Can we speak now?



If you do a Google search beginning with “millenials are…” Google will give you the following search predictions: Useless. Idiots. Having less sex. Lazy.

Google says the predictions are generated by an algorithm with no human involvement and are “designed to reflect the range of info on the web.” This includes what other people have frequently searched for.

As a millennial, I have to say I’m not surprised with these search predictions because I think it shows how the general public perceives us: entitled kids with poor work ethics.

There have been countless marketing studies and articles released on millennial behaviour. Pew Research Center, a research centre in the U.S., has a section dedicated to millennial statistics and data. Seriously, guys — non-millennials are infatuated with us.

On Oct. 25, CBC Manitoba held a Twitter chat asking Manitobans to answer questions about millennials, characterizing them as anyone born between 1980 and 2000. CBC Manitoba asked users on Twitter how they think millennials shape Winnipeg and whether or not current perceptions of millennials are accurate.

When I first heard about the Twitter chat, I thought, “Why is everyone so obsessed with us?” But once the chat began, I realized it could be a good way for millennials to defend ourselves.

The difficult job market and student debt arose in the Twitter chat. People talked about how these factors force millennials to live at home longer because we have no other options, which might feed into the entitled perception. People brought up technology and how we didn’t create it, we simply grew up with it, which fed into the lazy stereotype.

It was as if this invisible barrier between non-millennials and millennials was dropped for once, and people started a discussion. No more surveys, no more articles, no more data — just conversation.

It seemed as if millennials were finally given a voice, rather than being portrayed as this rare, exotic species living among others.

We can’t let non-millennials continue to portray us negatively. For the first time, we had a say in our own perception through CBC Manitoba’s Twitter chat.

As millennials, we need to continue bringing up these unfair perceptions and sharing our part of the story because we aren’t this lazy and entitled species that previous generations don’t understand.

We’re the people they raised.