Because I was born in 2000, I straddle the border of the Millennials and Generation X. Some loving nicknames for these groups include “the ‘me me me’ generation” and “iGeneration”. These are what the world decided my two biggest defining traits are: self involvement and a the act of signing my soul to Apple.
Millennials are blamed for “killing” every industry from fast food to diamonds, and recently Generation X has been criticized for similar crimes. Maybe these industries are dying out, but please stop blaming us. Maybe people don’t want to eat fast food because it’s disgustingly bad for you! With the crushing debt of student loans due to the rising price of college, many young people simply cannot afford a 6,000 dollar ring only a few years into the workforce. You’d stop buying movie tickets as well if you were a broke college student and couldn’t afford to drop 31$ every weekend on a ticket and snacks to see a movie you’ll just stream on Netflix in a few weeks anyway. The world is changing. The world has known that eating kale and quinoa is better for you than eating a McDonald’s burger, but my generation is actually implementing that change not only into our personal diets but into our culture. Don’t blame your failing, gross foods on us.
Is it true that I’ve spent well into thousands of dollars on “i” products? Yes, that’s very true. It’s not a lie that I’ve been dedicated to Apple since I got my first iPod in 2012. What I don’t understand is the criticism that the younger generation receives due to this fact. Apple is arguably the biggest technological powerhouse of this century. Their products are simple enough for both a toddler and grandma to use, but interesting enough that teens still love them. Not only are they incredibly aesthetically appealing, but they also have great features for phones like cutting edge cameras and intuitive touch receptors buried beneath the glass. These are high quality products that are actually worth the hype!
Along with the phones comes social media. To those who don’t understand it, social media seems like a mind-numbing waste of time that doesn’t serve any real purpose or contribute to society at all. As one who knows social media inside and out, I beg to differ. I’m almost 5 months away from starting school at Purdue, yet I already know around 40 students personally. This is because of the magic of Facebook. A page dedicated solely to admitted students allowed me to connect with these kids from across the country and create meaningful relationships before I even stepped foot in campus. A more prominent example of the power of social media is seen around us as the gun control movement. The students at Stoneman Douglas were able to spark a raging movement across the nation because they as teenagers know how to utilize the internet better than anyone else. Five prominent students were able to organize hundreds of school walkouts and marches across the country because they can strategically post on social media to get maximum viewership. The ability to successfully navigate social media is a useful gift.
So please, please, please, stop criticizing the younger generations because they’re growing up in a different age than you. Technology is what we were born into. We grew up with cellphones and tablets in our pockets and the ability to have a world on information at our fingertips. We are also more conscious of the world around us, and just because we don’t want to ruin our finances doesn’t mean that we hate any particular industry. The next time you get the urge to tell a Millennial to shut up about their SoulCycle and kale, or you scream at a Gen X to get off their phone, just try and see things from our perspective. Growing up is tough enough on its own and criticism from the rest of the world isn’t making it any easier.