We often look up to our parents, but that doesn’t mean we want to be like them. With 20/30/40 years separating us from them, a lot has changed in the world since they grew up, and we like to believe that makes us entirely different to them. Well, as a new generation we are different, but some things have stayed the same over the last few decades. Before you go saying that your parents don’t understand what you’re going through, consider these seven things that are just as prevalent now as they were back in the day.
The problem with love
We have so much choice over who to be with nowadays. You might say we have too much choice. There are thousands of people available to date on apps like Tinder, yet finding someone is hard – really hard. A lot of people are less interested in love than they are with hooking up, and that can make it hard to find something meaningful.
If you think your parents had a much easier time of it, think again. If you took all this technology out of the equation, do you believe it would be much easier to meet someone face to face? Our parents had a lot smaller selection of people to choose from, which in itself made finding love incredibly difficult.
Work is about more than money
Paychecks are great. No, they’re amazing. However, we want a job to be about so much more than just money. We need a reason to get out of bed that’s not powered by the urge to avoid bankruptcy. However, while millennials are often credited as being the first generation to want this, that isn’t true. Our parents felt exactly the same way when they were our age. Why wouldn’t they?
Jumping from job to job
Speaking of work, did you know that we also aren’t the first generation to have a habit of moving from job to job? Millennials may be looked down on because they often change jobs, but we actually do it a lot less often than our parents did. Young professionals have always been more willing to switch jobs at the drop of the hat. They have the flexibility to move around until they find something that works for them. Remember, our parents used to be young too, and they were just as versatile.
Equality is not what it should be
Considering all the talk of equality in the media, you might assume that we’re much more progressive than our ancestors. Unfortunately, that isn’t quite the case. Notions of gender equality are a lot similar to how they were 40 years ago, believe it or not. Back in the ’70s, 45% of young men disagreed with the idea that men should work and women should stay at home. In 2014, that figure was only up to 55%.
While we may be more vocal about equality in the home, we struggle to make those beliefs a reality, just like people did when our parents were young.
Racism is still a problem
From gender equality to racial equality. A paper from political scientist Vincent Hutchins found in 2009 that the offspring of white people are “no more racially liberal in 2008 than they were in 1988.” That’s pretty shocking, considering we’re supposed to be a nation of forward thinkers. Apparently, just 3% more people in 2008 agreed that black people should be given equal treatment in the labor market, compared to in 1988. Clearly, not everything we learn from our parents is a good thing.
Young people get no credit
How often have you heard millennials get called selfish, lazy or narcissistic? Older generations are so quick to say that we don’t appreciate what we have, but we’re no different to how our parents were at this age. Many publications in the ‘70s and ‘80s highlighted how much more young people cared about themselves than they did the world around them. All Young people are just ungrateful, apparently.
Similar interests in religion
If you’ve grown up in a religious family, then you may have spent your childhood in church, but that doesn’t mean you wanted to be there. It turns out that your parents might have felt the same way. A study found that religious affiliation was not strong among young people several decades ago, and it’s even lower now. However, saying that, a similar proportion of millennials say they pray daily now (41%) as people of our parents’ generation did when they were our age (47%).
See, you’re not so different from your parents after all. We’re not sure whether that’s a good thing or not, but at least you have more in common with them than you might have thought.