What a Weird Thing: A Millennial is Reading and Working

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/26/technology/corporate-america-chases-the-mythical-millennial.html?_r=1&register=google

 

When I typed “interesting articles about millennials” in Google, the first statement I read is the initial claim stated below. I needed to correct this article. How could the author be wrong just at the beginning?

 

Claim #1: “If you’re reading this article voluntarily, you’re probably not a millennial, because everyone knows millennials don’t read news”

This statement is false. The author is making an assumption and a generalization, and he is wrong. Of course millennials read news. If not, why would I be reading this? Also, just two days ago, all my friends were watching the political debate, because they read the news and understand what is going on. Not to mention, a lot of students at Georgia Tech read the weekly newspaper, and those reports count as news.

It is understandable that the author of this article wanted to use this sentence to build his argument; however, if one reads the first sentence of an article and it is a false statement, one would not want to continue reading, as the author loses his credibility. As he later says, “I can predict all this because I work in the news media,” readers can sense that what the author says may not be true, as “predicting” is just guessing, and guesses are not always certain.

At the end of the article, the author restates this wrong claim, as he says, “ It’s not true that millennials don’t read the news, as I implied above. Hi, millennials — thanks for reading!” Thus, he gains his credibility back; however, he should not have waited until the end of the text to correct that first sentence.

 

Claim #2: Millennials aren’t real.

This claim is false. Millennials are true, as they are a generation.

The article from The Atlantic shows when each generation begins and ends, as well as defines the Millennial generation (though it has some generalizations and assumptions). According to an article from The Atlantic states that researchers, Neil Howe and William Strauss, recognize this generation as the people born between years 1980 and 2000. This statement is followed by a graph of all the different generations, Millennials included. Thus, Millennials are a generation and they are real.

As this claim is false, The New York Times article’s next paragraph is not at all convincing. Being “a demographic group” is not being “amorphous,” as researchers have given Millennials specific characteristics and a year-span.

Paragraph 12 has a quotation that says, “What we’ve seen is that every single generation enters the work force and feels like they’re a unique generation, and the generation that’s one or two ahead of them looks back and says, ‘Who are these weird, strange kids coming into the work force with their attitudes of entitlement and not wanting to fit in?’” This quotation serves as a counter-argument towards the author’s claim that “Millennials aren’t real,” since he quotes a man that names Millennials a generation.

 

Claim #3: “They’re young, they’ve never had to shoulder any responsibility in life, and they really can’t even with all your rules, man.” 

This claim is not true. It should not be a generalization. Every college student is a young person with responsibilities, for example. They have to wash their own clothes, make sure they eat, go to class, exercise, do well on every subject, manage their time, get a job, join an organization, etc. they are young people filled with responsibilities, and they have to follow the university’s rules, as well as the state’s rules.

This article from The Revelist explicitly states, “Though it’s not necessarily a surprise to the generation that has balanced unpaid internships, school work, and side jobs, a new study from ManPower Group found that Millennials “are working as hard, if not harder, than other generations,” which serves as proof that Millennials are hard workers and not people who avoid responsibilities.

 

Claim #4: “millennials, as a broad category, simply aren’t very different from everyone else”

            This claim is true. Millennials are a broad category, as is any other generation. Millennials born in the 1980s differ in many ways from those born in 2000 by their way of thinking and responding to situations, their use of technology, etc. This generation is also broad since it covers 75.4 million Americans, as it has been demonstrated by a study from the Pew Research Center, and everyone is unique in his or her own ways.

As this claim refers to the way employees work and want to be treated, it is true that Millennials are not very different from everyone else. “We measure this sort of thing closely, and if you look at what their underlying needs and aspirations are, there’s no difference at all between this new generation of workers and my generation and my father’s generation,” he said. “Every single human being wants the same thing in the workplace — we want to be treated with respect, we want to have a sense of meaning and agency and impact, and we want our boss to just leave us alone so we can get our work done.” This statement by Mr. Bock is followed by the author saying, “This is not to say that today’s young people are identical to old people.” They both substantiate how millennial employees are not completely alike, just not very different.

 

who-are-the-millennials

Works Cited

Bump, Philip. “Here Is When Each Generation Begins and Ends, According To Facts.” The Atlantic. 25 March 2014. Web. 28 September 2016.

