“Was there ever a time when older people said, ‘Hmmm. I think it’s just right’?” – Neil Howe, Coined the term “Millennial” in 1991 and author of Millennials Rising
My light reading over a long Labor Day weekend at the beach: Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, the comedian best known for his part in the NBC show Parks and Rec. He takes an anthropological look at dating among Millennials where – no exaggeration – 35 percent of this generational cohort meet their significant others through online dating apps.
It’s hilarious. Listen to how Ansari work the book’s themes into his act with the embedded podcast below from NPR’s The Hidden Brain. He brings audience members – Millennials, of course – onto the stage and gets them to read aloud text messages received from members of the opposite sex. Start at about the 2:50 mark to hear how one poor guy bumbles a clear shot at a date.
And it’s utterly terrifying. I’m at the stage of life where I look at these things through the lens of a father whose young daughters are nearer to their first dating experiences than I am removed from my last. I read Ansari’s account of what boys text to girls in hopes of getting their attention, many of which are made public, he tells us, on a popular blog called “straight white boy text.” I won’t recount them here, but let your imagination run wild. I imagine my daughters nine or ten years from now, and my blood pressure spikes.
It’s these kind of anecdotes of the Millennial Generation that lead so many Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers to dismiss it. What are the common descriptions we hear? Coddled. Entitled. Craving praise. Living in the parent’s basement. Failures to launch.