6 Shady Ways The Media Makes Millennials Look Like Idiots
Young people, right? Give them a copy of Atlas Shrugged, The Communist Manifesto, or Goofus And Gallant Go To The Electric Daisy Carnival, and they get all brassy and smug just because they're going to die a few decades after you. Fortunately, the media has a surefire way of making the olds feel better about themselves: clickbait news stories that depict millennials as slobbering nincompoops.
Look, folks: You were either fresh-faced and intolerable once, or are currently limber and supple and absolutely excruciating to be around. (Or perhaps you're experiencing the twin pleasures of being ancient and awful, like a cursed mummy.) But the point is that portraying the youth of today as Archie and Jughead hopped up on The Weeknd and emojis isn't going to make the world a less stupid place. So the next time you see the news broadbrush an entire generation as dumbshits, remember the following overblown yarns ...
A Professor Didn't Fail His Entire Class Out of "Tough Love"
Ah, college. It's that cherished time in a young person's life when they can live in the same hoodie for four to eight years, and plunk down $150,000 for the privilege of napping through a communications class. So when a story made its way around the Internet a while back about a Texas A&M University professor failing an entire class as a form of "tough love," it made total sense. Good on that rough-and-tumble Texan for showing those damn millennials what the world is really like.
Namely: Controlled entirely by the arbitrary whims of old, angry, uncaring white dudes.
One headline even went so far as to question, "Is This A Millennials Problem?" but forgot to include the answer, which is a resounding "Ha, no." The class was fine, but the professor was nutty, and not in an Eddie-Murphy-in-a-Fat-Suit way.
See, what the stories neglected to mention was that this professor was in the middle of a mid-semester meltdown. Nobody can fail until after finals, when they're safe at home and away from those mean ol' professors. They also left out the part where he basically said "You've failed!" as a sort of middle finger to everyone around him. After being denied the opportunity to teach only the best students at the school, the prof started mentally choreographing an "I Quit!" tap number (we assume) and straight-up got the fuck out of Dodge.
Goddamn entitled Boomer snowflakes.
The professor sent an email to administrators letting them know the demonic students were "your problem now." But the real problem they had was already solved; by the time he'd let loose on his class, he'd left his position.
University officials shrugged off their former colleague's vanishing. They reiterated that no student had in fact failed, because that's not even possible at that stage in the semester. The students were left utterly confused by their collective grade, which either vindicates or condemns the nutty professor's attempted decision.
The Couple Travelling And Scrubbing Toilets Is Fine
Across the web, everyone from BuzzFeed to actual news outlets discovered a couple that was travelling the world, as young couples are wont to do, but also so broke that they were scrubbing hostel toilets in order to stay alive. "They deserve it, lol" the Internet replied in unison.
"That'll teach 'em to not stay home and be miserable like the rest of us."
The twist they all failed to mention was that the pair were not down on their luck one iota, and that the toilet scrubbing was an integral part of their globetrotting. Nothing had gone wrong in the slightest. In truth, everything had gone exactly to plan, poop and all. The headlines are acting as if this is some kind of unexpected failure on the part of irresponsible millennials who wanted to travel. Only Uproxx looked into it and realized that scrubbing toilets was part of their plan.
They go from one pile of water to a much, much better one.
No, it wasn't some kind of weird fetish, either. The couple in question booked their trip through Work Away, a program that sets travelers up with food and lodging in exchange for performing volunteer work while they stay. In addition to cleaning toilets, they did other things -- like washing dishes and cooking for other people -- to, get this, earn their keep.
One of the travelers, who wrote the original blog post which alerted the Internet to their adventures, said that they weren't even bothered by the scrubbing. It was rewarding, and taught the pair about humility. Inadvertently, it also taught them that the Internet is still a young child who stops listening to the details once they hear "poo."
Selfies Have Not Killed More People Than Sharks
Selfies, for the uninformed, are a relatively new phenomenon in which someone wants to be the subject of a portrait and doesn't trust anyone but themselves with the making of that portrait. As a result, people are endangering themselves in ways previous generations would have never thought possible.
With apologies to Frida Kahlo.
The amount of selfie-induced injuries prompted a couple of tabloids, USA Today, and Slate to inform us that more people are being killed by posing than by shark attacks. This is absolutely ridiculous. If death by selfie were turned into a movie, it'd probably be named Buttons instead of Jaws, which sounds more like a movie about a boy and his dog thwarting a playground bully.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the duckface ...
For starters, a shark is a direct cause of death. The shark ate the person, and the person died. If someone tripped over their cat in the kitchen and landed on a knife, we would not say that they were killed by their cat. Selfies fall more in line with the latter situation. The selfie didn't kill the person; the general situation did.
"Yes ... blame the knife. Good."
