5 Totally Ridiculous Things Millennials Are Blamed For

We have literally been shaming younger generations for centuries, and while I firmly believe it’s time to stop shaming the millennial generation in particular, it also helps to keep a sense of humor about these things.

Someone made a collage of headlines saying what millennials are killing

So today let’s look on the lighter side of the ridiculousness. You’ve likely already heard that it’s Millennials’ “fault” that people now wear shorts to work and that avocado toast is a thing. Well, here are some of the even more ridiculous things Millennials have recently been blamed for. 

Millennials Have Ruined…Napkins

“Many consumers, in particular younger ones, aren’t buying paper napkins. A growing number are using paper towels at the table instead. In a February survey, only 56 percent of consumers said they had purchased paper napkins in the past six months, while 86 percent purchased paper towels. The survey, by marketing intelligence agency Mintel, indicated that economizing consumers saw paper napkins as replaceable by other products, whether paper towels or cloth.” — Read more at Washington Post.

Millennials Have Ruined…Bar Soap

“[A]lmost half (48%) of all U.S. consumers believe bar soaps are covered in germs after use, a feeling that is particularly strong among consumers aged 18-24 (60%), as opposed to just 31% of older consumers aged 65+.” — Read more at Fortune.

Millennials Have Ruined…Cereal

“Almost 40 percent of the millennials surveyed by Mintel for its 2015 report said cereal was an inconvenient breakfast choice because they had to clean up after eating it. In the college cafeteria, eating any cereal you want for three meals a day is no longer a rite of passage. Bon Appétit Management Company, the California food service firm whose clients include tech giants like Google and more than 100 college campuses, said other options were preferred at breakfast. Locally made granola, protein bars and hot cereals like congee or oatmeal are popular.” — Read more at NY Times.

Millennials Have Ruined…Beer

“Major brands like Budweiser, Coors and Miller are feeling the brunt of the move as millennials choose wine, spirits, and craft and imported beers when they want to get a little loose, according to the Goldman report. The report left some brewers’ shares looking flat and stale.” — Read more at NY Post.

Millennials Have Ruined…Knowing About Cows

“While they may have spotted a cow on television, 12 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds are so unfamiliar with the countryside they have never seen cattle in person. A fifth said they have never even left the city they live in (18 per cent). The research also found a substantial lack of knowledge among young adults when it comes to basic fruit and vegetables. More than half of those polled did not know strawberries are a summer fruit (54 per cent) and nine in ten do not know turnips are best grown in the winter.” — Read more at Telegraph.

Millennials Have Ruined…Everything

“Before we move any closer to the end of the planet, I wish to get this off my chest: I am a millennial, and I am sorry for killing everything. Yes, it was me, and I did it to get vengeance on the boomers. They did not want me to have nice things. They insisted that I valued experiences more than possessions, while denying me the disposable income that would have permitted me to try having possessions. They forced me to live in my parents’ basement, then mocked me for living there, calling me “self-obsessed,” “entitled,” “lazy,” “narcissistic.” I could only bear so much. They would be made to suffer. I would murder everything they loved. First, the nuclear family. Then, golf. Then, the American Dream. … I am about to finish killing democracy, then perhaps, the planet. Then I can run no longer. Obviously. I killed running.

There is nothing for me but to mount this fresh kill on my wall: a trophy. All I have ever desired.” — Read more at Washington Post.

It’s your turn! What have you seen millennials blamed for? (Links welcome!) And for those of you who’ve had enough of millennial bashing, what should we thank them for? I’d love to hear from you on Twitter or in the comments below.

Lindsey Pollak is the leading expert on millennials and the multigenerational workplace, trusted by global companies, universities and the world’s top media outlets. A New York Times bestselling author and keynote speaker, Lindsey began her career as a dorm RA in college and has been mentoring millennials — and explaining them to other generations — ever since. Her presentations have audiences so engaged that, in the words of one attendee, “I didn’t check my phone once!” Contact Lindsey to discuss a speaking engagement for your organization.

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Lindsey is a globally recognized career and workplace expert and the leading voice on generational diversity. She has spoken for more than 300 audiences including Google, Goldman Sachs, Estee Lauder, Stanford and Wharton. Lindsey is the author of four career and workplace advice books, and her insights have appeared in media outlets including The TODAY Show, CNBC, NPR, the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal.


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