We’re KILLERS.

 

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In case you haven’t heard, millennials are out for the kill. I challenge you to Google nearly any commodity, service or dearly-held American tradition alongside the term “millennials.” You might find something like the above photo. Football, f/k/a America or ‘Merica, if you had to find a single cultural symbol of our nation – savagely killed by millennials.

 

Yes, NYT – I see your article up at the top. You don’t get credit for not including “killing” in the title of the article. I read it – there was no point to it except that millennials don’t watch football and 11-year-olds are being recruited for the sport. Obviously the link between the two is that millennials need to save our society from football scholarships…?

 

I don’t blame you: if I had read through any other result in my search, I’m sure I would have found a similarly pointless article with a stance either for or against millennial behavior. I suppose you deserve credit for at least taking the stance (I think) that millennials could be good for society.

 

Here’s the thing: I don’t know of a single millennial that has it out for the game of football, or any other industry out there, besides maybe blood diamonds or ivory. Our role in society shouldn’t be understood as either good or bad: we are the future of society. We ARE our nation’s culture, regardless of how our behavior affects existing industries.

 

Ultimately, millennials were raised in a digital age and some industries haven’t yet adapted to those changes. Perhaps the reason we don’t watch football isn’t because players can’t twerk in the end zone. Rather, it’s because football is extremely difficult to watch from your laptop, which is essentially the modem of all communication for young millennials. Why are we expected to save the sport of football despite the fact that it doesn’t utilize our most important channels to communicate?

 

I’d also like to think, even if naively so, that our generation seeks more authenticity in our interactions as consumers. Perhaps cable television has failed while Snapchat thrives because Snapchat is a more direct, genuine interaction. The over-preparation of cable news fails to satisfy us, while we lean more toward viewing the news directly through those experiencing it. I can say personally that I’d much rather hear about the refugee crisis from refugees living in Europe than from a jaded, teleprompter-reading reporter in New York. This is not to say that we have completely rejected traditional media – we still seek in-depth, data-based reporting – but we will likely first hear of news and be heavily influenced by our interaction with social media.

 

GIFs, twerking and “millennial pink” are not the keys to winning over the hearts of millennials. Speaking to us in our own language, our digital language, is far more important.

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