Millennials Don't Want You To Call Them Millennials, So Here's a List of Replacements To Use Instead
You hear "Millennial" being used as a buzz word by everyone these days whenever anyone refers to that young-but-not-too-young, 18-to-35-year-old demographic. But it turns out that Millennials themselves don't want you to call them Millennials: A poll released by the Public Religion Research Institute today found that only 34 percent of those who are considered to be Millennials actually identify as such.
What do we know about those who do identify as Millennials? Well, if you are in that 34 percent, you're more likely to have graduated from college, have liberal politics, and/or be an avid social media user— which, considering how trendy this word has become online, makes a certain amount of sense. Indeed, according to the Washington Post's analysis of Google Trends' data on the word, it gained major ground in 2013 and really took off with TIME magazine's controversial cover on millennials.
As WaPo pointed out, the term applies to a very broad group of individuals who are often stereotyped as being lazy, selfish, and apathetic. In fact, the aforementioned TIME cover featured the headline "The Me, Me, Me Generation," which isn't something you'd call a positive representation. Could it be that most of us don't identify with the ways Millennials have been represented in the media and don't want others to view us as self-absorbed selfie enthusiasts?
I'm guessing that's probably true, at least for some of us; I know when I think of the word, a whole host of negative connotations pop up, none of which I'm eager to identify with myself. I think of adults rolling their eyes at texting, Snapchatting, and our desire to be connected. I also am not sure how relevant the term is — after all, what does an 18-year-old have in common with someone in their mid-thirties, anyway? It cover too broad a timespan to have any real meaning.
If you want your generation to be called something, just not "Millennial," I've come up with a list of five replacement names you can use instead. Hey, if enough of us take to our Twitter accounts with these new names, we could create the next wave of Millennial terms. That's not so bad, right?
1. '90s Kids
Since most of us in the Millennial demographic grew up somewhere close to or within the '90s, why don't we just use our nostalgia hotspot as a catch-all phrase? After all, anyone with a sense of culture gets excited about '90s throwbacks.
2. Generation Me
Maybe it's time to embrace this annoying stereotype with which we've been labeled. Reappropriation is an actual a legitimate process where a group of people takes a word that's been used against them and reframes it on a societal level to have a positive connotation. What's so wrong about looking after yourself and making sure you're as healthy as you can be?
3. Young Adults
Another option would be to actually define the term young adults to mean those who are grown, but not quite yet home-owners, 401K policy holders, or doing any of those other so-called "responsible grown-up things." It's getting harder and harder to hit those milestones as newly-minted adults in today's economy, anyway.
4. Generation Y
This is the actual name that was used for those in the Millennial demographic before the term came of age. We could make this term popular again and abandon the Millennial label.
5. Baby Snoozers
Images: Giphy (5); Getty Images