This past week, CNBC republished an article last year about Millennials that received an enormous backlash on Twitter. As someone who writes a lot about Millennials, I am extremely glad that people did not bite the bait in this article. On the surface, it sounds like how much Millennials are being coddled by their parents where Millennial parents are throwing cash at their children increasing their net worth. However, the study they cited was poorly done and a false narrative was added to further polarize generational groups.
But why would the story resurface over 18 months after its original publishing date? Turns out CNBC decided to retweet the article see below:
If you are curious about spotting fake news Harvard published an article about spotting news of this sort which provides a pretty in-depth how-to guide.
In my career, I am faced with generations being polarized against one another and this story is a prime example of why my job becomes difficult. Simply, writers are looking for easy clickbait by creating fake news which tears people further apart from one another. At the end of the day, we all need to work in the same environment, so how can we focus on our similarities rather than differences to get the job done?.
5 Problems in the Article
- It’s a self-reported study. That means people can put $1,000,000 for their net worth as a Millennial and the bank who used this survey cannot verify the information. The study that the article cites does not make it not clear that Bank of America verified the net worth of each individual. In addition, if the people in the survey had money in different accounts, how would the Bank of America know? This makes the net worth information very hard to verify.
- The report was published in 2018 not 2019 and the survey that the entire article is based on was acquired from September 22 – October 16, 2017. This is very misleading.
- The video that is included in the article includes Grant Cardone saying that Millennials need to catch up and not fall behind which the opposite message that the article is trying to convey, that Millennials are filthy rich.
- The survey was of highly congested cities: Austin, TX, Raleigh-Durham, NC, San Diego, CA, Pittsburgh, PA, Denver, CO and Seattle, WA, which means the sample’s net worth will be naturally higher than the United States.
- CNBC gives loose terms of what your savings should be based on your age. What if the couple has a joint account? Or what if they live in a remote location where high net worth is not as essential? The blanket statements of net worth need to be qualified.
Here are a few reactions in case you missed what happened on Twitter:
It’s from a survey of 1500 people ages 23-37 who have long term savings accounts at Bank of America. So 1 in 6 of them have that saved. That’s NOT equivalent to 1 in 6 millennials. So misleading!!
— Korina Moss (@KorinaLMoss) October 21, 2019
Let me correct that: 1 in 6 millennials have $100k in student loan debt. There; I fixed it. https://t.co/h7cUbsFFb1
— Marco A Hartmann 🧷💀 (@hartmannpsy) October 21, 2019
I’m tired of this CNBC tweet talmbout 1 in 6 millennials have 100K savings.🥴 pic.twitter.com/euhBil3d2L
— 🆃🆁🆄🅳🆈 (@thetrudz) October 21, 2019
Jeff Butler Internationally respected speaker and consultant, Jeff Butler helps bridge generational gaps between Millennials and companies looking for their talent and patronage. Butler has quickly built his reputation as a memorable presenter with tangible solutions for attracting, retaining, and engaging Millennials as employees and customers. Within just the past three years, he has spoken at two TEDx events and multiple Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Amazon, and LinkedIn.