Millennials Are So 2015: Meet The “Founders”

By Erika Hills

We have the Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and now according to MTV, the Founders.

In a nationwide survey, MTV gave 1,000 teenagers born after 2000 the opportunity to choose what they believe to be a fitting name for their generation.

They are eager to face the world and the problems that lie within it, in their very own way.

With the abysmal job market and crushing national debt that stand before them, The Atlantic hails the Founders as pragmatists navigating a post-9/11 nation.

They [the Founders] continue to say that in front of them lie a mess from prior generations that they are tasked with cleaning up.

According to MTV, the teens surveyed also considered names such as “The Bridge Generation,” “The Builder Generation,” and “The Regenerator Generation,” before choosing “The Founders,” a fitting description for how today’s youth view themselves.

“We’re ‘the Founders’ because we’re the ones transitioning from before to what’s going to become after,” one participant explained in a video MTV released on Dec. 3rd.

Another said, “I’d like our generation to be marked kind of as the foundation that mostly set off what’s going to happen in the next 50 to 100 years.”

MTV is just as hopeful as the teens themselves, because despite the fact that Generation Y receives a bad rap, the Founders are “optimistic and forward-thinking” in terms of their endeavors and what they anticipate their futures to hold.

However, taking upon the thoughts and ideas of high schoolers to let them name their own generation has come under question.

The Atlantic points out that classifying any generation’s personality and goals is quite the challenge, but even more so when the people being interviewed have recently entered high school.

TIME also cited that entire generations don’t typically decide what their name will be.

That has been done only by individual personalities in history such as how “The Lost Generation,” was coined by Gertrude Stein to describe those who lived through World War I.

Others are bewildered at MTV’s attempts to gain credit in labelling a generation of rising teens who are unfamiliar with their music network roots and vastly prefer mobile devices.

In fact, this April the International Business Times revealed that MTV’s ratings have been declining for that very reason.

Don Kaplan of The New York Daily News deems it purely self-promotional on MTV’s part.

“It’s a ridiculously overstated attempt by MTV to define a generational boundary,” he noted in a column. “And it comes off more…like a bid to advance the network’s own self-promotional agenda.”

Is it still early yet to know the defining characteristics of this generation?

As the Atlantic claims, one crucial difference of this cohort  is that they’ve never known a world without the Internet.

Griffin Picciani, 14, interviewed by TIME, only knows of a black president. The games he plays today carry a world of difference in comparison to those his 20-year-old cousins played when they were younger.

“I think our generation is the bridge to a new era — a new idea, a new world, where things that haven’t really been thought of, get thought of,” another young Founder told MTV.

Only time will truly tell if the Founders’ optimism to achieve greater things will remain long enough to define them.

Cover Photo Credit: Petra Benstead/Flickr (CC by 2.0)

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