Everywhere you turn, you can see someone complaining about how lazy today’s young people are, how we were handed everything and don’t know how to work a “real job”. My question is, is this true? Are today’s younger generations getting lazier and lazier? Are we falling into Aldous Huxley’s society of ignorance and indolence?
On Psychology Today, Neel Burton M.D. says a person is lazy if “he is able to carry out some activity that he ought to carry out, but is disinclined to do so because of the effort involved. Instead, he carries out the activity perfunctorily; or engages in some other, less strenuous or less boring activity; or remains idle. In short, he is being lazy if his motivation to spare himself effort trumps his motivation to do the right or expected thing”. So, does this define millennials? Are we idle, lacking motivation? Sure we were the first generation to grow up with smartphones and experience constant leaps and bounds in the world of technology, but does that mean we are the Huxlian generation?
The Boston Globe doesn’t think so. In fact, “workplace experts say workaholics are common among 19-to-35-year-olds, perhaps more so than among older members of Generation X and baby boomers”. The majority work 50 hour weeks and experience guilt if they ever take time off. Their minds are “always on” as many of their childhoods were filled with sports, extracurriculars, demanding school work and test course, all in order to get into college. They grew up in a hyper competitive world and now face enormous student loan debts. Bob Kelleher calls millennials a “driven generation”.
So, does this sound like laziness to you? It sure doesn’t to me. I believe we are safe from Huxley’s prediction with the hard and dedicated work of this generation. It’s up to the future generations to keep this ball rolling.