home for your phone, and enjoy people’s company instead.
2. Picking Plastic at the Grocers
I’ll admit it — whenever I see people blindly going through plastic bag after plastic bag at the grocer’s, I have to calm my inner tree-hugger before she calls them on it. While it’s one thing when little old ladies who don’t know any better opt for plastic, when I see folks in my generation choose them despite the Great Pacific garbage patch and the other environmental horrors of plastic, steam starts rising from my ears. We’re young, and the Internet keeps most of us in-the-know enough that we should understand how much better it is to use cloth bags than plastic ones. Stop the plastic insanity!
3. Walking Around With Our Butts Hanging Out
No, I’m not referring to the sagging pants phenomena — is that even still a thing? I’m talking about lung-blackening, cancer-causing cigarettes — or even their sweeter-smelling companions, Juuls and e-cigs. Not only does tobacco cause 30 percent of all new cancer cases, but it also leads to unsightly, yellow teeth and nails and wrinkled skin.
Trust me, the CEOs of Phillip Morris have already amassed sufficient enough fortunes to never work again. Stop wasting all that money and time on slowly giving yourself COPD. Speaking of time, your coworkers will thank you for paying attention to the task at hand instead of taking a butt break every 30 minutes.
4. Bragging About Social Media Stats
While I’m really glad you’re ecstatic over the 5000 friends you boast of having despite having never met them IRL, I’m more impressed by what the people you associate with daily have to say about your character.
These days, everyone strives to make their posts go viral. However, boasting constantly about your social media prowess makes me assume that you must not have much of a real life. And trust me, as much as I may like you, I really don’t need to hear all the details of your baby’s first poo, so exercise a bit of discretion when you use social media.
5. Swearing by Fad Diets
I swear, if one more member of my circle goes Keto, I’m going to deliberately stuff myself with carbohydrate-laden goodness each time we lunch together. OK, OK, I would never do something so cruel. However, one truth has stood the test of time since the first woman struggled to lace up her petticoats — fad diets don’t work.
Unless you’re confident that can live the rest of your life donut-free, all the weight you lose with fad diets typically comes right back once you return to eating normally. Instead, focus on choosing fresh, lean, healthy foods, limiting excess calorie consumption, and getting moderate exercise to shed pounds.
6. Failing to Communicate
When was the last time you picked up the phone to call someone, not just text them or play with them on an app? Unless you work in customer service, chances are, it’s been awhile.
Today, we’re so devoted to our computer and phone screens today that many of us now lack basic conversational skills, and this shortage hurts our career and social lives. Give Mum a call once a week. You’ll make her day while you dust off your verbal communication skills.
Millennials definitely do not deserve the trash talk they receive from the media. But everyone, regardless of age, can benefit from breaking old habits and learning healthier ones. My fellow millennials, let’s rock 2019 and defy all the stereotypes!
Featured Photo by Julian Gentilezza on Unsplash