Millennials Don't Exist! Adam Conover at Deep Shift
Millennials Dont Exist Showing why neatly defined generations dont make sense Adam Conover

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A millennial marketing conference asked me to give a talk on how to market to millennials. The thesis of the talk I gave: Millennials don't exist and the entire idea of "generations" is unscientific, condescending, and stupid. For more misconception destruction, check out my show ADAM RUINS EVERYTHING on TruTV! UPDATE: Since making this video, I've met Jean Twenge, who let me know that she felt I had misunderstood (and thus misrepresented) some of her research. I'm always eager to hear from an expert - which Jean genuinely is on this topic - so we sat down for a special episode of the Adam Ruins Everything podcast to talk about Jean's research on generations and my reservations about the term. Enjoy! UPDATE 2: Here is Jean Twenge's response to this piece:


Invalid Opinion : If they didn't want us to own participation trophies, why do they give them to us?

desu38 : This generation is narcissistic? If anything this generation is incredibly self-loathing.

WIMPI : "The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers." -Socrates (Literally over 2000 years ago)

Fluffy Fluff : Adam is 33? he looks really young/old for his age He kinda has the 'grocery store employee' look that you can't tell if he's the young graduate or the boss

Opinunate ted : Good stuff. When I was a kid in the sixties and seventies, it was a stereotype that old people would always say "You don't know how good you have it. Now when I was your age---" followed b some story about walking miles in the snow to school or some such. Well, the thing is, the sixties and seventies were a prosperous time in the USA, while the old folks had lived through the thirties and forties. So the cliche had some basis in truth. But now, if you are paying attention, you see that the young people have it much harder. They don't have student loans, they have student loan sharks. They don't live at home and hold low paid jobs because they are lazy and unmotivated. They do it because it's the best they can do. Houses, education, and rents cost so much more than they used to. So now, when I talk to young people, if I am being honest, I don't say "you don't know how good you have it. When I was your age---." No, I say "When I was your age, I didn't realize how good I had it."

Killphace : Paraphrasing a line from 'True Detectives': "Old men have been complaining about the same thing through out history; But old men die and the world keeps spinning..."

Matthew Jones : When I was kid in the 90s and we lost and got prop trophies everyone threw them out on their way out the building and you'd see a garbage can full of rub-salt-in-the-wound trophies. Only ever took home place trophies. It was the parents who came up with the prop trophies not us.

deadtrashpanda : I honestly see my dad on his phone more than me and my siblings. I mean he's constantly on it, anywhere we go. He's 47 and I'm 14, the youngest sibling.

MrsG87 : It drives me nuts to hear a commercial and them saying "product/store is great for all ages! Boomers, adults, and millennials.." um, we ARE adults! 😂

100Hasake : The audience was so dead. I thought your jokes were killer!

clase degraff : Not sure how to get the whole world to watch this..... but that is now my life mission lol.

CorrosiveFenix : Can we all be thankful Collage Humor pooped out such a creative and lovable dude, that is entertaining to watch

Holland Kerr : I’m 23 and I literally never use emojis. I’m not saying I dislike them, I just don’t find them helpful for communication. I certainly use meme and internet language a lot, but my parents and teachers use emojis a lot in social media. I always get the feeling that they’re not just capitalised on by an older generation that doesn’t understand social media, but they’re in fact made by and for an older generation to assist in their understanding of social media. Does anyone else get that feeling?

Arif Zaman : This is probably the most respect this “generation” has received from anyone.

Stephen Dias : Stupidity isn't spreading, it's just more readily available and unfiltered.

pomkin : old people are very narcissistic...always think they are right, overly proud of themselves, think they are better than other people especially younger people

Sky Lord Panglot : I always thought the phone problem is just a problem of our time, not about generation. Actually I recently discovered that they slapped that problem into our generation. Its strange.

Gale Anderson : The real question is...why in the world is this age restricted?

Virus the Glitch : I never even wanted the participation Trophy. I didn’t understand why they thought I would even want an unearned trophy, for that matter.

C MM : i just think its funny because 'millennial' stereotypes like, being sheltered, having participation trophies or being narcissistic, are the results of our parents raising us that way. as kids we didn't demand trophies, our parents and coaches gave them to us to make us feel 'better.' we think our lives are worth sharing all over social media because our parents told us we were special. (my parents - baby boomers - have said that if social media was available back in the 60s and 70s, you bet that people would use it the same way we do today.) we're sheltered because our parents moved to the suburbs and kept us away from the things they thought unfit for children. its not our fault - its the way we were raised.

Pug Loop : "there's millennials with little baby millennials" my mom was born in 1980 i was born in 2000. there's millennials with adult children

John Mcconnell : For example usually my mom is playing a game on her phone and I'm on my computer yet she gets mad for when I'm on the computer. We are likely to get mad at others for what we even do.

gacha luna playz : Thats good and all but... *W H E R E S* *T H E* *L A M B* *S A U C E*

Cathrin O : Im 25. I was hit by a 56 year old woman who was on her phone. I didn't have my phone, and my sister had her's inside of the door.

