IT’S intergeneration warfare, if you listen to some quarters. Baby boomers pitched against millennials. Two tribes, one of which has the authority to send the other bed early.

A large scale study shows millennials don’t think much of themselves. Millennials, that is, are those of us between 18 and 34, the majority of whom entered the workforce as the economy crashed; who take a decade to save for a mortgage deposit; who might marry, might not; might have children, might not.

More than half see their generation as “self-absorbed” while half say we are “wasteful” and 43% say millennials are “greedy”. Around 30% of Generation Xers - those ages 35 and 50 - said their own generation was self-absorbed and wasteful and 20% of the baby boomers said the same about their age cohort.

Only 36% think millennials are hard-working and 24% said we are “responsible”. What a grim self-image, and why? Maybe from reading articles written about our generation.

Time magazine in 2013 ran a front page cover calling millennials the Me Me Me Generation, in comparison to the nickname for baby boomers, the Me Generation.

The stereotype of the millennial is that we are, in comparison to Generation X of the early 60s to late 70s, not rebellious enough. We take no interest in politics, we are career-oriented and morally incurious.

Much has been written about the conflict between the baby boomer generation and the millennials: the baby boomers don’t think we work hard enough or have enough focus, say. Millennials are bitter that the baby boomers had it so easy – jobs for life, pensions, affordable housing. Now they gad about with their free bus passes and the fruits of an economic system that made middle-class living a near certainty.

I’m not convinced that my generation is any lazier or more self-serving than any other. Yes, we have our own personal brands on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter, we cultivate a glossy public image. A pristine online appearance doesn’t mean we aren’t getting our hands dirty in real life.

If political apathy is a charge facing millennials then surely that fits with a broader trend of disenchantment that sits on all age groups. Look, now, we have a millennial MP. I fail to believe Mhairi Black, just 20, (and there’s a 21st party I’d love to attend) is unique to her age group in political engagement.

We have achieved a generation that is less bigoted, racist and sexist than those before us.

We are also a massively disparate group.

Do I feel comparable to an 18-year-old? Do I hell.

I grew up pre-internet and only learned what Google was in my second year of university when I asked my friend Edith how on earth she knew where the right websites were on the internet and she said: “Type this in – gee-oh-oh-gee-el-ee-dot-com.” What a revelation.

I had my first mobile phone at the age of 17 and it cost 50p a minute to make and receive a call.

We went on dates. Actual dates with people we met in real life. The imprints we leave behind of our teenage years are without filter. Those nowadays look readily fabulous, their every photograph airbrushed and tinted.

These ones, now, and us, then, are different. Every decade is different.

The baby boomers had an entirely linear timeline: leave school, find a job (that would last you for life), meet a girl/boy, buy a house, marry, have kids, retire, bask in the satisfaction of a life well lived and pensioned.

If millennials have collective low self-esteem it’s because we’re forging an entirely new path, marked by the possibility for postponement. We don’t have to go to university when we leave school – we can work or travel. We don’t need to marry in our 20s, we don’t have to think immediately or at all about children.

Baby boomers were stuck achieving goals of someone else’s making. Millennials have no idea what to do next, making choices in an increasingly toxic economic environment. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

If we are to be smooshed together in a band of birth dates then please, fellow millennials, take heart. It’s pointless to compare ourselves to a generation who had it better than any other. We can be a thousand things baby boomers never could and that, at least, is something to take heart in.