Drew McLachlan
Associate Editor
The Navigator

Drew_head_webOver the past six months I’ve noticed a trend in the media. Magazines, national papers, and online blogs have all worked together to warn readers of a new threat to society: millennials. Also known as Generation Y, millennials have been defined as any person born between 1980 and 2000. Personally, I prefer Joel Stein of Time magazine’s aptly eloquent description of “lazy, entitled, selfish, and shallow.” While there has been no lack of responses denigrating the anti-gen-Y stance many writers have taken, I stand firmly in support of these writers.

It’s true—this new generation is nothing more than an entitled, bike riding, Twitter-addicted stain on the beautiful fabric woven by the baby boomer generation. And so I have spent the last few months observing these 13 to 33 year olds from afar, and have gathered my meticulous notes into one handy guide: The Navigator’s Guide on How to Spot a Millenial (According to Baby Boomers).

“[Millennials] consider the Internet to be as important as air, water, food, and shelter.” -Cisco online survey

The advent of the smartphone has allowed millennials, who were previously solitary creatures confined to social media devices, the opportunity to cohabitate with previous generations. In your search for a millennial habitat, it is paramount to take wi-fi and 4G signals into account. If a bar contains neither food, water, shelter, nor air, you may still find a few twenty-somethings passed out under a table, clutching their shiny iOS devices. Approaching a conscious millennial can be dangerous, so finding such an establishment is key for novice observers.

“Millennials received so many participation trophies growing up that 40 per cent of them think they should be promoted every two years—regardless of performance.” – Josh Sanburn, Time Magazine

The glint of a golden “P” is a surefire way to spot a millennial. Whether it be printed on a medal, ribbon, or trophy, you can be sure that it has been pinned to the proud chest of a millennial. As I’ve learned from some of the world’s most qualified cynical old people, 1980 marked an enormous reform for the education system. Across the globe, teachers and coaches stopped keeping score and announced that every student would now be a winner. 30 years later, these small tokens have butterflied into hugely inflated egos. Millennials have been known to speak often and proudly about their participation trophies as a reminder of their previous accomplishments. From what I’ve gathered, millennials are so far incapable of differentiating between first grade intramural soccer and their current job at the law firm.

“GYPSYs Are Delusional. ‘Sure,’ Lucy has been taught, ‘everyone will go and get themselves some fulfilling career, but I am unusually wonderful and as such, my career and life path will stand out amongst the crowd.’ So on top of the generation as a whole having the bold goal of a flowery career lawn, each individual GYPSY thinks that he or she is destined for something even better.” – Waitbutwhy.com

For clarification, GYPSY is an acronym meaning “Gen Y Protagonists & Special Yuppies” that is commonly used by Wait But Why and other SOPs (Shitty Old People). While baby boomers (rightfully) hold the belief that they are the greatest generation, millennials dismiss even their peers in the pursuit of happiness. Millennials put more importance into the idea of the individual than they do into more important concepts like “generations.” This means that millennials often travel individually, although large packs, called “flash mobs,” have formed in high density areas such as univeristy campuses and air-free wi-fi bars.

“More and more, I see millennials who cannot take a joke, cannot laugh at themselves, and fail miserably to see that there is so much to find funny. The stereotype of politically correct campus-goers seeing everything as an insult to their race/gender/profession has come to be a reality.” – Jesse Merkel, Policymic

Millennials, like reptiles, lack the muscles required to laugh. Despite the robust humour of their baby boomer parents, millennials assume every joke is a slight against them. As Merkel points out in his article, what is now seen as “racism” or “sexism” committed by previous generations, were actually just friendly shenanigans. If you’re unsure if you’ve spotted a millennial, try making a joke about his/her ethnicity. If you’re greeted by hostility, you’ve spotted a millennial.

I hope this guide has provided you with some insight into millennial culture. For more information, be sure to check Time magazine, The Globe and Mail, and the many other professional publications which regularly run well-researched and respectable articles bitching about people born after them.