The world and all of its inhabitants love using Millennials as a punching bag for blame. Other generations tend to pin fault on this young, innovative and self-concerned sector of society for its handful of flaws.
We have been perceived as lazy, stubborn, arrogant and resistant by other generations, and these allegations can be fought and challenged in numerous ways. But one accusation that has caught my eye and proven itself time and time again with this generation is our inability to maintain plans.
We, Millennials, are more often than not flaky, and that might be the most aggravating trait of them all.
Think about it. How many times have you been asked to grab lunch with a friend and agreed, knowing you would cancel later because you’re either too busy or just not interested?
How many times have you made those plans on the fly with another person, but then brushed them off moments before, claiming you’re not feeling well or just too tired, when you actually have plans to watch Private Practice in your room alone?
How many times have you simply forgotten about an arrangement and not thought much of that “Sorry — I was so busy and it slipped my mind” text?
We, Millennials, seem prone to brushing things off, and we’re earning us the reputation of being the flakers of the world.
Numerous studies attribute the nature of young people to cancel plans on the increase in technology that has cradled us through our youths. According to Bustle, when plans are made via technology, like through text message or an email, the plans feel less important or official, and the person doesn’t feel as guilty when they cancel. It’s one thing to receive a paper invitation to a party or reception, in which people feel obligated to attend due to the effort put into the invitation in the first place.
So, how do we solve this issue? Do we start sending carrier pigeons every time we want to grab lunch with our friend to ensure they don’t blow us off?
In a perfect world, yes. But we know more than anything that this isn’t a perfect world.
It comes down to this: if you don’t want to, or know that you can’t, don’t make the plans at all. I can assure you that the person on the other side of that plan will appreciate a rejection in the first place, rather than the quick, thoughtless cancellation moments before your arranged meet-up.
Mindless flaking is one of the reasons we young people are getting a bad rap. Last-minute cancellations compromise a person’s trust in you, put them out for having arranged their day in the first place to spend time with you, and sharply disappoint them in the wake of it.
It is, in the words of comedian John Mulaney, 100 percent easier to do nothing at all than to actually do something.
It’s delightful to cancel a plan; it gives the planner momentary relief and frees them up for however long the plan would have taken in the first place. And who doesn’t want a free hour they weren’t expecting?
But, knowing young people, we’re gonna make those plans anyway. So here are some tips we can all follow to make sure we stick to our plans.
First, it’s important to not overbook yourself. If you’re trying to pencil someone in for lunch and you have three tests and a paper due that same day, save them the trouble and try for next week.
Next — and this one is tricky — write things down. If we see a plan in writing, we’re a lot less likely to cancel it than if it pops up as a reminder in our phone.
After this, we should remember to only make plans we are actually invested in. If there’s someone you just don’t want to meet up with, don’t make that plan.
Finally, if you absolutely have to cancel, do it sooner. Don’t pull the plug the night before or the morning of. That’s just inconsiderate.
Or, you could just do something wild and actually attend the plan you originally scheduled. That really couldn’t hurt.