A group of ‘millennials’ stroll through a train station in downtown Nagoya, Japan.

Nothing much different, or is there?

This post is a deconstruction of the millennials and their critics. It is a perspective coming from a millennial myself, not an anchor of what is universally right and sound. It is an observation. 

Articles are filled with millennials (M’s) whining about life, how true are they? Debates fire up as to which birth years do millennials come from: To what extent does this question matter?

We hear countless  stories of millennials cluelessly dealing with life. We know because they post their problems in social media. They post what they want to become, the bills they need to pay. They post what’s on their mind.

It has become a hot potato game. The ‘millennial’ term becomes a word to demean. They use it to set themselves apart from disliked individuals who get to their nerves, or their social feed.

Amidst this, when I step back: All of these issues don’t seem to be an exclusive case only with the millennial generation.

Older and younger ones exhibit similar behaviours. Regardless of which years they come from, It could just be a case of you reading the current generation’s posts just now: because the internet has evolved into an acceptable media for our gripes.

Maybe it’s the technology

Technology has become an acceptable friend. The generation today converses heavily through smartphone on our fingertips. It was a luxury for generations before us to get a beeper message, and here we are, breathing each kilobyte even before we sleep.

Millennials and the economy

The Millennials: for all we now, could have been started as a marketing initiative. We should be aware that, it could be a strategy to target the economically able of our time.

As Millennials become the working and earningclass, businesses clamour for their money. ‘Businesses’ they are capitalising now. They leave the millennial generation broke and out of balance.

All throughout history, businesses were made up by those who loved money and took advantage of others, and those who had genuine concern over their people and their customers. We have heard how the prior generation has brought the M’s up in comfort and how businesses scamper to monetise this trend.

Again, there’s nothing different with such behaviour. Even non-millennials, have also splurged in possessions offered by marketing campaigns, regardless what time it is.

The Millennial woes

As sites talk about how M’s spend their cash, M’s have booked their travels before even earning them. I know, because I have done so when I went to Japan, alone, last November 2016.

This has created tons of criticisms. Some share in goodwill, others, in contempt. Others try to educate; While others, they intend to level the steep sense of entitlement M’s believe, or could it be envy?

Such efforts offer reality check on millennials’ outrageous dreams and expectations about life. But what is the issue really? Is this really just an issue of the ‘Millennials’ self-entitlement?

Millennials and the ‘other’ generations

It’s not just as evident during their time because, but these woes have been there. Maybe, nobody just really owned up to such traits as how the generation now is venting in social media. Apparently, the internet was not yet a place to frequent back then. People were only fed with what newspapers can afford to accommodate. They were only talked about in gossips and conflicts during our parents’ and grandparents’ time.

The issues prior generations face just look as similar to what millennials are said to deal with. Our parents might even still be dealing with such things today— maybe they’re just more discreet about it as how they were told to act, up until this day.

The internet says how Millennials have had an erring parental generation. But is this statement really that different during our ancestor’s time? Will it necessarily be different when millennials become parents in their time.

Some of the millennial’s clueless issues has happened during generations prior. There is foolishness in youth. It has shown regardless if it has happened in the 1980’s or it will happen in 2039. When my dad was younger, he’d also use up all his cash on travel before he decided to settle for a family, pre-millenial era. My friends are also doing it, but is it really because they are millennials?

We only answer this when a generation has grown up. Apparently, it’s the millennial’s time, they have just grown up. That’s where we are at.


We will only know how we have raised the next generation when they have grown up.

Uncle Google’s era

Being lost in life is something that still happens to the 40 somethings: midlife crises, post-menopausal crises, identity crises, anger management, people management. You can only know enough in your lifetime.

As millennials face their challenges, they ask for help. The previous generations’ advice do not fit in the world millennials know now. They resort to Uncle Google. Who else knows better, after all?

So instead of asking to real people, millennials have figured out how their get answered in more perspectives than what our parents will ever tell or hear. Will this generation know better? Maybe, but we also know that it’s not only in knowing. It’s also by doing.

