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Don’t call a millennial

When you have a medical problem, you go to a doctor. When your sink is clogged, you call a plumber. Certain situations require a person of a particular skill to solve the problem. New research indicates that you might even want to consider the person’s age.

Millennials—also known as Generation Y or the Net Generation—are those individuals generally born between 1982 and 2004. According to some self-perception surveys, this demographic considers themselves to be the best and the brightest. They tend to look at those who came before as “less smart” and themselves as the leaders for the march into the glory days yet to come in the 21st century.

However, they may be spending too much time on social media reading each others’ comments.

Millennials are generally well educated and skilled when it comes to using technology—most of which was invented by past generations—but when it comes to “street smarts” and even common sense, not so much. If you need the ringtone on your smartphone changed, call a millennial. For other practical tasks, don’t call a millennial.

Researchers in Britain have uncovered some disturbing facts. Twenty percent of those under the age of 35 must seek help from their parents with common household tasks. From the Financial Times: “The study found that more than half of millennials today are unable to put up wallpaper by themselves, and one in eight admitted to not knowing how to change a light bulb”. And while women are empowering themselves, a study by British maintenance company Corgi HomePlan found that 80 percent of younger women rely on their male partners to fix things and for basic home repair.

While putting up wallpaper may not seem like a critical life skill, if you cannot change a light blub, you may have to depend on the glow from your laptop to find your way. Of course, this may just be a clever way to make “Earth Hour” more permanent. But, “The problem, according to Dr. Sandi Mann, a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Central Lancashire, is that young people are no longer seeing the importance of being hands on”.

While we can appreciate that almost all the information you need to know is available on the Internet, another survey done last October found that 25 percent of those between 25 and 34 years old were actually not capable of boiling an egg without assistance. Nineteen percent said that an egg can be hard-boiled in less than two minutes.

But unless they intend to rely on disposable batteries for their computer and smartphone, they are going to be in big trouble. Almost 70 percent said they had no idea how to replace and wire an electric plug. While they are concerned about “saving the planet”, 77 percent could not figure out how to replace a tire tube on their bicycles.

Technology is wonderful, but each improvement relies in part on prior technology to work. The amazing Robotwist Hands Free Jar Opener—“Hands-free technology grips, twists and opens stubborn jar lids with the simple press of a button”—runs on batteries.

If this trend of depending on something or someone else continues, Generation Y may find itself at the mercy of upcoming generations just to survive. They might have to change a lot of ringtones in return for getting someone to boil an egg for them.

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