Friday, 24 November 2017


Many of you may not have heard of The Malaysian Digest.

Well it is an online media publication which I check out fairly regularly and kudos to The Malaysian Digest for publishing this article below which provides the views of several people on the ground who have issues with having to deal with so called 'Millennials' in their workplace and in real-world social interaction.

I've heard similar complaints from employers about 'Millennials' a.k.a. 'Generation Y' employees, especially over their entitlement mentality, and I too have observed such traits, even in older adults; so the article below resonates with me.

Without further ado, The Malaysian Digest article.

Yours trully


Social Media Is Turning More Millennials Into Superficial Beings

24 Nov 2017 12:04

Published on Friday, 24 November 2017 09:03

Before I start, you may want take this with a pinch of salt as I am merely expressing my views.

Now, open up your social media accounts, and tell me what do you see?

If you answered endless selfies, ‘live updates’ of what I’m eating/drinking, what’s going on in my life and how my life and job is better than yours – and it annoys you, this article might pique your interest (as it has some answers to the thoughts that might’ve crossed your minds).

Nevertheless, if you are one of those guilty of doing all of the above, read it too, to understand yourselves better, I hope.

Moving on, have you come across the #FirstWorldProblem hashtag?

I personally feel it is an insult to actual problems like the Rohingya refugee crisis, kids in Africa suffering from starvation and malnutrition, Syrian families displaced in their worn-torn country.

Those are legitimate problems; not your dark circle or eye bags, not your chubby cheeks, not the fact that your iPhone 6s is out of trend, and certainly not the fact that your bank account doesn’t allow you to order your fourth Caramel Macchiato of the week from Starbucks.

We cannot deny that social media has deluded us – yes, you and I both – despite making our lives tremendously easier. It has tainted the way we look at life and made a huge percentage of society – mostly hailing from the Generation Y (Millennials) whom dominate the social media sphere – into becoming superficial beings.

Reality Check: How Our Superficial Lifestyle Is Affecting Our Jobs

“In my five years working as a manager, I noticed that the younger generation or fresh graduates who enter the workforce are difficult to manage as they think they know it all or know better,” Sylvia Poh revealed.

“While there are those who are humble and are sincerely willing to learn from their more experienced peers, most employees from the new generation are narcissistic, conceited, lazy, want everything to be laid out for them on a silver platter and prefer being spoon fed rather than sought knowledge or gain new skills for themselves.”

If the brutal truth bruised your ego, then be prepared to be burned because that’s not even the worst part as the media manager bewailed that these inexperienced employees, who are fresh out of universities, are bold about their spoilt neediness and transparently rude and upfront in making their dissatisfaction known.

“Once, I, being a concern manager had asked one of my staff if he understood my orders, and I was willing to explain myself again in any case. But the staff rudely replied, ‘I can just Google it!’,” Sylvia recalled.

“It caught me off guard as I was being nice enough to teach him. He was disinterested in what I was saying and made it as if my advice was useless as Google has all the answers to his questions.”

Sylvia’s next unfortunate encounter will strike a nerve amongst many of us because the woman with two decades of experience under her belt underlined that they are unreceptive to constructive criticism – a penalty that majority of us are guilty of.

“I get this almost on a daily basis from the young ones, when I tell them they didn’t do a good job, they tell me off ‘No, I did well’ or ‘I thought I did good already,’ when they in fact never achieved the high standards that I set.

“They would then submit to me sloppy work, which in the end demands me to clear up their mess and they proudly take credit for all my hard work at the end of the day,” she sighed.

Guess sometimes we forget that our superiors are merely doing their part in moulding us to be better employees, and the truth about ourselves is a bitter pill to swallow – I know because I hate criticisms too, but listening is not such a bad thing, instead of retaliating.

And Earth to Millennials, “life is not a bed of roses,” Sylvia precisely emphasises, and hit the nail on the head saying “humility” makes all the difference in the world.

“If you’re humble, always willing to learn and improve yourself, you can become a better version of yourself and one day the best, that even people will acknowledge that as a fact when you are.

“But you don’t become the best by self-declaring you’re the best or just believing you are the best because you look in the mirror and recite your daily mantra as there has to be a basis and proof – and social media likes and followers etc. will not suffice,” she advised.

