Have you ever received a piece of advice that was so patently wrong — so completely misguided and outdated— that at first you didn’t think the advice giver could actually be serious? Yesterday, an AskReddit thread asked millennials to share the worst advice from Baby Boomers they have ever received. And, boy, some of these pearls of wisdom shoot straight past “Gee, Uncle Joe, that’s an interesting point of view” and head straight into “What the hell?” territory. There are a lot of things that can be shared across the ages, but these bits of advice show that, sometimes, the generational divide is just too wide to cross.
The instances of awful advice that redditors cite in the thread don’t mean that Baby Boomers — folks born between 1946 and 1964— have nothing to offer millennials. When I was a teenager, I was convinced that my parents didn’t know anything remotely useful (because I was 16 and therefore knew life everything). Now, however, I’ve seen the value of their experience too many times to count, and when I have a dilemma these days, they are the first people I call.
But although some experiences are universal, regardless of when you’re born, there are certain aspects of modern life that simply aren’t the same as when Baby Boomers were growing up and establishing their lives. Communications, technology, and, especially, the economy have changed so much in recent years that advice that may have applied in 1985 simply doesn’t make sense any more, as many angsty redditors point out.
Again, Baby Boomers have a wealth of experience and hard-won knowledge to share, and you should learn everything you can from what they have to offer — but that doesn’t mean they can’t be wrong sometimes. Like, really, really wrong, especially when it comes to…
Oof. That's very much not good.
Can we just agree that people who don't feel ready to have kids — or who don't want kids at all — should not have them?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the biggest points of conflict that millennial redditors said they have with Baby Boomers is the job market. Many redditors complain that the Baby Boomers in their lives simply don't understand today's economy or the difficulty of getting a full-time, salaried job with benefits. In an economy that is moving increasingly toward contract labor, it's just not that helpful for someone to recommend that you find a good job with a pension.
With college debt skyrocketing — U.S. student load debt has tripled in the last 10 years — casually advising millennials to take out student loans to attend college, even if they have no idea what they'd like to do in their careers, is irresponsible.
Errr... isn't that prostitution?
"A woman you can stand." Romantic, right?
If advice from the Baby Boomers in your life is making you feel crazy, perhaps the best thing to do is change the subject, and talk about something less contentious. You know, like religion or politics. Oh, wait....