These Merit Badges For Millennials Totally Understand Both Your Financial Situation & Your Emotional Dependence On Emoji
Confession: I was a terrible Girl Scout. To be fair, a lot of that was probably because our troop leader would often not show up to meetings, regularly leaving a group of eight year olds stranded in the cafeteria after school with no adult supervision — but alas, since I quit shortly after yet another one of those incidents, one of my great regrets is never acquiring the collection of merit badges I'd always dreamed of. But hey, if this series of imaginary Millennial merit badges from Distractify is anything to go by, I've already collected a whole bunch of accolades just for going about my day-to-day life! Created by writer Myka Fox for Distractify, they completely understand the Millennial condition — but I would argue that they also speak to the general climate of our society at large. Yes, Millennials probably understand both the struggle of trying to pay off your student loans and the struggle to communicate without relying on emoji as a crutch better than most; but I'd be willing to bet that those in other generations get it, too. Also, the merit badges are hilarious. Just sayin'.
Of course the badges comment bitingly on Millennial stereotypes; as Fox writes in her introduction, “Millennials are special, sensitive souls, and they're really not getting the credit they deserve, don't you think? What with soul-crushing student loan debt, wages that can't keep up with inflation, and swipe caps on Tinder likes, it's a hard world out there for new adults.” For all the tongue-in-cheek-ness, though, she's absolutely right — it is a hard world out there for new adults.
Common Millennial stereotypes paint the generation as lazy, entitled brats constantly seeking special treatment, but these stereotypes often don't stand up to reality. The fact that so many of us don't have the 9-to-5 jobs with benefits that our parents had isn't out of laziness; it's because the economy tanked and those jobs largely vanished right when we were entering the workforce. (Even now, job creation is on the rise — but according to the National Employment Law Project, the types of jobs that are being created are low-wage). So many of us moved back in with our parents after college not because we wanted a free ride, but because the kinds of jobs available to us didn't pay enough to cover the cost of living on top of our staggering student loan debt. Is a making the best of an awful situation worthy of a merit badge? In my book, yes. Being able to pay your rent on your own is definitely an achievement.
But all that aside, I still think these merit badges — tons of which focus on the prevalence of technology in our everyday lives — are actually indicative of more than just the habits of those in the born-in-the-1982-to-2004 set; they're fairly universal, all things considered. After all, who among us isn't guilty of saying, “Just one more episode...” and then marathoning an entire season of whatever your television show of choice is at that moment, regardless of your age?
In the last week alone, I finished Gotham season one and finally got back on the Once Upon a Time wagon. To be fair, I also knit a scarf at the same time, which was a relatively productive thing to do — but still. We've all been there, whether we're 22, 32, or 62.
We also probably all use emoji maybe a little more often than we should:
And since I'm pretty sure almost all of us have uttered the phrase, “My mom uses emoji more than I do” at one time or another, we can be reasonably certain that illustrating exactly how you feel with tiny little pictures instead of saying it with words is a cross-generational habit.
There's also this gem:
With a variety of other things being valid substitutions for “ate a meal” (for me, it's “played with my cats”).
And let's not forget this one:
Because very few people actually use their phones to make calls anymore unless they absolutely have to. According to a Pew study from earlier in 2015, the only demographic that uses their phones to make calls more than they do to text is the 50-and-over group. And with the rise of services like Seamless... well, we don't even need to talk to other human beings on the phone for reasons that are related to food delivery much anymore, either.
The entire set is laugh-out-loud funny, so head on over to Distractify to see all 14 of Myka Fox's merit badges for Millennials. How many have you earned so far?
Images: Courtesy of Myka Fox/Distractify