Manjoo, Farhad. “Coorporate America Chases The Mythical Millennial.” The New York Times. 25 May 2016. Web. 28 September 2016.

“Millennials overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation.” PewResearchCenter. 15 April 2016. Web. 28 September 2016.

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/03/here-is-when-each-generation-begins-and-ends-according-to-facts/359589/

 

 

Millennials overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation

 

 

 

 

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4 Responses to What a Weird Thing: A Millennial is Reading and Working

  1. Brandon Pal says:

    You did a fantastic job at deconstructing the author’s argument and pulling out the important information. I read through your article after viewing your post, and you included almost all of the important details. One thing that I would like to point out is the severity of some of your claims. On each of the author’s claims, you respond by asserting whether or not that claim is “true.” While you did provide some impressive research to back your claims, I don’t think it’s enough to label an aspect of the argument as true or false. Instead, I think you would improve your deconstruction by showing the counterarguments instead of making your own assertion as to whether or not the article’s claims are true. Still, the additional research you provided made a very compelling case for your opinion. In particular, your discussion of claim 2 makes a very insightful point about why the author’s argument might not be totally sound. Overall, I thought your post was very well organized and efficiently analyzed the editorial. Great job!

  2. Dichao Hu says:

    I like your use of your own experience at the beginning, it really aroused my interest to see what is going wrong with the article. I also appreciate your use of links, images and graphs to help guide readers and organize your work. As a whole, I think your analysis is good. For the first claim you referred to Georgia Tech students, who read various materials and can be called Millennials. For the second claim you identified a paradox in the author’s work that he mentions that the Millennials are not real but he also uses a quotation containing the word ‘Millennial’. This really undermines the author’s credibility. However, there are also a few flaws I have found in your response. First, in each fact check you mix your analysis of the claim with the evidence that the author uses to support his claim. This might help integrate your analysis but may also give readers inconvenience to locate the evidence. Second, in the third claim you add a link to another editorial by Rae Paoletta. But after I googled Rae I did not find information that can prove her authority on Millennial issues. And in my guess she might also be a Millennial herself. So if my guess is right, her editorial might be biased and should not be a supporting material for your counterargument. Above all, I think your response is detailed and I mostly agree with your arguments.

  3. Saksham Gandhi says:

    I agree with most of your opinion, but I think you might have misunderstood some of the author’s intentions. It seems to me that in the first portion of the article, the author is simply being sarcastic to build his argument towards why the things people say about millennials are not true. This becomes especially apparent in the second paragraph, when he says “I can predict all this because I work in the news media, and one of the primary functions of the media these days is to traffic in gleefully broad generalizations and criticisms of millennials.” In this statement, he tries to imply that this opinion isn’t what he truly believes in, so that the reader can take him seriously as they read the remainder of his piece. Considering this, I don’t think his credibility is affected by the initial statement. Furthermore, I would not list this as the first claim, because it’s not an actual claim, just a statement he makes.

    As for claim 2, I don’t think the author is saying that the widely used classification ‘millennials’ doesn’t exist, I think he’s just saying that this classification isn’t truly a valid one. So first off, I would change Claim 2 to say that. Moving on, I personally agree with the author that millennials exist as nothing more than an amorphous block. But if you disagree with him, I would bring in sources to back up your perspective. Perhaps you could cite a research that finds that certain unique traits really do exist among millennials. Hope this helps you for your editorial response.

  4. Kathryn Popp says:

    Although this article makes some extremely strong and biased claims at the beginning of the article, it does back up its facts by referencing to research done by some highly reputable sources. For example, the author makes a harsh statement that Millennials “don’t exist”; this statement seems completely unreasonable considering the term “Millennial” is so widely known. The author then weakly backs up this statement through referencing various surveys from Pew.
    In my opinion, the article does have some valid statements; however, the statements are extremely strong and should probably not be considered “facts” per say, because they are not strongly backed up by the sources cited.
    I would also like to note that “fact-checking” doesn’t refer specifically to whether YOU know or not if the fact is correct- it needs to be supported by valid facts or data found elsewhere. You need your own facts in order to back up a refute of a fact!

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