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Women Are Irrational, Men Are Insensitive, & Millennials Are Lazy

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Oh yeah, and Scorpios are hot-heads.

It’s now open season, folks: we can feel free to generalize and stereotype people into neatly defined behavioral buckets. It’s like we never lived through the 90s political correctness at all, and we can go back to the Golden Age of prejudice.

Fill in the blanks (and by all means, please be encouraged to share in the comments):

All _____ are _________.

Ahhh, the “good ol’ days” are back…

It seems crazy that we are back in the age of stereotyping, but I see from many LinkedIn postings that Millennials — all 86 million of them — are technically savvy, optimistic, entitled, tolerant, disrespectful, multitaskers, lazy, community-oriented, overly self-confident, politically engaged, and self-absorbed.

They also have a lot of tattoos and piercings.

This sounds like another generalization of youth I’ve heard before — but it was in a performance of The Clouds, written by Greek playwright Aristophanes and first produced in 423 B.C.:

“Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”

I guess we can throw away all of what we’ve learned about motivation, Fundamental Attribution Error, genetic predispositions, the influence of your parents, etc. — because who you are is determined based on when you were born.

So the horoscopes were right:

Scorpio is the astrology sign of extremes and intensity. Scorpios are very deep, intense people, there is always more than meets the eye. They present a cool, detached and unemotional air to the world yet lying underneath is tremendous power, extreme strength, intense passion and a strong will and a persistent drive.”

I guess all of this learning about neuroscience, dopamine and serotonin balance, nutrition’s effect on mood — throw that all away, because when you were born is the determining factor of who you are!

Frankly I’m relieved that we no longer need to treat individuals as, well, individuals. That was exhausting! All I need to do now is find out when someone was born, because then I know exactly who they are.

This will make performance evaluations much easier. I can even write them in advance!

Hopefully you know by now that I’m kidding — I do not believe we should pre-judge people for any reason at all. I believe we should treat all others as individuals. Not as Gen Xs, Millennials, Scorpios, or whatever else.

We seem to be living in a cycle of confirmation bias.

For example, anytime we see a Millennial texting, we shake our heads and say, “See, they are ALWAYS texting.” Never-mind that my Gen X sister is texting and on Facebook all the time, too.

Please, good people of the digital world: can we stop with the Millennial stereotyping and simply treat people as individuals?

written by

Jonathan Burman, Arc Advisory Co. Managing Partner + Principal

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