Friends sitting in bar and using smartphone- Group of people navigating in the internet.
Friends sitting in bar and using smartphone- Group of people navigating in the internet. Photo by Boonker (Shutterstock)

By John Moore
President, Kern County Farm Bureau

John Moore
John Moore, President, Kern County Farm Bureau

I’ll admit it. I am bad at being a “millennial.” I was born in the year of peak “millennial,” 1989, and in 31 years I have been building a resume to be a terrible representative of my generation. All it took to realize this unfortunate truth was a global pandemic. 

I am proving myself to be technically incompetent. We are fortunate in the real estate office to have an IT person who is a magician, but at the farm I serve as our IT man, gopher, etc. This means I solve critical issues like resetting the Wi-Fi and figuring out dad’s latest iPad issue. Despite my technical experience, I have yet to video conference without some sort of abysmal failure. Whether it is a Zoom workout with gym buddies, Happy Hour with TCU friends, or various professional items, I seem to have a knack for muting or disconnecting. My generation has gone from earth-shattering flip phones to life altering iPhones in a few short years, and our recent video conferencing utility has shown my true colors. As we awkwardly and accidentally interrupt each other and ask the all too familiar “can you hear me?” I come to the realization that I am slowly fading from my technical glory and letting down a generation of competent techies. Instead, what I have found is that we are good at connecting on a deeper level when it counts. My younger sister, who is in fashion merchandising at Walmart e-Commerce in San Francisco (not an oxymoron), has been stuck in town since the social distancing rules have been enforced. This has allowed our immediate family to spend time together on a level we haven’t had in years. Whether it was a small birthday party that turned in to a karaoke session or a trip to the home bar, this moment in history has allowed us to refocus on the important things in life. 

I do not like the term “millennial” as I have heard it used so often in the past few years. I would venture to say that most people in the millennial generation do not like the term “millennial” at all. I imagine it compares to how baby boomers feel about the phrase “okay, boomer.” The entitled, lazy, disloyal “millennial” who is so different from our parents or grandparents is unfamiliar to me. The lines of generational divide have been blurred in the last few months due to an innate desire to keep each other safe. The younger generations want to keep our older generations safe, and we will go to great, borderline obnoxious, lengths to do so. Collectively, we have made sacrifices for the greater good of our fellow man and for those who are most at risk. There is nothing “millennial” about that.

I’ll admit it. Millennials are getting bad at being “millennials.” And boomers are bad at being “boomers.” Instead, I think we are getting better at living with and supporting one another. And that is a great thing.