Proof Millennials Are the Dumbest Generation the World Has Ever Seen
Millennials are known for their love of technology and for living at home longer than any generation before them. They aren’t known for being particularly avid readers or, as some argue, ready to pass “Life Skills 101.”
These are the arguments authors, professors, and even millennials make for why the generation may be the dumbest … as well as the argument that they could be the most successful generation yet (page 12).
1. They don’t understand cars
Where young baby boomers were skilled at attending their carburetors and changing their oil, millennials are far less concerned with how their cars work than how they’ll entertain themselves on the drive.
North Carolina State University researchers found that millennials are less likely to read their owner’s manual than older drivers, while the Rubber Manufacturers Association found the majority of millennial men and women (79% and 89% respectively) don’t know how to check their tire pressure.
Next: Don’t ask a millennial to turn on the stove.
2. Basic life skills like cooking escape them
In the age of Seamless, GrubHub, and Open Table, millennials have far too many options for eating out — and they utilize them significantly more than older generations. In fact, 78% of millennials admitted to purchasing ready-made meals from the grocery store rather than ingredients to cook with.
Only half of these surveyed millennials believed they could roast a chicken and a startling 64% couldn’t identify a butter knife.
Next: It’s a good thing most of them have landlords.
3. They don’t know how to work around the house
It’s not just cooking that escapes most of the generation: Millennials lack a broad range of life skills like sewing, home repair, and even installing cable and internet (two things they use more than any previous generation).
Educators and parents even argue that schools should bring back home ec classes like cooking, shop, and sewing. Over 70% of children lived with two working parents or a single parent in 2013 when The Boston Globe found that families are more likely to replace household goods and clothing than teach their kids to mend them.
Next: They aren’t capitalizing on certain opportunities.
4. They don’t know how to invest
Or, rather, they’re scared of it. A study found that two-thirds of millennials opt to rely on their own savings in the future rather than take the risk of investing their money. Wealthier young people are choosing to put their money away to collect little-to-no interest out of fear of the stock market.
“New survey data suggests the ‘Someday Scaries’ could be a factor holding young people back,” Ally reports. Around 61% of adults call investing in the stock market “scary or intimidating,” and the majority of those adults are millennials.
Next: Maps are an ancient artifact to most millennials.
5. They rely on technology for directions
Some millennials may joke that the generation won’t survive a zombie apocalypse, and based on their ability to navigate sans technology, it seems to be accurate. Most millennials grew up or began driving with a GPS, and few go long distances without using smartphone apps dedicated to directing them each step of the way.
Next: Their favorite thing may be hurting their intelligence.
6. Technology is zapping their creativity
Some claim that Millennials’ frequent technology use actually stunts their creative development. While computer software allows some of the most intricate designs and simulations, it keeps most people from exploring their artistic capabilities outside the screen.
Kids are less likely to play in fake kitchens these days than use fake computers and cell phones. Typing lessons have taken the place of piano lessons and children opt to grab a stylus over crayons.
Next: They prefer Netflix, of course.
7. Books have taken a backseat to television and technology
Provocateur author Mark Bauerlein made his point about how millennials’ disdain for reading stands out from previous generations in his book The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future.
“It’s a new attitude, this brazen disregard of books and reading. Earlier generations resented homework assignments, of course, and only a small segment of each dove into the intellectual currents of the time, but no generation trumpeted aliteracy … as a valid behavior of their peers,” he wrote.
Next: Hands-on learning is going extinct.
8. They didn’t learn kinesthetically
Forbes made the argument that millennials grew up more likely to mow the lawn through video games than to do the act themselves in their yards. They haven’t held a physical map or internalized how to get from point A to point B without a GPS.
As robots replace hundreds of jobs in the workforce, students are increasingly required to watch videos rather than learn hands-on.
Next: Money is an issue.
9. They can’t budget
Millennials face more student loan debt than past generations and are facing inflated housing prices. They spend more than an average of $2,300 per year than older generations on groceries, gas, restaurants, coffee, and cell phone bills, Market Watch reports.
“Millennials are falling victim to common financial vices, such as spending money in coffee shops,” a recent personal-finance study found. Their tendency to cook less and take out more is affecting their budget, as well.
Next: Forget about current events
10. They’re the least-informed generation when it comes to news
A Pew Research Center study about the public’s knowledge of current events revealed millennials know the least — they averaged 7.8 out of 12 questions correct, less than all the other age groups.
Millennials were less likely to be able to identify Sen. Elizabeth Warren or correctly guess the partisan composition of the Senate, among other questions.
Next: Their children will pay the price for this.
11. They lead the world in vaccine skeptics
Millennials are seven times more likely than seniors to believe in the defunct link between vaccinations and autism and twice as likely to say that parents should be allowed to choose not to vaccinate their kids.
The Washington Post wrote that millennials are the largest group of vaccine skeptics because they’re the first generation mostly spared from watching friends develop vaccine-preventable diseases.
Next: Some are concerned about how self-absorbed the generation is.
12. They’re the most narcissistic
The “Me, me, me” generation may not be intrinsically less intelligent, but some argue their self-consumed nature and hobbies are what make them dumber. Millennials are more likely to spend time posing for photographs, editing their social media presence, and curating their dating app profiles than older generations.
Psychologist Jean Twenge, the author of Generation Me and The Narcissism Epidemic, found that millennials are more likely than their parents to claim they’re “above average in just about every way.”
Next: They aren’t moving out anytime soon.
13. They live at home the longest
Millennials live in sharp contrast to the generations before them, specifically the baby boomers. They faced certain recession struggles after graduating and racked up the most college debt, but still, some attribute the number of millennials who move back in with their parents to laziness.
14. Still, a record number have college degrees
Millennials are the most educated generation to date — 34% have at least a bachelor’s degree — yet the value of their degrees has decreased as more and more people go to college. Even millennials who graduate college find they need to go back for their graduate degree or doctorate to achieve the position their parents got with one degree.
Next: One thing we know for sure…
15. Time will tell what the millennial impact will be
Economist reports suggested millennials score higher on intelligence tests than their elder family members and are making more money as well. However, unemployment rates are twice as high for millennials than for their parents and grandparents.
Whether they contribute to the stereotype of underworked, technology-addicted pseudo-adults or fly through intelligence tests, there’s one thing half of the millennials have in common: they’re optimistic about the country’s future.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!