You may have heard a lot about so-called ‘Special Snowflake Millennials’ lately. The term has been growing in popularity, but what does it really mean?
Urban Dictionary defines it like this:
special snowflakeA member of that newly-adult, me’er-than-me generation which expects attention and praise just for being themselves — doing anything to deserve it is completely optional.Oh, he’s too much of special snowflake to get a day job — his mom’s paying the rent while he hangs out waiting for the perfect high-paying project to come along. I guess the market for C-minus filmmaking majors is a little soft right now or something.
special snowflakeA problem person. A person who thinks they are unique, different and therefor more special that everyone else. Derived from too many parents telling their kids they are “special,” like a “snowflake.” Typically used by used by those in the customer service or retail industry to refer to bad customers.That lady was a special snowflake, in a blizzard of other special snowflakes; shes unique, just like everyone else
Specifically, Conover took on the common image of millennials — one that the Times perpetuated in its recent piece — as an entitled, narcissistic generation. He pointed to a Time magazine cover from 2013 that described millennials as “lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents.”
This is a stereotype as old as time: Even as the world steadily improves, there are always older people ready to complain about the younger generation. Here is Greek economist Hesiod, who lived nearly 2,800 years ago, describing younger generations in a way that might sound very familiar: “They only care about frivolous things. When I was a boy, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly … impatient of restraint.”
“This could have been in that damn Time magazine article about millennials,” Conover pointed out. “This just goes to show that old people have been saying, ‘When I was a boy,’ since there were boys.”
Besides this complaint being as old as time, it’s vague, and it’s critisizing people for saying something that is factually, provably true: That everyindividual on this planet is different, in some way, from every other. We really are unique. That doesn’t mean we are better than everyone else — it means the opposite. That we are all worth of respect.
Shawn and Aaron from Srsly Wrong get into all the interesting, fun, details in the podcast: