I loved this fun little video making fun of everyone’s strange attempts to understand millennials. And I think what the FastCo editor is getting at here is not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with studying and seeking to understand how to appeal to millennials — the problem lies in creating and perpetuating these weird myths about them:
Remember when you were old enough to understand your parents, and couldn’t figure out why they were talking about you as if you weren’t sitting right there? That’s how Millennials feel about, well, all of you–brands, advertisers, employers, and anyone struggling to understand the younger generation of consumers and workers. They hear all your tips and advice and explanations for why they’re so different, and they don’t think highly of it. Because it’s almost all wrong.
Everyone wants to understand “the millennial” as a stereotype, when clearly every generation is full of all kinds of different people with all kinds of different values. And it’s just bizarre when companies tell us how we’re going to love this product they made especially for us and our special needs, because they totally have us figured out. I mean, imagine you go on a date with a guy and he tells you that he just KNOWS you’re going to like the restaurant he picked because he did a lot of research on environmental science majors and North Carolina and women born under the Libra sign.
Just be cool, baby, be cool.