Issues
Nokyoung Xayasane
Nokyoung
Xayasane
May 14, 2013

Controversial ‘Time’ Cover Calls 20-Somethings Lazy, Selfish and Shallow


Time’s newest cover calls out millennials for their supposed laziness, narcissism and shallowness. Looks like it’s another case of old folks belittling their younger counterparts.

Photo credit: Time Inc.

Photo credit: Time Inc.

“I’m about to do what old people have done throughout history: call those younger than me lazy, entitled, selfish and shallow,” says Joel Stein, the article’s author and self-proclaimed old person at the age of 41.

It seems like Stein eventually comes to some positive conclusions about those darn youngins, but only after he bashes 20-somethings with stereotypes galore.

According to Stein, negative millennial traits include materialism and technology addiction (selfies, much?), along with a tendency to be unemployed or to work for free at internships and carry a truckload of school debt.

And he says he has science to prove it. According to the National Institute of Health, millennials are almost three times as likely to have narcissistic personality disorder compared to the previous generation, who’s now 65 years or older.

After peppering his article with facts and stats, Stein does a 180 and says 20-somethings aren’t so bad, even if the data says they’d probably drown in a pool trying to catch their reflection. Did anyone else get whiplash?

“They’re optimistic, they’re confident and they’re pragmatic at a time when it can be difficult just to get by,” adds Josh Sanburn, a fellow Time writer. “Those aren’t bad qualities to have, even if it means they spend too much time on their phones.”

Honestly, is the mere act of being glued to a smartphone really that bad? That’s the way 20-somethings connect. Back in the day, I’m sure there were sock hops or ice cream socials where people got together and dished on the latest goings-on. The times, they are a changin’ — but not for the worse.

It’s clear Time has a cheeky perspective on the typical millennial though. Its website has a pretty funny quiz you can take to see how millennial you really are. The questions all have yes or no options. Do you think paying your rent is overrated? Do you know what YOLO means? Do you think paper books are adorable? Is the only phone number you know by heart your own?

In true millennial form, a bunch of alternatives to Time’s cover have cropped up on the Tumblr “Time Millennials.”

There are some pretty awesome takes on the supposed 20-something mentality. Good news: there’s a bunch of cats. Oh yes – and irony. Can’t forget the irony.

No generation likes to be pigeonholed into specific categories, but as the Baby Boomers or Generation X know all too well, it’s bound to happen – even if we’re too busy taking a selfie to really notice.

Photo credit: timemillennials.tumblr.com

Photo credit: timemillennials.tumblr.com

Photo credit: timemillennials.tumblr.com

Photo credit: timemillennials.tumblr.com

Photo credit: timemillennials.tumblr.com

Photo credit: timemillennials.tumblr.com

Photo credit: timemillennials.tumblr.com

Photo credit: timemillennials.tumblr.com

Photo credit: timemillennials.tumblr.com

Photo credit: timemillennials.tumblr.com