Aspen Untucked: Millennials (a.k.a. natural born killers) care to do things differently

Barbara Platts

Fried chicken wings in a wicker plate and a large mug of beer
Getty Images/iStockphoto | iStockphoto

In late August, an article hit the interwebs that got a lot of attention on social media, among millennials and their haters. The piece, which was on, listed trends and companies that millennials are killing. The headline, which kicks off the offensive jargon, is: “Psychologically scarred” millennials are killing countless industries from napkins to Applebee’s — here are the businesses they like the least.

The article goes on to list 19 things we’re taking down.

On a side note, I’m aware that this headline is something called clickbait, which is a term used for web content that is overly sensational. It’s main goal is to get people to click on it, which worked well in this case. The quote at the beginning of the headline — “Psychologically scarred” — is from Morgan Stanley analyst Kimberly Greenberger. The quote, in full, reads very differently. She said, “I think we have got a very significant psychological scar from this Great Recession.”

Anyway, after the offensive headline and brief introduction, it does go on to name those things that Generation Y killed. The list is too long to go through each thing, however, I will highlight a few of the gems.

Millennials are killing…

Brands like Applebee’s and Buffalo Wild Wings

According to the article, Applebee’s is closing around 135 restaurants, because it worked too hard to win over Generation Y and didn’t focus on its “Middle America roots.” The CEO explained that millennials prefer eating at home or ordering delivery. However, what she neglects to say is that millennials are interested in healthy food. We’re making a bigger push toward things like organic vegetables and cage-free eggs, according to a recent article in Forbes. Establishments like Applebee’s and Buffalo Wild Wings have never been known for their healthy or fresh cuisine. The Nielsen’s Global Health and Wellness Survey showed evidence in 2015 that young consumers across the globe are more concerned about food ingredients and consuming genetically modified food than previous generations. I don’t know this to be fact, but I’m pretty sure that those lusciously large chicken wings at BWW are not natural. Not to say I don’t enjoy some mouth and eye watering hot wings from BWW or an oriental chicken salad with fried chicken from Applebee’s, but these are meals I consider to be indulgent and only to be had once in a while.


Apparently, us young-ins are killing America’s favorite sport because attendance at games and viewership via television has declined. The article said millennials are possibly to blame because we aren’t as likely to have cable. But I can’t imagine millennials are solely responsible for the decline. What about all of the bad press football has gotten lately? More and more studies are coming out showing that the sport can cause very serious brain injuries. Even so, football is still intensely popular. A nationwide poll conducted by The Washington Post and the University of Massachusetts Lowell in August, showed that six and 10 Americans say they are fans of football, including those that are between the ages of 18 and 29. The poll showed that those who are younger than age 30 are the most likely age demographic to claim interest in football. The poll also looked at fans’ concerns with the game being dangerous for players. Turns out that people recognize the dangers and believe the studies, but this has not discouraged their fandom. So for those concerned about the death of football, don’t worry so much, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon, and if it does, it’s not because of millennials.


I’ve gone over this issue in the past, and it’s constantly a prominent one in the main stream media, so I’m not going to spend much time on it here. Yes, the article is correct in this case. We are killing homeownership, but it’s for good reason. Statistically, many of us are still busy paying off college loans and don’t need to invest in something else that will rape and pillage our bank accounts. Studies show that we prefer to rent at this time or stay with relatives (that old millennial living in your basement joke). So, in this case, I can’t fault the Business Insider article. Millennials are killing homeownership, and we’re most certainly out for blood.


“If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it,” is a saying that just doesn’t ring true like it used to. Millennials aren’t prioritizing marriage. Research through Olin College found that 47 percent of women born in the 1990s will not be married at age 33. We’re getting married at later ages or not at all. And, if we do decide it’s time to tie the knot, us lady millennials aren’t impressed with diamonds, we like less traditional rings with stones such as sapphires or rubies. This is partially because those gems are more economical and also because we believe them to be more ethically produced and sustainable. I guess diamonds are no longer a girl’s best friend.

Each generation is different from the next. Trends change, fads fizzle, and age old traditions often die. This doesn’t mean, as millennials, that we are “psychologically scarred” or that there is something wrong with us. It simply means we care to do things differently than our parents. Hate us or love us, but that’s the reality.

Barbara Platts is proud to be a killer with her fellow millennials. Reach her at or on Twitter @BarbaraPlatts.

Aspen Times Weekly

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