Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Millennials are ENTITLED!

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of reading an older edition of Spectra, a newsletter from the National Communication Association. This issue focused on millennial undergraduate students, who comprise a majority of our college student population.

This article stated, "Today's college students (the Me generation) are more self-confident, assertive, open and direct than previous generations. They are much less concerned about privacy (perhaps they recognize the impossibility of it in such an intrusive age)." I completely agree with the prior statement. Many students do not understand the potential repercussions their online comments or images may have on their job search, career, or political ventures.

The author also contributed, "[Millennials] value and appreciate genuine self presentation and disdain blatant impression management. They don't appreciate that some topics might be taboo and they have little patience for explanations that hide information in service to cultural politeness norms. They are not very audience centered but instead value individual expression." This last statement could be debated, it seems that most of my students focus on their peers' opinions more than their own (clothing, conversation topics, etc.).

I strongly agree with this statement:
"On the need for social approval scale, the average college student in 2001 scored lower than 62% of college students in 1958. Sixth graders were even more pronounced in the declining need in that they came in at the 24% percentile. By the mid-90's college members from generation Me registered higher self esteem than 86% of 1968 peers." The millennials have higher self-esteem than the hippies? Interesting!

Lastly, the author refers to the assertiveness of this generation. She states:
This is a generation that appreciates directness. They don't do well in abstractions so we will be more successful if we find ways to make information concrete, relevant, and active. They were raised on the internet and don't sit still very long for passive learning encounters."

It seems millennial students value hands-on learning (or service learning) experiences in high school and college. "[Millennials] believe in experiential learning and they value their own uninformed opinion. They will question test items and their interpretations in ways that may feel disrespectful because Generation Me has zero tolerance for role governed authority."

Overall, I believe this author's article addresses the "millennial generation" issue effectively. I wonder how professors reacted to this article. How did YOU react to this article?

Andersen, J. (2008, September). Entitled generation. National Communication Association: Spectra. 12-13.

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