The business press can't stop talking about Millennials. Each week, articles roll off the digital presses, advising brand managers, marketers, and others about the need to understand the unique qualities and challenges that Millennials present.
As more and more of those articles appear—and more authors and speakers attempt to brand themselves as "Millennial whisperers"—a few tropes about Millennials recur again and again.
My advice as a researcher (and a practicing Millennial) is to mostly ignore the advice of those generational gurus. And, in that spirit, with this article I'm going to dispel three of the most commonly repeated myths about Millennials.
Myth No. 1: Millennials are the Zodiac Killer
You've seen the headlines: According to Business Insider, "'Psychologically Scarred' Millennials Are Killing Dozens of Industries." Perhaps no Millennial news trope is more common than the Millennial serial killer: The unique habits and lifestyle choices of the Millennial generation are ostensibly killing countless industries, among them napkins, chain restaurants, non-craft beer, real estate, golf, motorcycles, and diamonds.
Truth: Technology is driving changes that are affecting all of us
When you read a headline describing something Millennials have killed, stop to consider whether there are other forces driving the change.
A shift from sit-down chain restaurants to DoorDash-like delivery options is perhaps driven less by generational habits or thought and more by the technological and logistical advances of an innovative, well-financed group of new restaurant delivery services.