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Op-Ed: The ME Generation (TIME Article)

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The recent front-page feature of TIME magazine is about Millennials. Mr. Joel Stein has written an article on how my generation is lazy and selfish and then attempts to soften the blow by saying, “we’re empowered” and that “we’ll save us all.”  He has taken the old “Millennials are going to Hades” argument and “improved” it with studies, statistics, and academic quotes.

Normally, I brush a news article like this off. However, the way the article was written and supported is condescending and insulting.

First, the photographs. A girl taking a picture of herself? Captions that show how many followers this girl or guy has on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook? Way to say, “Look, look, I told you these kids were selfish and shallow!” Is Stein proud of becoming a hypocrite?

Also, the “interviews” with millennials were only a couple of sentences long, whereas the interviews with non-millennials like casting director Doron Ofir have a paragraph. Since Mr. Stein thinks that millennials are too busy social networking and texting to speak long, I guess it can’t be helped.

Furthermore, there is the fact the interviews of millennials and most captions refute Mr. Stein’s argument  For instance, Mr. Vali Shekhanzi, 25 , is an entrepreneur and have a tourist service. Meanwhile, 17 year-old Tavi Gevinson runs an online fashion magazine named Rookie.  Aren’t  they supposed to be lazy and selfish?

Besides that, there is the fact that I think that we do have a culture to rebel against. You’re either society’s definition or your own definition. In other words, you’re either Mr. Stein’s  (or somebody else’s) stereotype or yourself. I personally think that for every Barbie and Ken doll, there is a geek or freak.

Lastly, there are the things that are supposed to represent us. Kim Kardashian? She’s the epitome of the Stupid Girl epidemic (listen to P!nk’s song “Stupid Girls”). Also, if my entire generation actually watches reality television, then I’m Sailor Moon. We didn’t “grow up” on it; we inherited it after 2008’s Writer’s Strike!

All in all, Joel Stein’s article mostly is cow manure. The only thing that he is correct about is millennials being more accepting of differences. Most millenials, like myself, are diverse (I’m bi-racial)  or have been exposed to enough diversity to become tolerant of others.

Guess what, Mr. Stein? We are not a statistic  or a guinea pig. We are human beings who deserve to be judged honestly and fairly.

Written by Serena Zola

May 10, 2013 at 5:58 PM

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