Yoite : Complaining about the newer generation "having it easy" is like watering a plant and being mad at it for surviving. Each generation builds the world we live in for the next, inventing and managing it so that future generations can live easier, that's how humanity got so far. Yes, as a matter of fact the newer generations do have it easier because the previous generation made that possible. If you forget to water a plant and get mad at it for dying, you are also an idiot.

R41Ryan : I'm a millennial and I've always avoided using social media. I don't hate them, or other people for using them; I'm just too lazy to make an account.

Sasaki Umiquema : Adam makes my day 😂

Wobble : *Top ten unsung heroes in anime*

Tango Hendrix : I'm just saying, doesn't it make more sense to call the offspring of the newest millennium "millenials"? Such as babies born on the year 2000 and so on instead of some date in the 1980s? Makes sense to me.

Travis Wald : One if the truest things I've ever heard: "millennials don't want you to talk to them in 'their language', they want to be treated like intelligent people deserving of respect."

Mr. Chopsticks : When I was in high school, kids in my class were just as shallow and vapid as kids today are. Its not that Millennials are more clueless, its just that they have more outlets with which to display just how shallow and vapid they are.

Munchies Evil Creations : millennials are also the most creative generation, cause look at youtube, deviant art, and etsy! people MAKE that stuff, by hand. i think that has to have some merit, huh?

Rex Royulada : I didn't know this was a long video, still liked it

LORDdeath Gaming : Thank you Adam for all the l"useless" trivia about life. No really adam. Thank you for the series about info and misconceptions about life. Please do one on commercial truck drivers being a hazard to the road and other motorists. I speak as a commercial truck driver myself. As a whole CDL holders or commercial driver's license holders are one of the most highly trained American drivers on the road today. Class C license is the bare minimum standard that Americans need to drive a car. That standard varies in States, case and point when I got my class c license my actual road course was only 4 left hand turns around a single block and park in the exact same spot I left. Not so much for CDL holders. We have to show that we can pull a 53-foot trailer around a City, interstate and State Highway. We also have to prove we can back up a 53-foot trailer in a straight line, in a 90 degree angle & and a offset backing maneuver. However due to marketing ads for lawyers & political agendas. Society today does not fully understand the high standard CDL holders are held up to. Case in point most Class C driver's AKA pedestrian car drivers AKA "four door or four wheelers"as some of us in the industry call them. Tend to not pay attention to their surroundings when driving in the city or in the interstate. On the whole most Interstate accidents or evolving a passenger and a commercial vehicle tend to have the passenger car at fault. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE TAKE UP MY CAUSE AND DEBUNK the misconceptions on commercial truck drivers being a danger two other drivers on the road. ( yes there are several bad CDL drivers out there. However there are also programs designed to find those bad drivers and remove their class a license. So that we can make the interstate a safer place for everybody.)

Jessica April Shepherd : but WHO GIVES the participation trophies???? yeah, thought so....

Dan Esp : My grandma uses social media more then me.

Chaco Pete : didn't look at how long this video was, watched the whole thing

aaron wilkie : according to some definitions a 35 year old is the same generation as a 16yr old sorry they are not the same

Memo Memo : 20:58 "I think they just want to buy a phone, not like make out with AT&T you know what I mean?" I laughed so hard at this

Mariusz J : Some can't even agree on the born after 1980's threshold. I've heard millenials are born in the 1990's or 2000's. People are not sure even on the actual date.

Vegarot Fusion : I call the Baby Boomers the Kool-Aid generation. Because the majority of them believe everything they hear on the news and only cared about what the government was doing if it directly affected their lives. When they see a group or country on the NEWS being labeled the enemy supported by baseless claims and false accusations. They don't think to ask show me the evidence and by 1-2 weeks later they're already labeling them too like good sheep.  They were the ones who believe all the lies and false claims corporations made about their products creating myths. Gen-Xs Cared during Vietnam. Staging mass protest opposing war and than after Vietnam it's like they said that enough protesting. Lets all become Yuppies.

Comic Sans : Honestly, I have NO F*CKING IDEA what a participation trophy is, we ain't got none o' that here

CaptRicoSakaraPrower : I'm 35 already, and I'm still waiting on new inventions that I'll hate.

siloPIRATE : What is this participation trophy? Legitimately never seen one

Justin Shea : The only difference from the other 'generations' is that the Internet allows narcissism to be paraded more.

QueercoreCentral AlextheAncomSquirrel : Everyone being on their phones is not always good, everyone does need to spend some time away from it.

m. deicke : Old people used to say that watching South Park and listening to Marilyn Manson would make me a violent psychopath.

Larry Jess : Its march 19 2018 😂😂😂

Dirk The Daring : This is why we need natural selection.