And I g

Criticism as an inter-generational sport

We’re just good at calling names, it just so happen, we’re coining it to ‘the’ millennials.

It has been an old human habit when people name others who are different than us.

This is never new: Christians battling the Turks; Jews scoffing Samaritans; Americans discriminating Americans; Here’s the landlords, there’s the peasants; They just ring the same regardless of the era: Here’s the Millennials and the Non-millennials.

Personally, I think it’s more productive to criticise a millennial when one walks the talk. If you wear the same shoes they wear and drink the same coffee they splurge on, don’t you ask why?

Meanwhile, enter the critics— we haven’t even mentioned about the critics.

The non-Millennial critics

For those who thwart to distinguish themselves from the millennial:

Some do it out of goodwill and concern. This group hopes of educating the generation after them, steering them to justice as how they know fit.

Similarly, here are those who identify as the “non-millennials”, critics who have also come out. They seem to criticise from the outside. The “us” versus “millennials” where difference is king.

They do not seem to care, as long as they sound right, so that the others will be on the wrong.

Critics forget that millennials’ choices are rooted from what they know about life— or the lack of it. So when one criticises this way, they miss out the core need that has to be filled in.

The critics and their projected issues

As critics point out issues, they only iterate those that they fail to settle on their end. It goes as the old blame game. One sees the dirt on their neighbour’s eye when he has a plank on his face.

Some project it to put others, who are not them, down so they can have an illusion of being lifted up.

Some issues just similarly boil down to the likes of:

  1. Our attitudes about money: Which items we should be spending on and what brand is better, when it’s all just about spending your cashflow, really.
  2. Where money should be spent: A never-ending dilemma that we even gripe about the government.
  3. The ever present cash rat race: We earn until our lives are over, but the expense seems to just never end.

These ideas bring disappointment whichever generation one comes from.

This is where the critics fall short. They can’t necessarily offer solutions, just more whining. They name-call millennial quirks to project their own woes, regardless if they are part of the generation or not.

Apparently, when such critics cannot necessarily walk the talk, they are on the ill side to offer the solutions.

Buying as a Millennial

I struggle with my cashflow. I struggle with shopping and marketing schemes. With travel. With tax. I bet they do too.

But, it’s not even as bad as how the internet says it seems. I am never hungry. A lot more times even, I have my stored fat belly. Not to mention, I have more than what I really need.

I shop millennial items.

I go to millennial’s overpriced stores.

I hustle.

I demand higher salaries while I make sure I return the favour or more. I get “No’s” as answers, but I have learned on how to get the “Yes’s”.

I want to believe that I extend than what I am asked for. In my millennial mindset, I believe I am right, but don’t we all? Until I am corrected, I believe the odds hold true. If it ends in disdain, we move on.

Throughout generations, the human race has been resilient. It’s just the millennials time to continue on.

A lot say millennials are quitters, no, not all. Quitters have existed even before our time. Millennials are not all the same. Here are some who accept set-backs and overcome life, just like all those who have done so in the past.


Living as a Millennial

As I have mentioned, I come from ‘the’ millennial generation. I have had people call me a millennial. I don’t mind.

I am a millennial. I exhibit a lot of common perceived traits, some, I don’t. I have been criticised with it. I have been applauded by it. I am coined in it, not necessarily by choice, but by all the descriptions pointing to it.

I make sure I prove people wrong when it does not reflect me. Again, I get a lot of “No’s” but the results I’m getting for myself are more than what I would ever have dreamed for in the past.

My eyes glitter on the awesome possibilities I believe I can achieve. My managers, my older ‘brothers’, older men, they look at me: who knows if it’s just the foolishness and idealism of youth that they see?

We’ll always have the bad M’s and the good ones. All generations had theirs. In my head, people who went before me or those after me, have their own intricacies. And the haters, we always have them. Across generations, will they ever settle their anomalies anyway.

It’s no fun calling names when we are from our own sides of the road. We can always talk it out at our favourite Starbucks store.


Clueless Commuter is a local food & travel website from the Philippines.