Millennials may be the world’s most hated generation – at the moment. But is disdain towards youth a new dynamic? By delving into the archives, we found that older people have been griping about young people for more than 2,000 years.
Far more surprising is that, throughout the centuries, their criticisms have been remarkably similar. From complaints that the next generation are both too cautious and yet downright dangerous, too worried about the world and at the same time too self-absorbed to care, here are some of our favourites.
“Millennials are lazy and think basic tasks are beneath them.”
A generation with a huge sense of entitlement, Daily Mail, 2017
“Many [young people] were so pampered nowadays that they had forgotten that there was such a thing as walking, and they made automatically for the buses… unless they did something, the future for walking was very poor indeed.”
Scottish Rights of Way: More Young People Should Use Them, Falkirk Herald, 1951
“They’re out-of-touch hipsters who spend too much on coffee and too little on facial hair care. Many are spoiled, entitled, or both.”
A Boss’s Guide to Managing Bratty Millennials, Momzette, 2016
“Whither are the manly vigour and athletic appearance of our forefathers flown? Can these be their legitimate heirs? Surely, no; a race of effeminate, self-admiring, emaciated fribbles can never have descended in a direct line from the heroes of Potiers and Agincourt...”
Letter in Town and Country magazine republished in Paris Fashion: A Cultural History, 1771
...and, really, just awful.
“The tragic truth is that America’s millennials are a bunch of phone-addicted, selfie-obsessed, hashtagging, snapchatting, kale-munching, twerking, lazy, whining, ill-informed, politically correct, cossetted narcissists who find absolutely everything mortally offensive and believe there are 165 ways to sexually identify.”
Memo to millennials, that awful feeling you’ve got is called losing, Daily Mail, 2016
“We defy anyone who goes about with his eyes open to deny that there is, as never before, an attitude on the part of young folk which is best described as grossly thoughtless, rude, and utterly selfish.”
The Conduct of Young People, Hull Daily Mail, 1925