Can You Believe People Blame Millenials for Not Buying Diamonds?
The world’s tirade against millenials is becoming increasingly bizarre. These are five of the strangest complaints raised so far…
When we were children, millennials were told that in order to get anywhere in life we absolutely had to have a college degree. So we earned our degrees, while taking on thousands of dollars in debt. Once we graduated, we discovered that these expensive pieces of paper were essentially useless. We found ourselves in retail, service, and office jobs that barely paid above minimum wage.
Those of us who throw ourselves body and soul into our careers — and then dare to ask for a living wage — are characterized as entitled. Those of us who can’t make one job a priority — because we’re juggling two to three side gigs in order to pay our bills — are labelled lazy. We’re mocked and sneered at for wanting our lives to have purpose.
And the cherry on that caca sundae?
Millenials are constantly being blamed by older generations for anything and everything, from killing entire industries to destroying the nuclear family. But we’re not some merciless generational murder machine! There are perfectly good reasons why some things are going by the wayside. So perhaps everyone could stop blaming millenials for the following?
Previous generations love to attribute millennials’ sense of entitlement to the hordes of participation trophies we collected as children. Their belief is that because we were given participation trophies, we all think we’re special. They say these meaningless awards made us incapable of working independently or having a decent work ethic.
But who was it that actually gave us these trophies?
Though the participation trophy craze started with good intentions (as an initiative to help inner city kids have higher self-esteem), Boomer and Xer parents/community leaders took it too far — and now they’re pointing their trophy giving fingers at us.
Here’s the thing about the participation trophy argument: it only holds water if you believe that kids aren’t intelligent enough to know the difference between participating in a competition and winning. Trust me, they absolutely do. Kids are far smarter than people give them credit for. As children, we were completely aware that participation trophies didn’t mean we’d actually won anything. Often, we viewed them as a bit of a slap in the face.
I promise you that participation trophies didn’t ruin an entire generation (or lead to an unearned sense of entitlement.) Even if they’d never existed to begin with, millennials would still be the same people they are today. However, if it makes you feel better — that is, if you need someone to blame — take a look at the generations who made the trophies and gave them to us in the first place.
Failing to Take Care of Our Health
This isn’t the last time in this article you’ll hear me say this, but millennials are flat broke. We’re making less money than any previous generation, which means we take the cost of everything into account — including our health and well-being. Rising healthcare costs often keep us away from doctors’ offices. High insurance deductibles and uncertainty whether or not our insurance will cover basic costs causes us to weigh our health against the contents of our bank accounts.
A 2009 study found that lack of health insurance is associated with as many as 44,789 deaths in the United States. People can’t afford to go to the doctor or purchase their prescriptions, and they are actively dying because of it. In fact, the healthcare system in the U.S. is so broken that giant corporations are getting into the game in an attempt to make things more affordable. Mull that over for a minute.
Not Getting Married
Numerous studies and surveys have shown that millennials are marrying less often and later in life than previous generations. There are a few different reasons why this is happening. The first is that — you guessed it — they’re too poor to get married. Beyond their inability to pay for a wedding, the fact that a potential partner’s bad credit and debt can become a joint financial responsibility is daunting. Both the government and creditors are allowed to draw money from joint accounts, even if one half of the couple has nothing to do with the debt. For a generation that is already in debt, that is some scary stuff right there.
Another reason many millennials are eschewing marriage is that they were raised with increasing divorce rates and so-called broken homes. They’re less likely to buy into marriage as the ultimate expression of a meaningful relationship. What’s more, a 2010 survey from the Pew Research Centre found that most people don’t see being married as having many advantages.
Finally, some millennials simply don’t want to get married — ever. In fact, some of them prefer to remain single, with no longterm partner at all, and that’s perfectly okay. Our society is moving away from a place where women are taught to view marriage as a means to survive and men are more likely to have their sexuality questioned if they haven’t put a ring on it. Living an independent life is becoming more socially acceptable — and that’s a good thing.
Not Purchasing Diamonds
As I said, fewer millennials are getting married — and those who are tying the knot often choose non-traditional stones (such as sapphires and opals) to signify their commitment. Not only are these gems more affordable, they’re also wonderfully personal and eclectic — no more cookie cutter engagement rings!
But there’s more to our aversion to diamonds than expense and a yearning for one-of-a-kind rings. For one, the diamond industry’s marketing tactics over the past century have been incredibly manipulative. Not buying into this coercion is important to millenials. Secondly, ethical production is a problem when it comes to diamonds. Millennials are extremely socially conscious, and there’s no way in hell we’ll be buying shiny rocks dripping in conflict, exploitation, and human rights violations.
Not Buying Houses
It’s not that millennials aren’t interested in purchasing homes. We simply can’t afford to. Burdened with crippling student loan debt, many of us are forced to move back in with our parents or live with roommates long into our 30s. Our wages are low, housing prices are going up, credit standards are higher, and there’s an extremely limited inventory of starter homes. We have no other option but to rent.
Home ownership doesn’t just require financial stability, it requires a stable life. When you buy a house, you’re committing to living in one specific spot for a long period of time. And, since a large number of millennials are pressured to continually switch jobs in order to chase a slightly livable wage, staying in one place isn’t always feasible.
Millennials get a bad rap. We’re not entitled, or lazy, or industry murderers — we’re just regular people who want the same shot at success that our parents had. Unfortunately, despite major technological advances and having a wealth of information at our fingertips, the simple things in life — those we used to consider to be milestones — are continuing to slip further out of our reach.
So please, the next time you want to blame us for something “dying”, take a moment to think about why we don’t purchase/support/do those things. It may just end up changing your mind about an entire generation.