An Informal Anthropological Perspective on Millennials Killing Things, Part 1

When I’m not sure what to write about, I can always count on the internet for plenty of random inspiration. One of my favorite online trends from the past couple of years is the idea that millennials (people aged approximately 18-30? 20-32?) are “killing” various things, usually by failing to spend their money. Being a millennial myself, I really enjoy the sassy clapbacks that other millennials have in response to these claims.


For this post I decided to look at some articles covering the things that millennials have allegedly sentenced to death, and give an informal (educated speculation and drawing on my own experiences, but not heavily researched) and perspective on the cultural issues and modern events that could be behind the slaughter. I hope you enjoy, and please share your insights on these topics in the comments!


To clarify, I’m talking about U.S. American millennials here. I don’t have as much insight into the state of millennials worldwide (but I want to!).


Millennials are Killing Eating Out

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

According to this article published by Business Insider, millennials are killing casual dining, especially sit-down restaurant chains like Applebees and TGI Fridays.

What I Agree With: In one part of this article, the author states that restaurants tend to rely on alcohol sales to drive profits, making it less expensive for millennials to simply order in and drink what they have at home. I can agree that millennials tend to react negatively to overpriced alcohol.

What I Don’t Agree With: At the end of the article, the author summarizes some of the points by saying that “casual-dining brands just aren’t cool anymore.” My question is, were they ever really “cool” enough to be labeled “uncool” now? And I really don’t think millennials are going around saying “ugh, Buffalo Wild Wings is so not cool anymore.” At least I haven’t heard it.

My Take: I think that cost is probably the biggest factor here. Millennials overall seem to be spending less on what used to be considered common leisure activities (which is probably why we are “killing” so many of them). I also think that many millennials have spent time or are currently spending time working in food-service or retail, meaning that they may not want to patron similar places in their time off. In addition, it seems that many millennials are more conscious about issues related to tipping and fair pay for servers, which may make them less likely to go out if they can’t afford to also pay the tip.


Millennials are Killing 9-5 Jobs

Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

According to articles published on Entrepreneur and Forbes, millennials are killing the 9-5 workday.

What I Agree With: I can agree with a lot from these two articles. Both touch on the positive reasons that many millennials are advocating for more flexible work hours. The Forbes article touches on a possible negative reason. Positives: ability to use technology to make work more efficient, desire to have meaningful work, desire to have a healthy work-life balance. Negatives: fear of sudden economic downturn.

What I Don’t Agree With: First, I think that there are still a great number of millennials working or looking for 9-5 jobs. Second, I think these two articles are missing some of the other negative reasons that millennials seem averse to the traditional 9-5 workday.

My Take: In my experience it seems that some millennials are feeling under-acknowledged for the work that they do or feel that they don’t fit in with corporate culture, making them less likely to want to commit the full 8 hours a day at an office. On the other hand, the idea of work being equal to the number of hours you put into it is also changing. Many millennials I know are rejecting the expectation that you should stay seated at your desk until a certain time each day in order to keep up the appearance of a dedicated worker. Instead, they are focusing more on the quality and ingenuity of the work that they produce, no matter how long it takes them to produce it.


Do you think that millennials will be the death of these concepts? I want to hear from millennials and non-millennials alike!


Stay tuned for Part 2, which will include my perspective on millennials killing relationships, as well as my thoughts on the risks of making too many generalizations about all millennials.

And for a list of things of millennials have been accused of killing, click here.




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