Millenials don't have a very good rap. Those "sexy-face" selfies (they look more like fish faces to me) don't exactly do much for our image.
But really, has any adult generation been satisfied with the resulting crop? Ancient texts complain about the disrespect and laziness of their disappointing offspring, never mind Bye Bye Birdie. And that was made in 1963.
According to Sam Tanenhaus in "The Millenials Are Generation Nice," millenials have had much unpleasantness to deal with, which made them realize the important things in life (and it isn't money).
What Pew found was not an entitled generation but a complex and introspective one . . . Its members also have weathered many large public traumas: the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, costly (and unresolved) wars, the Great Recession. Add to those the flood of images of Iraq and Katrina (and, for older millennials, Oklahoma City and Columbine) — episodes lived and relived, played and replayed, on TV and computer screens.
For a generation digitally wired from childhood, and reared on apocalyptic videos and computer-generated movie epics, not to mention the exploits of hackers, these events showed the real world to be as tightly networked, and for that reason as easily disrupted as the virtual one, even as the grown-ups in charge, the guardians of order, seemed overwhelmed and overmatched, always a step behind.
It is no surprise, as Pew reported, that the millennial generation is skeptical of institutions — political and religious — and prefers to improvise solutions to the challenges of the moment.
The current economy no longer guarantees employment, even for the college educated. Therefore, if wealth is elusive, they simply care about it less.
Millenials are more concerned about the state of the world, more likely to shop with awareness of the environment or ethical production. They aren't focused on their own comfort, but on the needs of the community. They are chock-full of empathy.
So all we have to do is lose the selfie and we can reclaim our honor.