There is something about Millennials that compels them to ruin everything. In a surprising number of cases, they insist on ruining things for themselves, along with everyone else. They are almost certainly gearing up to ruin James Bond by insisting that the fictional spy hero be less problematic, and just last week some enterprising social vigilante fired the first shot in the war on cuddling.
Millennials are already well on their way toward abolishing the concept of marriage, so it was only a matter of time before they started soaking all the fun out of weddings and bachelor/bachelorette parties. The New York Times reports:
Where celebratory inebriation, egged on by films like “The Hangover,” was once thought of as a rite of passage, that sort of behavior is starting to change. Participants, planners and etiquette experts cite age, pervasive social media and a grudging new respect for responsibility and maturity as factors here.
Some Millennials are forgoing drunken bar crawls and weekends in Vegas in favor of “health-focused” spa getaways or (probably) Harry Potter-themed Build-A-Bear workshops and Bernie Sanders rallies. They’re waiting longer to get married, and now they’re “too old” to chug peach vodka out of an ice luge statue of Ryan Gosling and throw up in an Uber black car. Misdemeanors, poor decisions, unspeakable acts, outlandish credit card bills, inexplicable nudity upon waking up under a bridge hand-cuffed to an inflated Hillary Clinton sex doll.
At least, this is the sort of way Millennials once celebrated, both in real life and in their favorite frat-tastic films such as Old School and The Hangover. What changed? The whole “grudging new respect for responsibility and maturity” seems like a pretty bogus explanation coming from a generation that spent their college years (and beyond) whining about the need for “safe spaces” and insisting that thoughts they disagree with constitute “violence.” What’s the real reason? It’s probably because, above all else, millennials are terrible people whose self-obsession knows no bounds.
As mentioned in the Times, the explosion of social media—created by and for millennials—is driving the trend:
The notion that Big Brother is watching from the web, along with the eyes of corporate America, is a reality that is also bearing down on millennials and others who are holding down jobs and are expected to perform in them.
As enticing and addictive as Facebook and Instagram have become, there’s also a pushback from those wanting to remain faceless and nameless. For these folks, being caught in compromising photographs in a posting on someone’s page that they didn’t O.K. is no longer acceptable.
What’s really happening is that, for some millennials, their urge to celebrate their last few days of bachelorhood by conquering the night in a frenzy of inebriated courage has taken a back seat to their even greater urge to document and broadcast every other boring aspect of their lives. The self-obsession that spawned an endless array of insufferable Instagram feeds archiving every interaction, every meal, every outfit, has driven some millennials to self-preservation.
Perhaps millennials are getting too old to party, and 21st century ailments such as “text neck” (the result of chronic cellphone attachment) are necessitating a transition out of the bar—it’s difficult to throw back shot after shot with a deformed spine—and into the spa. It’s also likely some millennials have simply accepted that a slightly less ambitious party agenda is small price to pay for their freedom to post that selfie with that guy you met at Trader Joe’s who sort of looks like Taylor Swift’s bass player.
They also need to protect themselves from other millennials and the trigger-happy gawker mentality that compels them to record, post, tweet, ‘gram, blog, vine, periscope, and livestream everything at all times, especially when it involves potentially embarrassing or controversial human behavior. Other millennials can then look at it on the internet and demand punishment for the offender.
The downfall of Justine Sacco is a perfect example of these millennial impulses at work. Sacco was an obscure PR director until she tweeted a stupid joke about AIDS before getting on plane, only to ignite a firestorm that would ultimately cost her a job, and inspire worldwide condemnation, including an entourage of hecklers who greeted her upon her plane’s arrival. No one wants to be the next Justine Sacco. Fair enough.
This is not to say that they’re aren’t any benefits to our increasingly connected, social media-driven culture, but that certaintly doesn’t make up for the fact that millennials ruin everything.