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“Millennials are killing X industry” has become somewhat of a bloodsport for media these days. It’s like beating a dead horse. That said, I’m sure it still generates anger clicks and provides a catch-all excuse for industries and companies that can’t adapt to the evolving tastes of a modern consumer base so the story trend remains. You’re probably well aware of the narrative that millennials aren’t buying houses for a myriad of frivolous reasons like splurging too much on avocado toast or bachelor parties…or maybe because of crippling student debt. Regardless, those who hold the majority of property (boomers) are mad and the cycle of millennial criticism spins again. This cycle, we’re getting accused of investing too much in house plants instead of mortgages. Yes, really.
According to The Economist’s “Chart of the Day,” young people are investing in houseplants instead of houses. The rationale makes sense when you realize that many people in their 20s are more likely to rent flats and high rises downtown instead of buying nice houses in the suburbs. With limited space comes adaptation. Amongst the sprawling concrete jungle, many penny-pinching apartment dwellers opt to pay for a succulent instead of a mortgage. Because, while they’re probably not seeing enough green to save for a down payment, they still want to see some green when they return from the 9-5 work week doldrums. The premise makes sense, especially when you read that millennials account for one-third of all houseplants sold in America today. Encouraging your millennial readers to spruce their place up with a nice show cactus or aloe vera plant would be a perfect way to wrap the piece up, but of course – the piece still needs to get in its required Millennial slights.
For starters, the byline of the story notes that splurging on a succulent instead of a two-story might be more appealing because “they are cheaper, greener, and easier to maintain.” I mean, is being insulted even the appropriate response here? That seems too self-evident given how obvious the statement is. Watering your standing houseplant every day is easier than spending your emergency fund on a plumber to fix five years of disregarded toilet issues. Come on. The story goes on to note that Millennials are not responsible and unable (or unwilling it seems) to care for pets and children so trimming stems once a week should meet our requirements for tending to a living thing. Instead of considering the intense, life-altering decision making process that often goes into having a kid or raising a puppy, the article defaults to note that millennials tend to buy potted plants instead because they look better on Instagram.
Now, I get that this this story is probably reported a bit tongue-in-cheek. Obviously I’d like to have enough capital to buy a house over a hanging vine, but this article still rubs me the wrong way. Thankfully, our watch might be ending soon. It’s being reported that our Gen Z successors have picked up the Millennial’s bloody torch and have begun killing industries by themselves. Here’s hoping we can lay low for a while and I don’t know…take a nap. Cheers!.