If you were never aware of something, you don’t notice when it’s missing
People who are color-blind don’t necessarily realize it. Until and unless they’ve been screened for it and someone breaks the news, they don’t necessarily realize that some people can distinguish colors they can’t.
People who are mentally-ill don’t necessarily realize it. Sometimes their point-of-view is that everyone else is crazy.
Children who grow up in a dysfunctional home don’t necessarily realize that anything is unusual about their up-bringing because they lack any reference experiences to compare to. That’s one reason that problems often propagate generation-to-generation. Abusers don’t necessarily realize the treatment they got was abuse. Negligent parents may have been imprinted with low standards of childcare.
Millenials have a reputation among adults my age for delayed adulthood. Millenials themselves will often argue this point, and claim that actually something is wrong with the preceding generations. In some respects, they’re right.
The generation that hasn’t grown up
Contrary to the quote, Peter Pan didn’t live with his parents. And proximity is not what’s lacking; what’s lacking is involvement.
Some people my age or older are shocked that so many adult Millenials still live with their parents. I’m not, because I realize that jobs are scarce and wages are stagnating compared to the cost of living. That part doesn’t bother me; it’s better that young adults live with their parents, than fail to support themselves and end up in dire circumstances.
I have to admit other aspects of delayed adulthood do shock me even though I realize that there must be some reason for them. The complaints are ubiquitous and fairly consistent.
My wife has had similar experiences with nurses; the younger generation are more likely to show up late, or sometimes not at all, without any explanation. She’s also noticed that they are addicted to their mobile devices and will play with them right in the middle of meetings. Older generations consider this disrespectful and an impediment to finding out what they need to know to do their jobs.
I’ve heard Millenials claim that they’re actually far more productive than older employees, because they use their cell phones to get work done. This is just an excuse; you can’t really do nursing care with a cell phone! My son who is a Millenial computer programmer doesn’t think his peers are doing any programming on their phones, and he and his boss have noticed his colleagues being distracted by football games going off in a window on their desktop.
Distractibility by electronic devices seems to be the characteristic addictive drug of choice of Millenials.
Raised by daycare
My guess is that too many Millenials were raised by daycare, not their mothers, and that, for better or worse, prior to their absence, moms were the ones who transmit basic social behaviors to children. The transmission process is overwhelmingly unconscious; if you have to tell someone not to play with a mobile device in a meeting, some process already broke upstream. Once moms stopped raising their own kids, a lot of very basic social expectations fell by the wayside.
About half of Millenials are missing dads, and most of the dads in intact families were passive as parents. Dads used to be the ones to teach competence.
I can think of other reasons for delayed maturity too, like lack of enough playtime, fewer playmates, and fewer older siblings. Kids learn a lot from taking their own initiative and from older siblings and playmates.
Think you’re a child, act like a child
Some trends, like thinking of themselves as being younger than they actually are, they undoubtedly inherited from earlier generations. Many baby-boomers I know who grew up rich were starting to have delusions about their own youthfulness, like some Boomer women declaring themselves too young to have children well into their 40s when they were in fact too old, or Boomers of either sex oddly referring to themselves as “middle aged” when they were 55 (you’re planning to live to 110?! really?). Some of the age delusion was probably caused by wishful thinking as regards sexual value. The same Boomers I knew who had delusions of youthfulness also had what I would consider an unhealthy fear of death; not just a healthy will to live but an unhealthy terror of their own mortality. These were people who would freak out over their parents or grandparents dying, and were worried about their kids being traumatized by the movie “Bambi”.
I do not blame Millenials for these characteristics; they didn’t ask to be raised that way.
I’m referencing the following article just so I can comment on it. I’m not endorsing its assumptions.
Instead, at 21, he found himself out of school, living with his parents, and “stuck” working as a manager at a fast food restaurant scraping to make hand-to-mouth.
Launching into adulthood has been tricky, he said.
“It became too difficult financially to be in school and not working,” says Kaylor, who dropped out of Lincoln Christian University, in Illinois, after one semester because of a money crunch. “And without schooling, you can’t get a job that you can survive on, so I had to move back home,” he said.
What Kyle considers bad luck is undoubtedly a blessing in disguise: if he didn’t bail out sooner, he might have ended up with a massive amount of school debt, and no job to earn the money to pay it back!
The media tends to excessively advocate for college, because bureaucrats involved with labor statistics see a correlation between years of education and income, and infer a causal relationship between the two. It’s like assuming that rain is caused by the falling of mercury in the barometer.
Education doesn’t make people any smarter. It’s not like if you go to college, you’ll score any higher on an IQ test. Neither will you learn skills that are more marketable than, say, trade school.
While standards for entry into college have declined, competition for getting into specific majors and degree programs remains fierce. As a result, too many college students end up in unmarketable degree programs for lack of being able to compete for high-demand degrees, or in many cases, lack of good advice.
Meanwhile, they’re racking up debt on unmarketable degrees, with the risk of never having ANYTHING to show for the time and money they spent, if they flunk out, run out of money, or get too sick to complete their degrees.
The problem that remains is where to get training and how to pay for it. There’s a bootstrapping problem: no money to pay for training, no job without training. Keep reading my blog; I toss out tips from time to time.
“That is a product of a shrinking blue-collar economy,” said Anthony Carnevale, director of the Center on Education and the Workforce, a non-profit institute at Georgetown University.
Traditionally, men occupied most positions in industries such as manual labor and construction work. With those mostly gone, male wages have been hit harder than “women who started off behind” but excelled in school and college, Carnevale said.
I agree that the remaining blue-collar jobs don’t pay as well as what used to be available. But show me the data that white-collar jobs aren’t disappearing too, or that the wages they pay are keeping up with the cost of living.
The part about women excelling in school and college is inaccurate and somewhat irrelevant; most of them end up with unmarketable degrees, or in service professions like teaching and nursing, making lower wages than engineers & computer programmers, which is one of the main reasons for the so-called “wage gap”. One of the most popular majors for women, psychology, is a disaster for marketability, so the comparison to women is irrelevant.
The problem for young men is not that they’re not going to college; it’s that there are simply fewer high-paying jobs whether blue-collar or white collar. Men might have been impacted more than women because their blue-collar jobs paid more than pink-collar jobs, but going to college at rates that women do won’t help because there aren’t enough places for all of them to get into high-demand majors and degree programs. Even if they did, which they won’t, it would simply flood the market for engineers and programmers!
I advice against piling up credentials without a plan. Credentials are not usually enough by themselves to get a job and keep it. Sometimes they’re worthless. Below I will post a link to a book by Charles Hugh Smith about his concept of “self-credentialing”.
These individuals may be temporarily not working or not in school, but that doesn’t mean they are permanently out of the workforce,” said Jessica McManus Warnell, a professor at the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business.
It would make more sense to tell us what it does mean. It means they’re not getting experience, have nothing to put on their resumés, and become ever less competitive with people who are working or getting credentials.
Unfortunately, the only good book I’ve ever read about how to relate well with others is long out of print, and used copies are hard to find. Here are some boosk about “self-credentialing” as an alternative to getting an expensive and possibly useless credential, mindfulness as a cure for “monkey-mind”, and a strategy for getting work done by training yourself to stay focused for manageable chunks of time: