Millennials, probably Googling how to buy postage stamps.
Hello, my Millennial brothers and sisters! How's your spring been thus far? How many weddings are on your plate for the next three months? Did you do your part to represent our generation during the annual Running of the Drunks?
Both these traditions are, of course, great chances to watch members of our generation at ease, gathering in large groups, enjoying their natural habitat. I'm a particularly big fan of field study work that involves viewing the reactions of 20- and 30-somethings when they're asked to dance en masse to the Isley Brothers' "Shout" in a public place, half of them in terribly uncomfortable shoes, after one to three glasses of champagne.
If you're going to undertake such intense anthropological coursework, however, any scientist will tell you that having some background knowledge of your subjects -- their likes, dislikes, habits and vocabulary -- is a bare minimum. Thus, without further ado, I hereby present to you the most important facts about Millennials that the news media presented us with in the month of May. As always, I'd love to hear how they guide you in your own research.
In May 2016, we learned that Millennials are...
Still, overwhelmingly, living in our parents' basements. Especially men. Why? Well, for one, people are getting married later in life. And then there's this illuminating tidbit: "The overall employment rate -- the share of people with jobs -- has fallen and, again, that's particularly true of young men. And this explains why living at home is even more common among young men who are unemployed." Shocking.
But also, on our way to becoming oil tycoons. Alongside our moms, which makes sense since we live with them. Here's the best excerpt from this story: "Mr. Bailey also visits online chatter sites talking about oil, such as StockTwits, where one poster this week wrote: “...once again the crude been rude to this dude.”
Flaky about voting. Sadly, we continue to have the lowest voter turnout of any group. One author of this Pew Research Center study offered this: "...the fact that young people move around frequently can be a 'huge barrier' to voting. Plus, she points out that campaign outreach often overlooks young voters." (Except for when that campaign involves dank memes, amirite bro??)
Full of feelings, which are bad. This piece pushes for us to stop starting sentences with the phrase I feel like. "'This is speculative, but ‘I feel like’ fits with this general relativism run rampant,' Sally McConnell-Ginet, a linguist at Cornell, suggested. 'There are different perspectives, but that doesn’t mean there are not some facts on the ground and things anchoring us.'"
...do I have to be the one who points out that "This is speculative" serves exactly the same purpose as "I feel like"? I feel like that should be obvious.
Planning to buy cars. The take-away here seems to be that when people do not make very much money, they do not buy cars, but when they start to make a little more money, they start to think about buying them.
...except that we're not.This other study is wringing its hands over the possibility that we're all just going to take Uber and Lyft our whole lives, because most of us still actually have no money. Bonus Millennial Fact: Last week I had a Lyft driver who spent the whole ride telling me about how awesome the Lyft offices are. Apparently they have a "jam room" with electric guitars in it. Because nothing says rock 'n' roll like shredding some sweet riffs on your lunch break at Lyft corporate headquarters.
Driving TV networks crazy as they try to figure out how best to appeal to us. Here is the best part of this (actually somewhat self-aware) NYT story:
Mr. Pogensky, who identified himself as an editor at a “millennial media company,” was dismissive of TV programs attempting to portray his generation. (“Girls,” for instance.) “They try far too hard — that notion of the over-millenniated hipster,” he said. “They use, like, slang that no one uses, that your dad would use,” he said.
“LOL,” Ms. McAllister said.
“She’s using that sarcastically, rather than in reality,” Mr. Pogensky said.
Explaining sarcasm: hella Millennial.
Always ripe for mockery. This satire piece in Fortune, which is basically a mashup of regurgitated cliches about how young people behave in an office environment, is so obnoxious that I actually said "UGH" out loud at my desk. None of my coworkers seemed to mind, though, because I am a Millennial and they know that's just how I talk. Anyway, Stanley Bing seems cool.
Hilarious, creative individuals. Okay, this one isn't a study, and to be fair I'm actually a few months behind -- but this Chrome extension that converts the word "Millennials" to "snake people" as you cruise around the web is too good not to mention. The extension's coder, Eric Bailey, is clearly a Millennial, and I feel like he probably has a pretty good sense of humor about it too. No word on whether or not he knows how to find stamps.