They’ve been subjected to more “sharing/caring” and “we are the world” propaganda than any group of youngsters since the Young Pioneers and the Hitler Youth, yet they appear to be shrugging off the programming in double-quick time:
Young Americans care less and less about the the environment, politics, and the world around them in general, a study has found; even the idea of seeking a meaningful life is out of fashion.
Instead, money, image and fame are the idols of our time.
“Popular views of the millennial generation, born in the 1980s and 1990s, as more caring, community-oriented and politically engaged than previous generations are largely incorrect, particularly when compared to baby boomers and Generation X at the same age,” said the study’s lead author, Jean Twenge, a psychologist at San Diego State University and author of the book Generation Me. “These data show that recent generations are less likely to embrace community mindedness and are focusing more on money, image and fame.”
[. . .]
The wish to save the environment, an area of particular concern to millennials, showed some of the largest declines, with three times as many millennials as baby boomers at the same age saying they made no personal effort to help the environment. Fifty-one percent of millennials said they made an effort to cut down on electricity use to save energy, compared to 68 percent of boomers in the 1970s.
[. . .]
In the American Freshman survey, the proportion of students who said being wealthy was very important to them rose from 45 percent for baby boomers (surveyed between 1966 and 1978) to 70 percent for Generation Xers (surveyed between 1979 and 1999) and 75 percent for millennials (surveyed between 2000 and 2009).
The fraction who said it was important to keep up to date with politics dropped, from 50 percent for boomers to 39 percent for Generation Xers and 35 percent for millennials. “Becoming involved in programs to clean up the environment” fell from 33 percent for boomers to 20 percent for millennials. “Developing a meaningful philosophy of life” decreased the most across generations, from 73 percent for boomers to 45 percent for millennials.