Out of many, begins one

It has been a great many months since I have published here.  The attempts at funny posts were ones I was proud of, but could not sustain.  It is not to say that there may not be ones to come, but for the moment, I wanted to take the opportunity to be serious.  Seeing a tag like political on anything no doubt could get the partisan blood boiling.  I choose not to get into a discussion over which political party you should vote for this year.  I have found those conversations get shallower every election cycle.  There is so much talk over the polaraziation of the country, the incessent he said, he said (until such point as when we might actually be able to say she said, he said, or she said, she said.)  It just gets tiring after awhile.  In truth, we should be focusing our attention on far bigger game.
I was reading an article in the latest edition of the Atlantic magazine that talked about millenials, or 20 somethings and their views on society as a whole.  The article’s title included the phrase the whiny generation, to paraphrase.  Indeed it seemed to come down somewhat gently on society elevating certain members of that generation and the media for vaulting certain figures into the collective social conscious.  These figures are, according to the author, often more upper middling class and artsier then the average person.  Persons profiled in the article graduated with degrees in writing, and theater, for example.  The author reacts negatively to the belief that this generation is often consumed with itself and its obsessive need for looking psychologically within themselves, a trait that those who are not fortunate enough to have the time to do so must put aside to work to provide for their families.  Thus, we have a generation of quote unquote whiners.
As part of that 20 something crowd, I would like to respond to those charges, albeit it not in the “how dare you, you know nothing of my group” to paraphrase a line from Woody Allen’s Annie Hall.  Yes, my generation does like to comment on itself quite a bit.  We do post status updates and tweets about the sandwich we just had, or the likelihood of us going outside, or playing videogames the rest of the day.  “The woe is me” mentality is certainly present.  No wonder though.  It is precisely what we have been taught.  Generation X laid the groundwork by being skeptical of the world around it.  The millenials have taken that mentality and have been presented with the fracturing of society into this camp or this camp, more and more types of work filling the pockets of a select group of shareholders over giving the workers enough to provide for themselves and others, and have turned that sketicism inward.  A pessimistic streak has struck them because all they can see is increased pessimism around them.  They have been told by a great many around them that the only people they can trust are themselves, and the American Dream is now one where everyone is for themselves to grab it, never mind that maybe we should join others so that we can attempt to gain it together.
Is this what we have become?  Yet the reasons people tweet about things that seem trivial is that there exists a desire to connect with others, that we are not alone in our desires to enjoy such things as tasty sandwiches.  Sure people talk about themselves.  Yet, they want to post their feelings  openly to assure themselves, and in turn assure others, that they are not unique in their feelings.  Is this true for everyone?  Perhaps not, but is it any wonder that a generation that is purported to talk only about themselves has begat and proliferated the tools of social networking far more than those who came before them?
This generation wants to connect with others as much as other generations before them.  In an increasingly globalized world, this has resulted in a need for new technologies that have furthered this agenda.  Change of any kind only comes when groups of like minded individuals can bind together and can collectively have one voice.  One may believe that a generation is whiny because they should just accept that society will not change meaningfully.  We should not be resigned to this.  Change might yet be won on the back of shared agreement that society should point optimistically toward a better future than a pessimistic look back at failed promise.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s