Sometimes it feels like our name should be the Doomed Generation instead of the Millennials. Seriously, if you Google “why this generation is…” the first suggestion Google gives is “doomed.” If you’re ever feeling overly optimistic, try Googling different variations of that search. It’s partially entertaining but, for the most part, downright depressing.
People love to theorize and rant and moan about how burdensome we are or how past generations have ruined our future.
But I’m not completely convinced. I think we’ll turn out OK. Why?
1. Because our cartoons were actually good.
Recess, Dexter’s Laboratory, Arthur, Rocket Power, Scooby-Doo, Samurai Jack, The Fairly Odd Parents? We were blessed indeed with a goldmine of cartoons in our childhood.
Saturday morning cartoons are a thing of the past. How will children learn the lessons we did from Arthur the Aardvark, Goku or Eliza Thornberry? Our cartoons actually had meaning. Who knows what’s going on with Disney Channel these days.
2. We grew up during the age of Harry Potter.
We are the Potter generation. The years before and after us? Sure, they enjoyed the series, but they didn’t live it like us “” standing in line to get the new book after years of waiting, dressing up for the midnight premiers, sobbing shamelessly when key characters were killed off. We understand this magical world better than anyone else. Maybe our world will be a bit more magical because of it.
3. We didn’t always have cell phones.
It’s the perfect sweet spot of growing up with a childhood not as saturated in technology, but still becoming a tech-savvy generation. We also had to deal with dial-up which must have taught us great patience.
4. Despite it all, we’re optimistic
We’ve witnessed stock market crashes, the World Trade Center towers fall and a hopeless war. We’re facing melting ice caps, global turmoil and exorbitant debt. The future doesn’t look too rosy. In fact, 54 percent of Americans over the age of 55 think young people are unlikely to have a better life than their parents.
But in the face of all this, Millenials remain optimistic. Despite high unemployment rates among young adults, 88 percent of people ages 18 to 34 say they have enough money or will have enough in the future to meet their long-term financial goals in a Pew Research Poll. And about three out of four Millenials believe they will achieve their life goals “” or they already have.
So even if most of America is predicting our doomed lives, don’t we, the Millenials – the Doomed Generation – have the final say?