Millennials Feel So Pressured and They Can’t Even
Millennials Feel So Pressured and They Can’t Even
March 18, 2019
Feel sorry for millennials, because they are the most stressed-out generation ever, or so they will tell you. Life today, they say, is more stressful than it ever has been before, causing them to live under so much pressure that they can’t even.
Singer Billy Joel wrote a song that seems to address the plight of millennials, called simply “Pressure.”
Consider, though, that Joel wrote the song in 1982. That’s 37 years ago, which goes to show that some things never change. Life is pressure, and it always has been.
So what do these luckless souls find are the most stressful things they endure?
Here are the top five:
Other stressors for these unfortunates include such things as slow WiFi, a dying phone battery, and forgetting passwords. Oh, and a broken phone screen ranks as more stressful than paying credit cards.
I think this list comprises what social media would ridicule as being “First World Problems,” although it’s the millennials who are driving social media, so maybe they wouldn’t agree with my take.
People living in squalor in places like Calcutta, India, however, are not available for comment on the stress list. Maybe it’s because their WiFi is too slow.
Now this particular study of 2000 millennials came from researchers working for Endoca, which is a CBD oil company. No doubt they’re hawking their cannabis-derived product, whose endorsers claim reduces anxiety and depression. So you might want to take their research with a grain of salt.
But the Endoca study echoes previous research from none other than the American Psychological Association. In 2013, a survey the APA conducted showed that the millennials are “more stressed” than any other living generation. Not only that, but two years later, in 2015, the APA released its annual “Stress in America” survey. And once again, they found that this group feels stressed out more than any other generation.
Why? Well, according to Mike Hais, a market researcher who studies millennials:
“Millennials are growing up at a tough time. They were sheltered in many ways, with a lot of high expectations for what they should achieve. Individual failure is difficult to accept when confronted with a sense you’re an important person and expected to achieve.”
It’s kinda hard to accept failure when you’re the center of your parents’ universe, the top of the food chain in the home in which you were raised, and where everyone gets a trophy. That is, until you grow up and find that in real life those trophies are few and far between.
Add to that the millennials’ constant immersion in social media, which gauges the worth of an individual by the number of friends and clicks they get. “Adulting” for this generation is sort of a culture shock.
But I would add that there’s another issue at play here: many millennials have no sense of history.
They don’t realize that when their grandfathers and great-grandfathers were their same age, they were mainly worried about survival. After all, they were fighting a World War to defend their nation and free the world from the Axis stranglehold. They fought on the land, the sea, and in the sky, and thousands never returned.
And consider that these same unlikely warriors grew up poor during the Great Depression, when many of their own fathers were out of work.
Perhaps the same millennials who stress about being late to work or enduring a commute have no idea about how horrible work conditions used to be.
Recently my brother sent me a scan from a 1906 article in a Chicago newspaper. It was of interest to us, because it reported the gruesome death of our great-grandfather.
The headline read:
“CREMATED BY MOLTEN METAL”
Granted, headlines of 100-plus years ago tended to be sensational, but what happened was ghastly:
“A____, 45 years old. . . was burned to death and several other workmen narrowly escaped serious injury last night in the plant of the Illinois steel mills at South Chicago when a large crane broke, dropping a pot of molten metal and scattering it over the floor. A____ was burned about the head, face, and chest and almost instantly killed. . . .”
“The crane was shifting the pot of metal when the steel chain broke and five tons of the liquid fell over A____, who was standing almost under the crane.”
But please, tell me how a broken iPhone screen is enough to make one’s life practically unbearable.
My brother also found our great-grandfather’s grave. But the number of children’s graves nearby shocked him. Children who were four-years-old, two-years-old — little ones who died of disease since there were no vaccines and medical care was poor.
But tell me again about the perils of the dying phone battery.
The 18th century statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke wrote: “In history, a great volume is unrolled for our instruction, drawing the materials of future wisdom from the past errors and infirmities of mankind.” I don’t teach, so I don’t know what kind of history curriculum the millennial generation received. But whatever it was, it wasn’t enough to provide them with “future wisdom.” It’s no wonder that this crop of young adults think that theirs is the most stressful generation ever, and that they just can’t even.
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Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!
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