Wednesday, July 31, 2013

We Are the Future

In case you haven’t heard, Time Magazine did a blazinglyslanderous article about our generation, the Millennials: anyone born from 1980-2000. If you’ve read it, then you know how disturbing it is to read what other generations think about ours.

Anyone else offended?

There's no evidence that says that we're more narcissistic than our predecessors.
There has not to date been a study that looked at differences in narcissism, self-esteem, or assertiveness across generations with a population representative of the US. Until such a study is done, we cannot conclude definitely that traits differ substantially across generations. (x)

We've heard older generations say to us how lazy or disconnected with nature and each other we are, but people have been complaining of the exact same thing since the beginning of time.

If you change the cutoff year (some say up to 2002, others to 2005), we outnumber both baby boomers and Generation X. It’s incredibly discouraging to see that our predecessors mark us as lazy and infatuated with ourselves when we are the ones who will both take care of them once they retire and will be given the reins to the world we live in. 

Sometimes I just want to tell everyone to just sit back and listen to us, see how we use the technology we grew up around and to stop fretting over our imperfections and trust us. I want all our older relatives to think back to when they were young and remember how their elders talked about their generation.
Older people today perceive younger people as using too much slang, having poor communication skills, and being difficult, entitled, and service focused.When these now older people were the age of Millennials today, previous generations used the same descriptors to characterize them (x).
I want to tell our elders that disbelieve that we are capable of handling ourselves "we got this".

I feel like we are more connected to the rest of the world. We grew up in an era where with the click of a button, we can talk to someone across the world. There's a general spirit of "their problems are our problems" and we have a sense of solidarity towards complete strangers.

 As inhabitants of an increasingly digital world, we need very few physical
tools or resources to make an impact. With just a few clicks or keystrokes, even the least powerful among us can instantly reach at least thousands of people all over the world (x).

I know we aren't perfect; "some of us are excessively materialistic, some of us are part of the “everyone-gets-a-trophy” mentality, some of us feel entitled, some are overly focused on celebrity culture, and some of us are apathetic and angry" (x).

I've been guilty of this as well: somedays we would rather spend countless hours watching TV shows and movies, playing video games, chatting online, or scrolling endlessly on sites that don't give us any real benefit, but who wouldn't want to just worry about how many likes their selfie or meal got on instagram when the student debt crisis would make anyone want to cry?
Since the early 1980s, student financial aid has quietly been transformed from a system relying primarily on need-based grants to one dominated by loans. As grant programs fail to match tuition increases, more students are borrowing, and they are borrowing more. Fifty six percent more of today’s students have federal subsidized loans than students ten years ago. (x)

A CNN editorial can much more eloquently describe these problems than I  can. 

Take care of your parents and grandparents because you care about them regardless of their complaints of our constant texting and our taste in music.
Today’s emerging adults should be recognized as exceptional in a range of positive ways. Not only do they not fit Twenge’s caricature as a generation of narcissists, they are a strikingly laudable generation, from their high rates of community service to their concern about global issues to their low rates of risk behavior. It is time they are commended rather than condemned (x). 

Know the power that you hold and don't let anyone tell you that you can't change the way things are right now. Use your potential to the fullest and don't settle for anything less.

This generation, as a whole, is headed in the right direction (in 2009, about 3,328,000 high school students were predicted to have graduated. This number surpasses the number of Baby Boomers who graduated in 1977)  if we focus and keep in mind that we have a responsibility to make our world a better place for us and our future generations.

A professor gave one of my classes this quote and you should take it to heart in light of this antagonism towards our generation.
“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good Job Paty!

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