While other names have felt vaguely vacuous -- Gen X, for example -- the word Millennial has become an epithet for self-centered, self-obsessed, selfie-regarding, entitled whiners.

Which does seem a tad unfair. Especially if you've met one or two Boomers who live in California.

Still, a new characteristic has been leveled against Millennials: that they can't be trusted.

It comes from someone who should know a little bit about trust -- former CIA director Michael Hayden.

Speaking to the BBC, Hayden was asked about the alleged leaks emerging from his former agency.

When it comes to digital espionage," he said, "we have to recruit from a certain demographic."

You know who that is, don't you? It's them. It's those people. It's the Millennials. They know more about hacking computers than anyone. Their noses are stuck to them.

After all, they're the strange types who enjoy hackathons, in which you drink beer and mindlessly keep typing thousands of lines of code.

This is the generation whose biggest role model isn't one of their parents. It's famed humanoid Mark Zuckerberg.

Hayden intimated that the likes of Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning are of the Millennial generation. Quod erat demonstrandum that leakers are louche, loafing hipsters.

"I don't mean to judge them at all, but this group of Millennials and related groups simply have different understandings of the words loyalty, secrecy, and transparency than certainly my generation did," said Hayden. "And so we bring these folks into the agency, good Americans all, I can only assume, but again, culturally they have different instincts than the people who made the decision to hire them."

This does feel a touch ad Millennial hominem and ad Millennial feminam, doesn't it? And it's not as if all whistleblowers (or whatever you choose to call them) have been Millennials.

But let's assume for a moment that we're all products of our particular capitalist times.

In eras of old, there wasn't so much media coverage and so much personal -- very personal -- technology.

The instant nature of today's communication was unimaginable even 20 years ago. Its effects were unimaginable too.

It was easier to trust then, because people knew so much less. As long as there wasn't a great disaster that befell them, they were prepared to have faith in at least some of the institutions (and people) around them.

Sometimes, the institutions even delivered on promises.

But as soon as Zuckerberg and his fellow making-the-world-a-better-placers came along, they insisted they knew better.

It's always worth thinking back just seven small years to when the Facebook CEO arrogantly declared that privacy was no longer the social norm. Because he said so.

Happily -- for him, at least -- this coincided with humans being able to advertise their every thought and move on a site from which he made a fortune.

Moreover, how did parents nurture Millennials? Might the tendency toward telling them they're wonderful and protecting them from all sorts of supposed threats have led them to trust a little less when they're in the big world, all on their lonesome?

Especially in a big world in which organizations hire only to fire in a couple of years anyway?

Polls claim that everyone has deep concerns about privacy. Or, at least, everyone says so.

Too often, though, we hear of people of all generations exposing things about themselves online that they afterwards wish they hadn't.

Oddly, younger Americans say they're even more concerned about privacy than their older counterparts.

The truth, I suspect, is that the existence of far more immediate technology has made humans a rather confused and self-incubated species. I mean, an even more confused and self-incubated than ever species.

Our principles are ever more flexible and our instincts ever more ungovernable. By our very selves, never mind any organization that tries to govern us.

The more we share, the lonelier we get, apparently unmoored from anything or anyone that we can trust.

We're worse than ever at understanding -- or even thinking about -- the potential consequences of what we do, yet paradoxically, we live in considerable fear. And that applies to all generations.

It's going to get worse before it gets better. And it'll only get better when we're all robots, permanently wired into the central system through a chip in our brains.

No worries about secrecy then.