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Millennials: The Me, Myself, and I Generation

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Millennials always think they’ve got it all figured out….until the day they realize they don’t. Time Magazine’s publication of Joel Stein’s The Me, Me, Me Generation and Andrea McAlister’s article Teaching the Millennial Generation depicted their thoughts about that dreaded day for millennials when they realized that they don’t have it all figured out. Both articles hit the points of millennial technological advancement in school and personal life, how educational methods are becoming more redundant to more millennial children due to societal advancements, and how no amount of newfound millennial skill sets will make up for their increasing dependence on close friends and family members.

In Andrea McAlister’s article Teaching the Millennial Generation, she discusses how teens are becoming more skilled in multitasking and their ability to learn new things, how current educational systems/methods are becoming outdated, and how children are able to do more at once but are learning less in the long run. This article begins by voicing McAlister’s thoughts on how the current educational systems are outdated compared to the advancements in society. She brings up the fact that most people in today’s generations have “never known a life without the internet”; therefore using older teaching methods and denying the internet is not as beneficial in today’s educational settings. Teaching styles today are continuing to be outgrown by modern societies technological and cultural advancements, which in turn creates a block in the learning ability of children seeing as the material is taught in a foreign and incomprehensible manner to them. McAlister also brings up the point that even though the children may not be retaining the information, their brains are still processing it. They also may be having a difficult time retaining information because of the use of secondary stimulants in their work ethic. She uses the line “Several studies gauging the effectiveness of multitasking and learning have shown that learning does suffer when one is attempting to process several layers of unrelated information at once” to show that having a secondary stimulant going in the background is indeed impacting their level of understanding and retaining information. These children, according to McAlister, “…have the ability to text, talk, do homework and listen to music, but that does not mean they are efficiently retaining the information needed” because these secondary stimulants are creating an extra layer of information that their brains need to process. Children in the millennial generations have truly become profoundly adept at multitasking and no longer do homework without some form of external stimuli. This will create the downside of them not being able to retain the information they have just learned, which in turn will result in them needing that external stimulus in order to attempt making a recall of the information that they need. However, none of this information is going to stop them from trying to do it all and balance their full schedule of classes, sports, recreational activities, and listening to music while doing it all.

In Joel Stein’s article The Me, Me, Me Generation, which was printed by Times Magazine, discusses how millennials are losing self-advancement, how dependent they’re becoming, and how much the people around them are noticing these changes between the generations of millennials and baby boomers. The biggest change that people are noticing is that baby boomers are more “do, do, do” and millennials are more “think before you do”, which is something that employers and even military recruiters look for because these millennials have a plan for their lives. However, there is a second outlook to this behavioral change which is that millennials now are three times as likely to have a “narcissistic personality disorder in their 20’s than the generation that is now 65 years or older”. Their narcissistic personality directly causes their feeling or sense of entitlement, because they now think that everything should be handed to them and that they automatically deserve everything….even though they have not learned to work for it. However; even though these millennials are so incredibly narcissistic, they have become even more dependent on their parents for financial aid and other economic assistance. Stein himself says that he may be “lame” for his age, but also relates that too when he was beginning his own life and the new job that he would still “talk to one of my parents every other day and depend on my dad for financial advice”. It is almost becoming common for millennials to be so dependent on their parents for financial aid and even housing; even nowadays in our modern society, it is becoming normal and almost expected for children to continue living with their parents or being under their insurance until they are 25 to 30 years old. This may have to do with the lack of advancement that Stein mentions in his article, which is how you cannot grow if you don’t assimilate with things more mature than yourself. Everyone stays with people of his or her own age, intelligence, and even social class, which is why Stein says “17-year-olds never grow up if he or she are just hanging around other 17-year-olds”. A few mentions later, he goes on to thank this lovely new quality of millennials to their constant use of social media and peer pressure to fit in. Millennials have developed the “fear of missing out (FOMO)” so they sit on Instagram and Facebook while they’re with each other to make sure that they are a part of everything going on and never feel left out. In the end, this all goes back to how none of these things will change because millennials think they can do it all.

Joel Stein’s article The Me, Me, Me Generation and Andrea McAlister’s Teaching the Millennial Generation are both similar in that they discuss the ways millennials advance in their lives, yet both differ in the tone of voice they have towards millennials and how millennials are not helping themselves by the way they act and do things. Both of these authors have captivated the way that millennials have advanced in their own personal lives whether it was for better or worse by bringing up how technologically advanced they are becoming, yet also how much peer assimilation has grown into their daily lives. No matter where you see a millennial, they are on their phone and communicating with each other in order to assimilate with everyone around them and maintain a stable source of communication with the world. This does go into the negatives of how they get things done because now they aspire to be like someone they are not and they have difficulty learning materials necessary for life due to all the extra stimuli that they are producing from looking at their technological devices and attempting to do everything they want all at once. In the way that both of those things are discussed in the two articles, we can clearly notice the unfavorable tone Joel Stein used when describing these behaviors by millennials versus the unequivocal tone that Andrea McAlister used to describe their societal advancements.

Joel Stein and Andrea McAlister do a phenomenal job of describing millennials and the multiple views people have towards them. They both describe the positives and negatives of everything they do as well as compare those behaviors to prior generations that tend to differ from current millennial behavior, which is how these two articles work perfectly with each other to compare and contrast the positive and negative views of the millennial generation and their advancements.

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