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Are Millennials Entitled to a Bum Rap? | Social Sentiment Analysis

Between less-than-stellar unemployment numbers and talk of still living with their parents, there is a lot said about the Millennial Generation. Countless articles work to decipher Millennials in the workplace while others offer advice and tips to help them get ahead in their careers. But are Millennials defined by what is being said about them? Let’s analyze the social sentiment and see exactly what people are saying about Generation Y.


Millennials are known for their ingenuity and can bring new perspectives and creativity to a workplace. Does entitlement and career-hopping tendencies among other attributes overshadow the positives? You can get a great sense of peoples’ thoughts and attitudes on anything by looking at social sentiment. With SAP Social Media Analytics by NetBase, we can get a glimpse of the picture that is painted of Millennials. Take some time and do some social analysis of your own! Click on the graphics to get a better view.

Here we are looking at the social sentiment around Millennials over the past year. A net sentiment score of 14% is less than desirable as 30% is considered a healthy score. This highlights that people aren’t overly positive when mentioning Millennials. More than 1.3 billion impressions shows how far this conversation has reached. People are saying that Millennials have the power to save the economy while others point to a lazy generation that is stressed out. It is always interesting to see who is participating in the conversation as well. We have the breakdown of authors by mentions, followers and klout. News sources have certainly put out their fair share of articles about this generation.


Looking at a series of timelines, we can look at activity by positives and negatives, sources, net sentiment and passion intensity. There seems to have been a surge in activity around May of 2013. Are college graduations responsible for the peak in activity? May is the time of year when many college grads are on the hunt for jobs. Most of the negative sentiment at this time comes from Millennials that are sick of the stereotypes they are associated with. Does complaining about the stereotypes help or hinder the cause? Opinions on the matter are expressed predominantly in blog posts followed by activity on Twitter and Facebook.


The natural language processing engine breaks down the sentiment in many great ways, recognizing everything from positives and negatives to slang. Here we can see the top associated terms, attributes and behaviors. People are calling for a stop to the stereotypes and many are proud to say they are a member of Generation Y.


When analyzing emotions, brands and hashtags, a few more interesting trends emerge. The brands that are most associated with Millennials are Apple, Facebook and Twitter. After all, they are known for having a strong affinity for tech and social media. Is it fair to say that these brands embody what Millennials are all about?


A look at the stream of sentiment shows exactly what is being said, who said it, when it was said, where it was posted and some additional demographic information as well. You can get a sense of both sides of the discussion in these two posts. One person is defending Millennials while the other is poking fun. Overall, it is a negatively charged topic of conversation.




It goes without saying, but don’t judge Millennials by what is said about them, or anyone for that matter. Let their actions disprove the negative stereotypes and then formulate your own opinion. The reality is, many Millennials are eager to show that they can hold their own in the workplace and work very hard to be successful. What is your experience with Millennials in the workplace? Have stereotypes influenced your perception of Generation Y? Share your thoughts and if you have any advice for Millennials, I’d love to hear it!

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      Author's profile photo Mike Duddy
      Mike Duddy

      Interesting post Jacob.

      Not what I expected.

      I think the millenial generation will be bringing a lot of much needed creativity at a time when the world needs it.

      Author's profile photo Jason Cao
      Jason Cao

      Great post Jake!

      I try to involve millenials in the work I do, because they bring a fresh and unique perspective to how I engage with the community. Check out my latest post Big Data at SAP Inside Track Vancouver 2013 - It's a wrap. You'll notice all the photography, graphic design, videography, online moderation, etc for the event were done by volunteers who are millenials. They are an enthusiastic bunch - skilled, helpful and eager to learn more.

      To Millenials out there - keep getting engaged, raise your hand for new assignments, and use this opportunity to show what you've got and how you've got it! 😎