- Many millennials don’t identify with the term “millennial.”
- This group of millennials, which generational expert Jason Dorsey has dubbed“mega-llennials,” doesn’t relate to the negative light the world has shined on them.
- It’s no surprise they don’t like the title: Millennials have gained a reputation for acting special, sensitive, lazy, and entitled.
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That’s according to Jason Dorsey, a consultant, researcher of millennials, and president of the Centre for Generational Kinetics. He told Business Insider there are two types of millennials: me-llennials, who feel behind financially and professionally, and mega-llennials, who are ahead of the game.
It’s this latter group that doesn’t identify with the “millennial” term. “They have been working and doing normal work-related stuff, but often are not getting attention for it,” Dorsey said.
Millennials are often known to be financially behind thanks to student-loan debt, rising living costs, and the fallout of the recession. But not all millennials are in this place. Some have already purchased their first home or are growing their careers; they’re actually ahead of the game, Dorsey said.
He added that this group also feels they don’t “match the negative stereotypes” or that they don’t “fit the typical millennial meme.” The distance mega-llennials feel from these stereotypes is the most talked-about part of Dorsey’s sub-generations concept simply because so many millennials relate to it, he said. And it’s easy to see why.
It’s no surprise millennials don’t want to be called millennials
The world has been quick to label millennials, and not all of those labels are positive. Millennials have been called “generation snowflake” and “The Me Me Me Generation,” creating a stereotype of millennials as special, sensitive, lazy, and entitled.
But generational expert Neil Howe said in a 2017 interview with Forbes that while this stereotype has “kernels of truth,” the criticism paints a distorted picture.
“To focus just on these traits in a negative way typically leads to associated claims about millennials that have no basis in fact,” he said. “And it tempts us to overlook genuine millennial strengths that will likely hugely benefit our country in the years to come.”
Joel Stein also found a bigger picture when he explored the stereotype in a 2013 cover story for Time magazine. While the data indicates that the chance of narcissistic personality disorder is nearly three times as high for millennials as it is for baby boomers, millennials exhibit qualities that have greater influence in the long run, he said: They’re earnest, positive, accepting of others, and optimistic.
Millennials have also destigmatized taboo topics like financial and mental health. And they have pushed hot button issues to the forefront of the national agenda, such as student-loan debt and social progress.
It’s no wonder, then, that mega-llennials feel they don’t relate to the world’s perception of them.