TAMPA, Fla. -- There seems to be a fixation with the millennial generation. There’s a lot of chatter about America’s largest generation and in many cases, it’s negative.

Although there’s some debate on the exact age boundaries for the group, Pew Research established the generation as those people born between 1981-1997. Pretty much we’re looking at people currently between 20- to 35-years-old. 10News Reporter Liz Crawford went right to the source and sat down with a group of millennials to get some insight.

10News partnered with L & E Research to find our focus group consisting of seven millennials living in the Tampa Bay area. The youngest, Gabriella, is 20. Jason and Ben are the oldest at 35 years old. Each participant was paid $100 to participate.

***Learn more about how you can get paid to share your opinion with L& E Research at the bottom of this article.***

On the stereotype

Everyone in the focus group is well-aware of the stigma attached to being a millennial even describing their generation as, “entitled, lazy, spoiled, and unappreciative,” but at the same time, they say there’s a misconception that their generation doesn't work hard.

Billy said, "I would say the biggest misconception is that we’re not workers. I’m sorry, that’s BS. We work our butts off."

Sam added, "Some older generations might think that something is lazy rather than it can be done quicker and faster."

On smartphones

The focus group admitted that social media can be a big distraction, calling it a "new addiction." They described scenarios when people will get an actual high based on the number of likes or comments they get on a social media post. One participant shared that people will actually brag about how many likes they get on a post.

Ben said, "That’s where I’m like, wait, let’s step back, that doesn’t validate anything with people just liking your post."

On the American dream

The "American dream" is being redefined by young people. Our focus group explained that possibly their generations is replacing the white picket fence with a fulfilling career and flexibility. While there’s still a desire for stability and family, the journey to get there is changing and might take longer than past generations.

Billy explained, “I want to be able to control my schedule.” Ben added, "Instead of staying at a job for 30 years and expect to retire, they might do more than one thing."

Our focus group thinks millennials are a more informed generation being brought up with more access to information. Some of the participants believe this makes millennials more likely to think for themselves and be more open-minded.

On dating

One of the participants in our focus group is married, two are engaged, two in a serious relationship, and two were single. Dating as a millennial can mean interacting a lot before ever meeting in person. Everyone in the group either used their smartphones to date or knew people who did.

Watch: Millennial misconceptions on dating

Parker said, "The three serious girlfriends I've had in my life have been from Facebook."

Gabriella explained, "If it's on Instagram you can pick five people, they're alright looking, I'll just give it a try versus like I actually have to get up and get ready and go somewhere."

The entire group prefers text messaging over calling, at least for the majority of interactions but when it comes to getting to know someone, Gabriella revealed, "No one asks for anyone's phone numbers anymore. It's literally all Snapchat. It's never like, 'Oh, let me get your number,' it's 'here's my phone, put your Snapchat in.'"

Another topic that came up is the "hook-up culture" and people’s desire to just have sex with someone without commitment or effort.

"People have been hooking up like that before. It's just social media brings it out more," added Ben.

Everyone in the group was familiar with "ghosting," the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly cutting off all communication without explanation. The person disappears, like a ghost.

Kristin said, "I had a friend that went on a date and she was so excited and then he was just gone, never responded, never talked to her, no communication whatsoever, and she's like what did I do?"

Parker admitted that he was a victim of ghosting. "I just feel like some people are on those sites, not only just to hook up, but for a nice, free dinner and like conversation, and then nothing after."

About L & E Research

L & E Research is a marketing research firm that pays consumers and business professionals for their opinions about products, services, and ideas. Sometimes the studies are in person ( focus groups, taste tests, mock trials, music studies), online ( surveys, bulletin boards), or on the telephone ( interviews). Anyone can participate and you can sign up at LEopinions.com.