THE BLOG

Let's Not Cast Generation Snowflake Adrift

22/12/2017 14:11 GMT | Updated 22/12/2017 14:11 GMT

Well, snow is forecast (in some forecasts anyway) as the Christmas air turns chilly, so let’s talk about Generation Snowflake.

See what I did there. Seamless TV breakfast-esque link or what, eh? Susanna Reid eat your heart out.

Anyhow, as you were.

We need to talk about our Millennial Snowflakes. Or, to be more accurate, let’s discuss how we talk about them. Let’s face it, they’re much maligned.

According to a new survey by insurance giant Aviva https://www.aviva.com/newsroom/news-releases/2017/12/dont_call_us_snowflakes/ three quarters (72 %) of Millennials aged 16-24 said their reputation of being fragile whingers was unfair, with 74% saying the derogatory label could have a negative impact on mental health.

So aren’t we baby boomers being a tad harsh? (as is our tough old boots stance, but still…) After all, we had it so much easier in many ways than today’s Snowflakes.

We didn’t grow up in the spotlight of a selfie-obsessed world subject to the pressure of all too often being judged on what you look like instead of who you are.

However much we all know that people airbrush their lives for social media, young people can feel rendered inadequate by the shiny, happy (unreal) online versions. And, as brilliant as it can be, social media can be fuel for bullies.

Back in the day, the most I had to contend with was being being given the evil eye across the sixth form common room over some spat about a boy. Now trolls are anonymous and their bile can go viral.

And a degree was a passport to a job and you could usually get that job without jumping through the hoops young people (and not so young) have to these days. Pre-interviews on the phone before you get an actual interview or within sniffing distance of an actual person.

And just reading the average job description today - requiring some sort of multi-talented super hero - makes me want to have a lie down.

Not to mention Trump to worry about….

Granted, maybe we’re a more resilient generation but only because we’ve had more time and experience to don our emotional armour. So let’s not be all “I lived in a shoe box in the middle of the road’ about it.

Millennials often get a raw deal - let’s celebrate them, boost them instead of making them feeling worse about themselves.

Young people I’ve met through my job at The Brain Tumour Charity, our Young Ambassadors, who have helped us set up our Young Adults Service amaze and humble me with their resilience and positivity - not to mention being great fun.

And my own teenagers are in the generation who are facing the uncertain. To us, the future was an exciting flirtation, now today’s young people so often feel a chasm yawns ahead of them.

Think about it, if our Millennials are Snowflakes, what does that make the rest of us?

Frozen snowballs with bits of stone in? The ones that really hurt when someone throws them at you.

And suspiciously jaundiced...(work it out)

So come on, let’s rebrand Snowflakes and reboot our jaded views.

Entitled and fragile? Pah!

Magical and each one a sparkling individual.

Better, yes?