Remember the good old days of hating hipsters? Anything that was wrong – or maybe just different – about modern American culture could be squarely blamed on the hipster, from mustaches to craft cocktails. But, where has that culture-hating culture gone? Where are the hipsters, and – more importantly – the people who hate them?
Turns out they’ve got their eyes set on a new target – millennials. Sort of. See, millennials really just took over for hipsters – they inherited all the bad blameworthy stuff that hipsters did. Maybe rightfully so? Maybe hipsters are millennials, and vice versa?
I’m actually not, perhaps surprisingly, about to go off on how we lump everyone in the same basket, how we stereotype, how every new generations becomes the newest generation. That’s a valid approach to this conversation, but today I’d like to share a few thoughts I had while walking earlier – the replacement of the hipster by the millennial.
Everyone knows it – we hate millennials. Sure, they’ve got some good stuff going for them, but they’re narcissistic, short-sighted, more focused on Instagram likes than real friends, convinced of their invincible utter self-worthiness, etc. But…….aren’t we talking about hipsters here? Yeah, millennials may not sport the beards (or they may), but a lot of the things we really don’t like about millennials used to be reserved for hipsters.
So, what gives? In my opinion, our critiques are accurate – we really can talk about some selfish folks with no delay of gratification. However, I don’t think the critique is reserved for either 1) hipsters, or 2) millennials. I think, in reality, we’re all sort of a little that way these days. Maybe some folks more than others – maybe younger people, millennials, hipsters, etc. have been bitten a bit more by this bug, but it’s really more of a cultural phenomenon than a specific description of a certain subculture.
In my opinion, the hipster of 2011 has passed the torch to present-day millennials. Millennials: Here’s why we don’t like you. You represent the some of the worst (new) parts of our culture. You’re young, fully embrace modern culture, and haven’t yet learned to discern between the stuff you probably shouldn’t actually admit to liking, and the stuff that you’ll be heralded for as being a progressive early-adopter. But you’re not that different from the rest of us. We all care way more than we should about how many likes we can on Instagram, whether the restaurant we ate at last night was new & cool (versus actually good), etc.
Secretly, I’m sort of happy that I can pull out the flannels a bit more and drink expensive coffee in front of other people while listening to bluegrass. We just don’t ate it as much as we did a few years ago. Thanks millennials. But the lesson learned here is that we’ll probably always have stuff we don’t like about our culture, and there will probably always be someone who gets blamed for either starting it, or at the very least doing it more than others.