As Millennials, we get a lot of flack from the older generations (looking at you, Baby Boomers). And honestly, most of the misconceptions they have about us are just that: misconceptions. So let’s clear a few things up right now.
False: Millennials have short attention spans
Just because we have greater access to the Internet and social media than ever before, and just because we use stuff like Twitter and Instagram, it doesn’t mean we have five-second attention spans. In fact, if anything, our attention spans may be even longer than any other generation’s. Look at how we can happily sit for hours binge-watching a show. Or how about just the fact that most of us have read Harry Potter? That’s seven books. And the longest is over 257,000 words. Plus, many of us have read the series multiple times. Short attention span? I think not.
False: We’re addicted to our phones
It’s not that we can’t live without our phones. It’s just that they make a lot of things a heck of a lot easier. Apps like Google Maps make finding new places significantly less of a headache. And being able to check email from our phones and connect to people within seconds makes us more, not less, capable employees. Also, we’re in touch with what’s going on in the world. That makes us more aware as citizens. So what’s the drawback here?
False: We don’t know how to work
Millennials have redefined the workplace. Many of us work freelance, remotely, or part time. Does that mean we’re lazy? Not at all. Anyone who works freelance or remotely will tell you how much dedication it takes to be your own boss or to proactively check in with your employer remotely. And many of us work multiple jobs. We’re not lazy; we’re reinventing the meaning of work, turning it into something that gives us more freedom and flexibility to enjoy life. Is that a bad thing?
I’m not saying this is all one sided. Millennials definitely have a lot of misconceptions about Baby Boomers and Generation X-ers. But one thing that is generally true of Millennials is we’re fairly open-minded. So if any of our elders want to set the record straight about their own generation, the time is now. Let’s stop stereotyping each other and start working together across generations. We have a lot to learn from each other: that’s another thing that’s true.