As society becomes more and more politically correct, the likelihood of offending someone keeps on increasing.
So-called millennials have developed a reputation for being easily offended, and they're not afraid to let you know when they've been “triggered.” Now, many are saying that calling them “snowflakes” is actually damaging to their mental health.
Aviva, an insurance company in the UK, has delved into this matter and discovered that “nearly three quarters of people (72%) aged 16-24 said the term is unfairly applied to people in this age bracket, while a similar number (74%) feel it could have a negative effect on people’s mental health.”
The UK survey also questioned older audiences to gauge their perception of the term and found that a majority of people thought it was not helpful at all:
While these views are most marked amongst young adults, the majority of UK adults agree that the “Generation Snowflake” term is unhelpful: 58% of adults feel the label is unfairly applied, while 57% feel it could negatively impact young people’s mental health.
The study also found that 63 percent of young people between the ages of 16 and 24 admit to suffering from mental health issues, like anxiety and depression.
These numbers are from the UK, but one can only imagine how they translate to the United States.
Many U.S. employers are weary of hiring young people, and one company in particular garnered significant attention by issuing its own “snowflake” survey to weed out potential employees that wouldn't fit into its business structure.
The novelist Chuck Palahniuk claims credit for the term. It comes from a line in his book “Fight Club.”
You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.
He thinks liberal students need to toughen up:
There is a kind of new Victorianism. Every generation gets offended by different things but my friends who teach in high school tell me that their students are very easily offended.
The beauty of free speech and not being closed off to different ideas is that it builds mental toughness. People soon realize it's OK to disagree, and the world won't come crashing down if someone doesn't hold the same views as you.
Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.