Joel Stien took on the challenge of becoming a Millennial for a day, a complement to the TIME cover story, “Millennials: The Me Me Me Generation.” The video, while awkward and entertaining because of that awkwardness, points out that there are some pretty crazy statistics that are “defining” my generation. Things like texting 30 times a day or updating a Facebook status 5-10 times a day.
What’s frustrating about this video is that it’s clear the challenges were selected on interesting bits of data about a generation, without context or comparison. For example, the first challenge is to, “Sleep near your phone and check it as soon as you wake up.” That might be a Millennial habit, but it’s also just one that goes with the times. IDC’s study on mobile use found that 78% of 18-44 year olds in the U.S. check their phones within the first 15 minutes of waking up, with 62% reaching for it immediately.
Status updates on Facebook have turned into a long-running joke about how much people don’t care about what you have for breakfast. But while Millennials might update a lot, the fastest growing user demographic is 65 and over. And as someone who is a Millennial watching multiple posts from friends a day — those posts are usually updates about their kids. Yep, Millennials have kids.
At the end of the video, Joel wonders how we get any work done. Since the generation is being identified as those born between 1980-2000, you kind of have your answer there. Those of us heading or into our 30s probably do have jobs and live very differently than the 13 year olds in middle school. That doesn’t even count the large number of graduating students who still face an average underemployment rate of 18.3% (taking into account part-time non-related work, and those who’ve stopped looking for a job). If social media is the way to get hired today, then you’ve got to be active.
The Millennial generation is going to be pretty important in the workforce, with many of them already stepping into mid-management roles today. By 2025, three out of four workers globally will be from the Millennial generation. While the reports from the NIH include valid data on Narcissistic Personality Disorder, we’re also the generation raised by Baby Boomers who put us first and gave us everything.
As much as generational issues were a hot topic for 2008, they’re coming up again today. I’ll be spending more time revisiting the topic myself, and I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Read more from TIME.