We need to change the perception of millennial culture, and the latest crop of Bros are not giving me hope. I was at a small Jason Aldean concert at a Jimmy Kimmel Live taping where I was surrounded by a large amount of 16-18 year old men and women. Is it strange to feel such a disconnect from people who are only four years younger than you are? We, as a culture, have an image problem that we need to remedy in order to be taken seriously in this adult world. We are seen as obsessive picture takers, as shallow, entitled, and unable to carry a conversation. But never you fret, young people. Here are ten things we can each do that will help solve this image problem we have.
1. Limit yourself to one selfie a week.
I saw Bros taking selfies at a country concert instead of listening to the music. Are you kidding me? Ideally, selfies are for moments of weakness with your girlfriend. That’s why I want to challenge all Bros to take no more than one selfie a week. I don’t care how good looking you are, do you really need that many photos of yourself?
2. Be off your phone during a conversation.
When I’m talking to you, you shouldn’t be texting another friend. Guess what! Most of the time it takes a few hours for someone to text me back because, like most humans, they’re busy. You can unplug yourself for an hour, Bro down with me for a little bit and then answer that innocuous text later. It’s easy. You’re not going to die if you don’t check your phone every five minutes.
3. Enjoy the moments without a filter.
Not every event needs to be on a social media. If something cool happens but no one else is around to see, believe it or not it still happened. Put your phone down and enjoy the moment. Life is all about the experience, not the amount of likes you get on Facebook.
4. Don’t tweet more than an actual news organization.
My Twitter feed is filled with three accounts – CNN, The Hollywood Reporter and my sixteen-year-old cousin. Guess which one tweets the most of those three? The answer is too depressing to write. Teenagers tweet their every emotion like it’s more breaking than the actual news going on. Except…it’s not. Guys, Twitter is for workshopping a couple of jokes or retweeting BroBible articles. Ask yourself if anything else is really worth sharing to over a hundred followers.
5. Get a job, even if you don’t need one.
No, being a high school student isn’t a full time job. Managing your raging hormones can take a backseat for you to take some actual responsibility. I remember being a snot nosed kid who thought it would be degrading to work a service industry job. In reality, you’re seventeen with no marketable experiences. Pick up that ice cream scooper and head over to Baskin Robbins. You’ll learn so much more about the real world than your friends and have disposable income going into your post-18 “adult” lifestyle.
6. Take a weekend vacation away from social media and the Internet this year.
Where are the men going on hunting weekends when you need them? Yes, I actually do have a hunting license even though I live in Los Angeles. Hike, climb, hunt, do something outdoors that you aren’t gonna Instagram later. Unplug yourself for the weekend. You can be yourself without your gadgets, try it one of these days.
7. Support a cause silently.
Everyone loves to post about how they helped the homeless one weekend or have a smiling profile picture with that underprivileged child you worked with, but how many Bros did the ALS Ice Bucket challenge just for the excuse to be shirtless? Good work on doing something for the community, but did you do it for them or did you do it for yourself? Next time, go out and do that charity work and not tell everyone about it. Will they know how selfless you are? No, but they don’t need to know. That’s what being selfless is.
8. Do something nice for your parents.
A parent’s favorite guilt trip is to remind their children that they raised them since birth, dirty diapers and all. Even worse than cleaning up your physical shit is having to deal with your figurative shit in high school. We’ve all been a crappy teen before, so don’t beat yourself up about it. However, after you’re done screwing things up, cook your parents breakfast or do something nice to show you care. After that hour of bliss, go back to being the delinquent you are.
9. Have a Netflix night in.
Take a break from the scene and have fun with yourself. No, not like that. Ok, only if you want to. If you don’t like spending time with yourself, then why would anyone else want to spend time with you? Don’t surround yourself with people because you fear being alone. Screw FOMO, the real party is with you, a six pack of beer and the new season of The League.
10. Be yourself.
All of these contraptions and social media accounts are great to express one’s creativity, but they also shackle us to broadcast our lives. Be the person everyone sees on Instagram. Stop worrying about how your Twitter page looks and instead just breathe and live. If you truly be yourself, you won’t have to worry about the fact that only your Mom commented on your Facebook status. Bros are confident to be who they are, not project an idealized version of themselves to fool people. Do more work on yourself than on your profile.
[Header image via Shutterstock]