Occasionally, I would crave some nostalgia and put on an old Disney favorite. It didn’t matter how much I loved it as a child, I would get bored after the first 10 minutes. This even happened when I was watching newer classics such as "The Lion King," "The Little Mermaid" and "Beauty and the Beast."

These films are not bad. Far from it. They are masterpieces in their own right. Don't worry this is not one of those “everything is you ever loved is problematic in 2018” pieces.

The problem was me. After 10 minutes I realized that I wanted an inappropriate innuendo, more complexity, more realism, more violence and a setting in an adult world.

It makes sense because I am no longer a child and the advantage of that is I now get to watch some good entertainment like "Curb your enthusiasm," "Westworld" and "Black Mirror" -- even past a reasonable bedtime.

I cannot relate to my generation who have this unhealthy attachment to their childhood. Many of my friends have Disney tattoos and spend obscene amounts of money on merchandise. They struggle to pay rent but will pay for a wand (seriously, a thin piece of wood that would cover the cost of two bills). It's crazy!

Why are millennials so obsessed with children's films, books, games and TV shows?

Strong attachments to our childhood obsessions are exploited by Hollywood, Businesses and the Gaming industry who bleed us of all our hard earned income.

More superhero films, animated Movies/tv shows, live-action remakes, countless merchandise, comic con events, and theme park attractions are coming out to support this unhealthy addiction.

What did older generations spend their time on money on? They had children early so probably boring things like mortgages and essentials for their kids.

Basically, they spent their time, energy and money on stuff that would be categorized by millennials as "Adulting."

Perhaps this a positive sign that the economy is so good that people have so much disposable income that they can spend their time and money on their childhood obsessions? Or, are things so bad in this day and age millennials need childhood comforts to distract from modern-day realities?

Or, are critics of millennials right that this generation is too afraid to grow up?

Peter Pan Syndrome

Millennials are often diagnosed as sufferers of "Peter Pan Syndrome" by the media. This is not an official psychological disorder as it is not recognized by the World Health Organization. Professor of the Department of Personality, Evaluation and Psychological Treatment, Humbelina Robles Ortega warns parents who overprotect their children that they could potentially be putting their child at risk of suffering from a disorder like this as they would lack the necessary skills in order to deal with the real world.

Other common millennial criticisms

Millennials are stereotyped as narcissistic, entitled, weak, selfish cry babies.

Unfortunately, it is easy to see where this stereotype comes from:

  • Comedians Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock refuse to perform on college campuses because students were too easily offended despite their acts being far from controversial.
  • Speakers are routinely banned from speaking on a college campus for expressing non-mainstream views
  • Safe places are now a thing.
  • Multiple anecdotal stories from employers describe Millennials as spoiled brats.
  • Research on relationships conducted by Pew and the Journal of Archives of sexual behavior show that the millennial generation has the least amount of sex and experiences the most amount of trouble getting into relationships.

Millennial responses to these criticisms

Why would they want to grow up?

They are burdened with a lower standard of life compared their parent's generation.

Problems Millennials currently face:

  • More student debt (1.5 trillion, two or three times higher than previous generations according to Federal Reserve data 2018)
  • Owning a house is all but an impossible dream (Council of Economic Advisers reported that Millennials were less likely to become independent renters or homeowners. Pew Research Centre reported that 15% of 25- to 35-year-olds were still living with their parents).
  • Relationships are more difficult (Growing numbers of men joining MGTOW, Metoo movement has men reluctant to approach women, there is now a Mick Pence rule and feminist propaganda tell women they don't need a man. The journal of archives of sexual Behaviour concluded that millennials twice as sexually inactive in their early 20s than any generation).
  • Millennials are more likely to be depressed (Web psychology reported that one in five young workers has experienced on the job depression)
  • They were exposed to the technical revolution before its effects were known (Numerous studies have linked social media use to depression, anxiety, sleep problems, eating disorders and an increase in suicide)
  • They did not choose this nice, participant trophy, everybody is special type upbringing so why should they punish for it?

Millennials going forward

While it is true that Millennials were dealt a raw deal from Hippy parenting and teaching methods on top of questionable policies from politicians.

The truth is that no amount of whining, crying and giving up is going to change the past or deliver a brighter future. Millennials will grow up physically so why not match this growth with mental maturity. Perhaps there is no time like the present to finally embrace this inevitable change and chose more grown-up entertainment compared to children's films. That feeling of boredom while watching children's films is there for a reason!

My thoughts

Whenever I would visit YouTube to listen to a Disney song it would be interrupted by an advert. This made the song wrong somehow. Perhaps these advertisements for some new product functioned as a triggering device that forced me to deal with the present.

It is probably the few times I am grateful for not purchasing ad blocker. Childhood nostalgia should function like this because all our happy times are not locked up in Disney films. Those happy times belong to the younger version of you and by clinging onto the past we are preventing ourselves from experiencing the happy times of our adulthood.

The last time I was excited by a Disney film was when "Coco" came out last year. My long-term partner is South American so I was excited that there would be a film for our potential future kids to enjoy that featured Spanish language and music. Cheesy, I know! Maybe when I become a parent I will see these films through the eyes of a child and truly appreciate their magical powers again.