“At the end of the day, people must remember this, only God is perfect, and if they acknowledge this fact (for those who have a religion), it can make all the difference to the way they view the world and live their lives.”

And Yet, We Continue To Whine And Demand

Admittedly slacking at work myself and thinking that it will go unnoticed, talking with a 63-year-old employer by the name, Mikhail Rayqal (pseudonym) later left me with a view that all employers have an “all-seeing eye”.

“Especially in smaller companies because the chain of communication is easier to monitor and control,” he shared.

“So if you think that no one is reporting to your boss about how often you’re on your phone, or how long you take your breaks, or how you behave towards your colleagues and superiors; then your year-end bonus may have seen a reduction,” Mikhail conveyed with a laugh.

While my superficial generation simply demand for a bonus because it is our right, here’s where we’re wrong because our rights and needs are two separate things, similar to how multitasking doesn’t equate to efficiency.

“A lot of these young employees proclaim that they’re masters of multitasking, when in actuality, they’re masters of none,” he bluntly opined.

“I see this during meetings, where my employees freely continue typing away, replying to text messages, answering calls, and worst of all, have private chit chats and laugh away while the meeting is in motion,” adding that it is a sign of disrespect for your superiors and colleagues.

“It still shocks me that most fresh graduates have the nerve to ask what we (the company) have to offer when it should be the other way around,” he slapped his forehead.

“Back during my time, we were eager to prove to our employers what we have to bring to the table and are actually able to stand proud by our work because we (humbly) know that it is of quality, yet at the same time we still ask how we can improve on it.

“Though today’s youth, they want to be the best out of the bunch, yet produce mediocre work, are more concerned with quantity rather than quality, and what baffles me so is the fact that they claim their work is indeed the best.”

I also released a laugh when the SME owner, who has been in the workforce for almost four decades, wittily asked if our existence will cease to exist if we’re absent from social media for a eight measly hours?

“I’ve come across employees taking photos of themselves whilst doing work, taking videos of bundles of papers and saying things like ‘hustling through the day’ and even snapshots of their morning cup of coffee at the pantry.

“Why do you do it? It’s bad enough that your employers are noticing these silly habits and to top it all off, it does NOT contribute to your career (and personal) growth,” he communicated and asked the youths to ask themselves what do their bosses and superiors think of them.

So, what should we (I) do?

“Wake up and realise that everything takes time. You are not the best version of yourself (yet), but you can be if you acknowledge your own shortcomings and work upon it.

“Don’t be afraid to admit you’re wrong. If you can acknowledge that life is a never-ending learning process, then why can’t you apply the same principle at work?.”

Are We Really Flawless Or Plain Oblivious?

This led me to ponder why some Millennials find it a challenging task to acknowledge our own incompetence – so much so it was dubbed as the generation of ‘Overconfident Airheads’.

Dr Anjhula Mya Singh Bais, Chair of the Board of Governance, Amnesty Malaysia, enlightened me about the Dunning-Kruger effect – which defines how incompetent people overestimate their ability and are unaware of their shortcomings as oppose to competent people who underestimate themselves.

Okay, let me break the scenario down for you with examples that have been provided by the international psychologist:

Scenario 1: Daily Life or Intrapersonal Relationship

An uber driver thinking they are good at reading maps, is engaging and excels at driving. Their rating by riders reflect a completely different story where they are clueless with GPRS, are an annoying talker and drive disruptively.

Scenario 2: Family

Mothers and daughters: a mother convinced of her superior mothering skills where she thinks she has always been there for her daughter and is her best friend when in fact the daughter has felt largely unheard and unseen and feels smothered.

Scenario 3: Friendships and Relationships

A single guy thinking they are quite charismatic with the opposite sex and that’s the number one thing they bring to the table when in fact, girls think he is off putting, slow and with zero charm.

Scenario 4: Workplace Environment

A boss thinking ‘I am good at investments and making sharp business decisions, my team loves me’ whereas reality is the boss was in the right place at the right time and got lucky, they actually overpay on acquiring deals, had to drop other deals because they chose bad and unethical investments and most of their team is seeking therapy because they are that abusive.

Scenario 5: Society

This is rife on social media. Assuming that one is the toast of town because of what they are wearing, who they are eating with and where they are travelling when truthfully, a majority of people find the clothes unbecoming/unfitting for the situation, feel they have a unhealthy and problematic diet and impulse control and that the travel photos are opportunistic without any real meaning, true connection, or authenticity. It is lacking what many people would call ‘the real deal’.

