Adults these days talk about Millennials and Generation Z like all we do is take turns cat-fishing each other. Some journalists paint us as self-absorbed data hogs that should be avoided at all costs. They’ll warn readers not to engage unless they have 300 or more followers and a functioning hotspot. Telling them not to be alarmed if we take pictures of food, instead of eating it, because likes and retweets are what we feed off of, and on the rare occasions we do interact in person, multiple selfies are required because “pics or it didn’t happen."
Most articles I've read have been able to stay impartial but the adults in my life take advantage of every opportunity they get to tell me all about their personal opinions. My older cousins and teachers never miss a chance to lecture me on why today's youth is doomed. They act as if all we have to offer the world is mumble rap and semi-relatable tweets: it's no coincidence that most of the people saying these negative things are full grown adults who know nothing about what it’s like being this age in 2019. They call us entitled, impatient and narcissistic and it’s only partially true. I mean, sure, we might be addicted to instant gratification and most of us feel the need to document every aspect of our lives. Also, I’m not denying we are less likely to remember things because we can google everything but there is more to us than that.
My biggest issue with the way adults these days talk about my generation is how they focus on all the bad. Baby boomers will be the first to lecture you on hard work because they bussed tables to pay their way through school, back when 50 cents got you a ticket to the movies. However, times have changed and so has that “American Dream” they all strove for. It’s not about the nine to five and white picket fence anymore. I would work my way through college but at $30,000 a year, it’s not even an option. They are so quick to blame us for a lack of ambition, that they miss how we struggle with our own unique obstacles.
We don’t just use social media to cyberbully each other. We use it to stay connected and learn more about the world around us. Kids are more receptive than ever before! The social media everyone hates so much has given a voice to people that would otherwise be silenced (for better or for worse). This is the age of positive change and innovation. I’m proud to say that most of us are on the front lines, advocating for tolerance and acceptance.
Could we spend more time outside? Of course. Are we slowly killing malls with the rise of online shopping? Definitely. But, we aren’t perfect and neither were the past generations. Baby boomers were diligent but also close minded and tech incompetent which was no fault of their own. Just like it’s not our fault we were raised with participation trophies and told we were all special. Every generation has come with good and bad characteristics, Millennials and Generation Z are no different.
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