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9 ways millennials are changing society

Published: Tuesday, May 20 2014 9:00 a.m. MDT

A new UBS study concludes that"millennials are the most worried of all generations," when it comes to finance. And that's the only thing about millennials that's been in the news recently.

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Millennials and their impact on society is a constant topic of debate. In fact, milliennials are even having trouble figuring out their own views, The Atlantic reported. It seems like every few days there’s a new report about what millennials are going to be like in later years, and how they’re going to shape the future.

So here's a light hearted, fun look at how millennials might be fitting into the changing world ahead.

1. They aren't reading as much

Well, reading might be a thing of the past. Time magazine reported on May 12 that teens are no longer reading for fun and leisure, which is largely in part because of technology’s growth. “And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the — Snapchat!” wrote Charlotte Alter for Time magazine.

2. They're being more critical

College students are showing a new type of smartness. It’s not your typical intelligence, but it’s being critical in an almost ironic way, wrote Michael S. Roth for The New York Times. This shows that young people may be in a critical scenario. “The skill at unmasking error, or simple intellectual one-upmanship,” wrote Roth, “is not totally without value, but we should be wary of creating a class of self-satisfied debunkers — or, to use a currently fashionable word on campus, people who like to ‘trouble’ ideas.”

3. They're not having debates, though

College students aren’t debating as much as in earlier years. The Wall Street Journal’s Ruth R. Wisse wrote this week that professors aren’t encouraging a lot of debate, hindering students from grasping full understanding. “Universities have not only failed to stand up to those who limit debate, they have played a part in encouraging them,” Wisse wrote. “The modish commitment to so-called diversity replaces the ideal of guaranteed equal treatment of individuals with guaranteed group preferences in hiring and curricular offerings.”

4. Music tastes are changing

Not every song can be a hit. But for millennials, a bunch of baby boomer favorites might not even crack the top 10. Rolling Stone magazine published a list this week of 40 songs millennials haven’t heard of, even though baby boomers adored them. “Some albums transcend their eras, finding their way into the cultural canon and continually being rediscovered by subsequent generations of listeners,” Rolling Stone reported. “And some don't.”

5. They're dropping narcissism

Is narcissism something for millennials, or is it more of a generational thing? Alexandra Petri of The Washington Post wrote Thursday that millennials actually aren’t going to be overly self-involved like many think. Instead, it may just be a growing pain. “Look, we should be more worried about Generation Z, anyway,” Petri wrote, tongue-in-cheek. “So few of them have jobs, content to live off their parents and waste hours of each day at high schools and middle schools and — in some cases — elementary schools. Generation Freeload, that’s what I’d call them! We were never like this! The things they’re doing to pop music already!”

6. They're getting hired

Michael Macking of Business 2 Community, a business information website, said that millennials should be the next hire for companies. Not only do they want to improve, but they’re always willing to embrace new challenges and are already engrained in digital media. “Members of Generation Y have never known a time when technology did not play a central role in daily life,” Macking wrote. “As a result, they are comfortable with all types of technology, from social media to online collaboration tools to using computers in all aspects of their work.”

7. And they're getting paid

Worried your millennial child won’t find a job? Fear not — they’re actually richer than you. Linda Nguyen of the Hamilton Spectator reported that young millennials in Canada are actually more well off than their parents were. "This means millennials can buy about two percent more goods and services than their parents could in the mid-1980s," wrote BMO senior economist Sal Guatieri of the Hamilton Spectator. "That doesn't sound like much, but the difference adds up over time."

8. They're unfollowing social media

Here’s a shocker. Despite their tech-savvy nature, millennials don’t really trust Twitter or the information that comes through it, CBS News reported. "Our findings indicate young people are somewhat wary of information that comes from Twitter. It's a good sign," Kimberly Fenn, an assistant professor at Michigan State University, said in a press release. "We propose young adults are taking into account the medium of the message when integrating information into memory."

9. They're less religious

Earlier this year, the Pew Research Center released a study that found millennials are less religious than older generations. This is true for Hispanic millennials, too, according to a new Pew study. “Hispanic Millennials mirror young American adults overall in their lower rates of religious affiliation and commitment compared with their older counterparts."

Email: hscribner@deseretdigital.com, Twitter: @herbscribner

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