While we hate to get too technical, and people have definitely been killed and/or maimed taking selfies, we're getting out of hand here. Recently, a man took a selfie at the Taj Mahal, one of the Selfie Wonders of the World. During the shot, he fell down some stairs and died. The media decided to make this a story in which he was killed by his selfie, but conveniently left out the fact that the true cause of death was a heart attack.
We wish there were a happy ending to that, but all we can think of is that at least he died in a tomb.
"Dumb Kid Blows Her College Fund!" (On College)
Managing a loan the size of the GDP of Nicaragua is a task that no sane financial advisor would ever hand off to an 18-year-old, which is why millions of 18-year-old Americans are able to borrow terrifying amounts of money every year. When the poor kids inevitably fail to pay things back, it only feeds into the narrative that millennials are irresponsible and that we're all doomed, may whatever gods there be save us from the Rapture, Amen.
"Lazy-ass kids can't even be bothered to take out a loan to pay off their loans anymore!"
All across the web, from Fox News to Yahoo, it's being reported that some ditzy millennial named Kim managed to blow the $90,000 that her grandparents had saved up for her, and then -- get this -- she had the audacity to point the finger at her parents for not helping her budget. How entitled she must be to expect lessons in responsibility from the people responsible for raising her.
She should've spent it on something sensible, like half a textbook.
What the headlines (which is apparently all millennials read, due to their low attention spans) neglected to mention was that Kim was a college senior who had spent the $90,000 over the course of the past three years on tuition. When it came time to write the final checks, she was about $20,000 short.
Granted, Kim admits that she took a trip abroad (she claims as part of an educational program) and purchased clothes and other such things with the money, but it's important to remember that this is $90,000 over the course of three years. Since tuition and living expenses can range from $20,000 to $50,000 a year, it's not totally unreasonable to believe that $30,000 per year was a tight budget.
What's unreasonable was that she was reluctant to take part-time jobs or loans to make up that difference, claiming that it would be embarrassing. Dammit Kim, we were trying to take your side here.
The "Young People Hate Buying Houses" Claim is Bogus
It's probably a safe assumption that the overwhelming majority of people don't want to be homeless. However, the current generation of people starting to enter the workforce -- our pals the millennials -- seem to be bucking that common sense. If CNBC and The Atlantic are to be believed, the main reason is that millennials are just plain cheap.
Unless potato salad is involved.
Here's the thing: Millennials aren't hopping on trains and joining the circus, or hanging out under bridges telling haunted tales about their student loan officers. They've simply got other priorities. Most say that they want to own a home, but aren't at a point in their lives where they can yet. While median salaries have remained roughly the same (adjusted for inflation), house prices have spiked dramatically. As a result, it's harder to make a down payment without a dual-income stream, meaning that millennials are simply waiting until they're married to make a house purchase. And since millennials are waiting longer than the previous generation to get married, this leads to a delay in purchasing a home.
It's millennials' fault for being too lazy to build a time machine and live 45 years ago.
The Atlantic eventually published an update with the real facts, which showed that Gen-X'ers are the worst at home ownership. Think about that the next time a Baby Boomer tells those damn kids to get off their lawn.
Dating Apps Aren't Causing More STDs
Despite causing less face-to-face interaction than ever before, the increases in face-to-junk interaction thanks to dating apps like Tinder are leading people to claim that they're behind a rise in STDs. How people are getting gonorrhea through their phone screens is beyond us, but it's a credit to the telecommunications companies giving couples that extra touch to their phone sex. The next time you swipe right, remember to glove up.
"You got your Hepatitis B in my crabs!"
"No, you got your crabs in my Hepatitis B!"
The thing is, it's probably not true at all. The way people meet might be changing, but the way they transmit their gross goopy genital germs hasn't. This didn't stop Vice, The Daily Mail (missed you guys!), and Yahoo! from inserting their own ... dammit. They gave us the wrong information.
BSTDs: Bullshit-Transmitted Disinformation.
The closest they got to real facts was some people they interviewed indicating that they met their partners through social media. Social media was only one (completely anecdotal) avenue through which relationships were formed (rather than destroyed). "Experts" are "claiming" that there's a link here, but none are studying, measuring, and/or quantifying data, which is what experts are for.
They conveniently left out the fact that there are far more accurate reasons, such as unprotected sex, promiscuity, and having sex while intoxicated. All the legitimate data indicates is rising cases of STDs -- specifically gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV. There's a lot of casual sex, but not even a halfhearted attempt at a fling has been documented between dating apps and infections. All we really know is that we need to pay better attention to what kinds of things we're letting get viral.
If you're interested in the real reason STDs are on the rise, you'll find it from @M_Hossey on Twitter. Wear a glove. Or two.
Honestly, there's no point in trusting the media. You can see us chronicle all of its filthiness in our ongoing B.S. News series. There's no real right place to start, so you can check out 7 B.S. News Stories That Fooled Your Facebook Friends or 8 B.S. News Stories That Fooled Your Friends.
Also, follow us on Facebook, because the news suck, yo, and we give it to you straight.