Things Millennials Have Been Blamed for Ruining

On any given week, you're likely to come across a report blaming Millennials for "killing" something — industries, brands, products, fads, etc. But are young people really the ruthless culture-murderers they're made out to be? Probably not.

People are responding to the "Millennials are killing X" trend on Twitter.

The thing to keep in mind here is that Millennials aren't actively or intentionally killing anything. Generally speaking, they just don't have the spending power of earlier generations, and so non-essential industries are feeling the burn.

The "Millennials are Killing Off Paper Napkins" report puts this debate into perspective.

A 2016 survey from the marketing research organization Mintel found that sales of paper napkins are way down. Only 56 percent of consumers reported buying napkins in February, while 86 percent bought paper towels.

But it's not that Millennials have a particular aversion to square, decorative paper; it appears as though they just don't have the money to afford an extra item that could be easily replaced by larger, more absorbent paper. The survey supports this point, with respondents saying they viewed napkins as "a less economical choice than paper towels."

On average, Millennials are earning $2,000 less than their parents did in 1980, after adjusting for inflation, The Atlantic reports. They're also struggling to pay off student loan debt at rates that far exceed earlier generations. Almost half of Millennials said they have student loan debt, according to a survey from Harvard University, and the average debt today is more than $26,000.

student debt

The napkin decline could also have something to do with the fact that Millennials are working longer hours, leaving them with less time to prepare meals. As ATTN: previously reported, 73 percent of Millennials worldwide report working more than 40 hours each week; and nearly 25 percent report working more than 50 hours each week.

This tweet sums up the "Millennials are killing X" argument nicely.

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