This, honestly explains why some people are just… well plain oblivious of their mistakes. It also got me reading up more about the effect, and this particularly piece I find interesting, might help you understand it better, or you can watch the video below.

But in a nutshell, if you’re wondering what’s the cause of the Dunning-Kruger effect and if this can be reversed or improved, here’s what Dr Anjhula has to say:

“Being developmentally stunted, the fear of missing out, narcissism, immaturity and the lack of opportunity and willingness to increase knowledge, exposure, training, and education,” are some of the reasons she shared.

“Once this is rectified, those with the Dunning-Kruger effect can make the leap and see the difference in their ineptitude before and their aptitude after.”

Note also that social media or the rapid advancement of technology has a positive relationship to the Dunning-Kruger effect due to the fact that social media is often based on a ‘mutual appreciation club.’

“This refers to, ‘If I like your post, then you like mine,’ yet the platitudes are empty and many people are weary of correcting others on social media, providing feedback or another point of view for fear of sitting on the ‘wrong’ side of the fence and mass cyber bullying,” Dr Anjhula explained.

Seeing that social media indeed has a hand in our own ignorance, maybe we should consider taking a hiatus? (Gasp!)

Hello, Is Social Media Detox Calling You?

Syazwani Dayana is off-the-grid, because let’s face it, social media is “A waste of time”, in her own words.

“It’s draining and rather exasperating because most of the posts or updates don’t add value and I’m particular about what and whom I invest my time and energy in,” the 24-year-old heaved a sigh of relief.

“I also discovered that the relationships I form with people through social media were neither deep nor meaningful and it irked me that some have the sense to call us ‘friends’ simply because we pressed the ‘Friend’ or ‘Follow’ button.”

Note to self: Friendship is not based on ‘likes’ or ‘observing’ the timely updates posted on social media but rather the connection shared between two souls and a group of like-minded friends.

This, dear readers, is a point I feel maybe some of you, can deeply relate to.

“It’s liberating – I’ve more time for more important things; I began to appreciate being present and the people who genuinely invest in me,” she quipped with a huge smile carved on her face.

“I’ve fewer friends now, but at least our friendships are much deeper and meaningful because we’re able to appreciate each other’s time and presence more,” – which I responded with an agreeing nod.

As an observer myself rather than a social media-holic, I do notice the superficiality rising on various platforms.

Yasmin Ridzuan notes that these people who eagerly share their life events, use the platform for emotional outpourings, and openly criticise and troll other people always has her feeling anxious.

The 22-year-old however shared, “I’m not saying that it’s wrong to share your two cents on social media, but please put a limit because the more we reveal, the more we allow people to scrutinise us.

“And that, my friends, is an ugly, ugly, feeling.”

The fresh graduate points out that these days, no one posts something on social media (especially Instagram) without having the slightest intention to project a certain image of themselves to the masses – something which she too admits being guilty of (I nod, here).

“I soon realised that I’ve become one of those who indulged herself in narcissism and I backed away as soon as it felt like a competition I never signed up for.

“Mild narcissism is good because it can help with our self-esteem; but the moment it starts to intoxicate us.

“Well, be prepared when it backfires, because it will damage your self-esteem and confidence, especially those who rely on your social media for validation.”

Why must we need validation from anyone on the way we look, dress, what we say, what we eat or where we travel to, first and foremost?

And in fact, I believe our obsession does go beyond some boundaries that it creates an imaginary character – one that people we love or close to us, might not even recognise in real life.

For example, the long captions we take time to craft or the quotes we take the trouble to Google search just to type it in conjunction with our beloved’s birthday celebration, during special occasions, or simply to tell them we love them.

“On Mother’s Day we strive to come up with the most heart-warming caption for the most aesthetically-pleasing photo of our mother that will be posted on Instagram, yet in reality, we fail greatly to attend to our mother’s need let alone be the daughter she had hoped for us to be once upon a time,” were Yasmin’s hard-hitting words.

This left me at one very good thought…

Are we really living the life or living a lie for the sake of earning heart emojis and thumb-up signals?

Now look into the mirror, tell yourself honestly, which resonates with you more?

*The writer of this piece is a recovered social media addict who hopes to knock some sense into the superficial generation.


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