Sociologists define millennials as anyone born in the early 80s to 2000s. I disagree. You see, I'm a complicated person, born in the 80s, living in what seems to be an uncomplicated time. I asked someone born in the 90s or 2000s if they'd heard of U2 and they said, "Youtube? Absolutely!" Somewhere along the way, millennials, their preferences and attitudes shifted. Tragically. Here's some of the idiot millennials that I pray to every deity known to mankind aren't your kids.
The Fake Underdog -- Look sport, just because you listen to Tupac doesn't mean you are Tupac. Millennials have this weird perception that they have overcome impossible odds to be the One Direction-loving young adults they are today. You're not from the gutter. You're not still there. There's a good chance you won the genetic lottery and are from the suburbs. And, if you're lucky, you will probably live in your inbox at some desk job to make your parents proud so you can stay there. I'm also pretty sure that the only 12-year-old Brenda you know doesn't have a baby... just a Baby Einstein. Wasn't it Snoop Dogg who said you can take the millennials out of the suburbs, but you can't take the suburbs out of the millennials or something like that?
Guitar Hero Super Villains -- Most people spend their days in front of screens. Millennials, especially the Guitar Hero Super Villains, are the worst culprits. Do you remember simpler times when being grounded meant going to your room and doing nothing? Have you ever told a millennial to go to their room? Of course not, that's where countless of hours answering the call of duty or navigating the World of Warcraft happens in the first place. Now, the modern parent grounds these wallflowers by actually telling them to go outside. Or, if they do something really bad, like trash someone on LinkedIn, you cut the power. Apparently bad things like parties at the house when the parents are out of town only happens in 80s sitcoms.
Little League LeBron James -- Here's looking at you kid... in organized sports from age 2. It's clear we've all gone off the deep-end with amateur sports. Remember when amateur sports used to be something kids did after school for free with teachers that stayed after hours to coach? Now millennials have specialized coaching and year-round travel teams in every sport. This phenomena has also created new celebrities out of Little League LeBron James' coach... Amateur Phil Jackson. You know, the amateur coach who has a book deal, budding career as a motivational speaker and is also the highest paid "educator" in most schools. All thanks to his 11 tee-ball championship rings.
Fast Trackers -- These millennials and their parents are eager to "get ahead" by skipping grades and loading up on advanced courses. Do you really want your kid to skip grades and get out of school? For what? Look bro, I saw a bunch of Doogie Howser MD episodes (the best show Neil Patrick Harris has ever done) and let me tell you, that kid was miserable. Look millennials, take it from me and Doogie. School, like your privileged millennial life, is awesome. You take a few classes over the years to 'find yourself' (that is, if you ever get lost on your way back from Chipotle), you pay no rent, have a group of friends you see daily and free after-school activities. All you really have to do is show up, try hard and stay out of jail for your parents to think you're a legend. Do you really want to trade that for a mortgage, student loans, probably a failed marriage or two and a job sending emails from various web-enabled devices from 6 a.m. to midnight? Skipping grades? Forget that. In hindsight, I'd have failed grades more often if I could live the Ferris Bueller or Billy Madison lifestyle as much as possible. Trading "school" for "life" would be the dumbest trade since the Hornets traded Kobe Bryant for Vlade Divac.
Selfie Takers -- Don't you hope Selfies get culturally discarded and made into a kids react to video 10 years from now? Are Selfie takers really too vain to ask someone, like a bystander or a photographer to take their picture? It's definitely vain. You're taking a pic of doing something you judge interesting in the interest of sharing it with other people. Maybe this isn't all bad. A selfie with the Taj Mahal? Go ahead! Either one... in India or Jersey. But a selfie with your lunch from the Taj Mahal Restaurant (arguably the name of every Indian restaurant in America)? We could probably do without that one. Thank God Snapchat Snaps are deleted.
Share Economists -- The millennial kid who owns nothing and shares everything with everyone. They Uber their rides, Airbnb their accommodations, crowdsource their girl scout cookie sales and outsource their homework to global workers abroad with Upwork. When they have a new business idea they'll seek financing from Kickstarter... not the bank. Millennials have found a way to basically outsource or delegate every area of their life to some sort of sharing platform. In reality there is nothing wrong with any of this. Millennials have grown up in an era of corporate scandal and Wall St. bailouts. Who can blame them for sharing their underwear and dirty socks with one another?
Tiger Mom and Lion Dad -- Some millennials are young parents in their 20s or 30s. These millennials are probably in their bus driver years cycling their kids to and from various after-school activities. After all, little Joey or Jane needs to play guitar like Van Halen, dress like Elza, run the 40 like Bo Jackson and have the political correctness of the Dalai Llama. One consistency across all of these extra-curriculars? The Tiger Mom and Lion Dad barking at their prized kids to pay attention. Then, they tell their preschoolers to practice more on their own because Tiger Mom and Lion Dad have their own extra-curricular activities... called careers. Not to mention the kids need to do all this perfectly and look great while mom and dad film/photograph these moments from their phones. All so they can share with their fellow neighborhood Tiger Mom and Lion Dads who I'm sure have been dying to see. I used to think that just we Asian people were these types of parents, but having attended many a sports and music class I can confidently say that the Tiger Mom and Lion Dad are no longer endangered species! Millennials from all walks of life demand the excellence and focus from their kids that they didn't have.
Millennials started off as a great generation, but along the way we've turned into the idiots described above. Maybe it's because we've seen so many heroes feed us lies or end up being something they aren't. To older millennials Hulk Hogan was a real American that got us praying, eating vitamins and training! Not some philandering racist. There is hope for our own kids though as long as we give them more of what we had growing up versus what we didn't.
It starts with them knowing who Bono is.
Sajeel Qureshi writes humor The Bored Room. Primarily because it's cheaper than seeing a psychiatrist.