“They might not be able to buy houses, but it won’t stop them buying avocados!” moan the baby boomers, for whom life was incredibly tough. The baby boomers grew up in a time of political turmoil, overseas wars, and they had it so hard that no group of people could ever have it so difficult ever again. Of course, they then bought their own houses. In fact, they bought about ten houses each and then sold them on to make lots of money for their retirement boats, and still, nobody will ever have a life as hard as they did.
So, why is it that millennials seem to think that they have had it harder than anyone that came before them? The likelihood is that the millennial generation has too much choice. If you put them in front of a buffet, they will likely cry with despair about the sheer range of options before they reach for the salad and just make do. They grew up in a world where books never ended: Harry Potter books being a classic example. Each book grew in size as the millennials aged, and the film franchise promised that they would never have to say goodbye to their seemingly eternal youth. Aided and abetted by college degrees which require little more than proficiency in Google, millennials are graduating at a record rate, with top degrees from good institutions just to head home and watch re-runs of Friends.
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The choices are endless and the ever expanding world of internet commerce shows no sign of giving the poor millennials any relief. They can shop for restaurant meals from the comfort of their home, allowing them a wealth of choice without even lifting a finger, they can use the internet to find a casino, where they have the luxury of scrolling through endless options: they can play slot machines and card games and table-top games, and worst of all, they can play them all from their phone as they sink into their family couch. Gone are the days of picking up a date in a bar and then spending the rest of your life with them; millennials have even managed to ruin dating by using apps to weed through potential life partners without ever having met them.
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If choice really is the problem, then it has been fuelled by technology; we have more information at our fingertips and we don’t have to think about things anymore, probably because there’s an app for that. Millennials have choices because they understand “apps” and “podcasts”, they waffle about all of the films they’re going to watch “on the net”, and how they can now measure the length of their tiny apartment with their phone. Your millennial relative will tell you that the technology is more accurate and quicker to use. The next time you’re working out how to turn the predictive text off or connect your printer to your tablet, you should turn to your millennial relative for a tutorial and thank god that they haven’t exploded from the sheer range of choice.