I don’t know about any of you fine folks, but I read a handful of articles a day about how narcissistic our generation is, how we can’t stop taking selfies, we ignore each other in favor of looking at our phones, we have no idea what it means to work hard for what we want, the list goes on and on…
That all looks great on paper, especially to the Baby Boomers. But when I finally find the time to glance up from my beloved iPhone, I look around to see my peers doing amazing things. My best friend planned at least 5 events this year that brought in more than 100 people to local bars and businesses. I have friends who write and perform their own music on a daily basis. Another friend just traveled all over Europe. Furthermore, I have a friend who is a producer for ABC News, a friend who has his doctorate in Pharmacy, and a sister who has two master degrees.
I go to an open mic night for underage people at a local coffee shop and these kids are writing amazing poems and creating freestyle raps and just overall killing it – and most of them can’t even drive yet! Tell me that’s not impressive.
People I know are running marathons and competing in Tough Mudders and going to the gym on the regular. I know vegetarians and vegans and people who eat meat but are super healthy.
What do these people have in common? They are all a part of the dreadful millennial generation and yes, they have probably all taken a selfie at least once in their lives.
On top of all of these amazing accomplishments, most of us are buried under overwhelming mounds of student debt – and we still find a way to smile for our profile pictures! Take that, boomers!
In all seriousness, though, our generation gets a bad rep. But I have a social life that is far from sitting around typing on my cellphone. And, me saying that could probably seem narcissistic to people who think it’s better to be modest than talk about your strengths (and my social life is DEFINITELY a strength ;)). Even if my friends and I Instagram the pumpkins we just carved, it doesn’t mean we didn’t just have the most fun carving them with each other. So, we still do things – we just have different tools now to share our lives. We do it online instead of writing letters. We text instead of call. It’s just different.
It’s wonderful that the internet and social media has brought such awareness to mental health, depression, personality disorders, etc. but I do find it a little disheartening how easy it is to throw these labels around. People who post selfies are narcissistic, histrionic, while people who post sad songs are depressed. I have seen so many people wear the I-hardly-post-to-social-media like a badge of honor. As if resisting the impulse to update people on their lives makes them a tad bit less conceited and a tiny bit more of a respectable person. And, I mean, kudos to them. I haven’t researched this, but I just tend to think if people worried less about how people perceive them on the internet – post too much, too whiny, too whatever – and just did what they feel, they’d have more time to focus on their individuality and creativity.
I don’t know, I’m just talking out of my ass here. I guess it comes down to this: every generation is great and shitty all at once – ours is no different. But watch out, the background in our selfies gets a little bit more impressive every time. That’s right, we’re making our way to the top and documenting our successes along the way.