Wednesday, February 24, 2016

​ Am I a Millennial?

I am the girl who was raised in a long line of strong women to be a free thinker. My name, Tyne, is an Anglo word for River. I read This Is Water by David Foster Wallace to remember to be compassionate to others. I am generally a really sarcastic gal who you will either find hilarious or very mean (hey, it’s not my fault you did not understand the joke). I don’t feel like I fit in the Generation-Y, Millennial, or as Tom Brokaw calls us: the Wary Generation, but I am! 

I am a very left leaning Instagram-a-holic with phantom pocket syndrome. I hate reality television, and most music on the radio. I am the girl who wishes I had been my age in the 1990s. I grew up watching ThunderCats, and Beast Wars, and Doug. Remember Hey Dude? I do! Remember The Babysitters Club movie? It was my obsession! 

I recently read the Time Magazine article “The New Great Generation: Why Millennials Will Save Us All!” [1]. I felt he got a lot right, but mostly I feel Joel generalized to a painful degree. I feel that he simply does not understand that Instagram or Twitter is a great way to meet people from all over the world without spending a dime! I feel what he reads as selfishness and narcissistic behavior is actually just a new way of thinking that Joel was just not understanding. Through most of the article I felt as if he was not speaking about me, and yet there I was, minus reality television naturally. 

The is article had a few brilliant pieces such as: 

“They are the most threatening and exciting generation since the baby boomers brought about social revolution, not because they’re trying to take over the Establishment but because they’re growing up without one.”
“The information revolution has further empowered individuals by handing them the technology to compete against huge organizations: hackers vs. Corporations, bloggers vs. Newspapers, YouTube directors vs. Studios, app-makers vs. Entire industries.”
“Millennials don’t need us. That’s why we’re scared of them
“...Millennials are the children of baby boomers, who are known as the Me Generations, who then produced the Me Me Me Generation,...”
“Peer pressure is anti-intellectual. It is anti-historical. It is anti-eloquence,...”
“What they do understand is how to turn themselves into brands,...”
“Because millennials don’t respect authority, they also don’t resent it.”
Here’s something even all the psychologists who fret over their narcissism studies agree about: millennials are nice.”
I think in many ways you’re blaming millennials for the technology that happens to exist right now.”

If I took anything away from this article is that my generation, which spans 1980s-2000s, a wide grouping like this is insane to me...I mean as a historian a lot happened culturally then, but whatever I guess. I mean Time Magazine tossed that to the wind so I guess I can to...for now. But, anyway, my generation is selfish, yet nice, narcissistic, yet caring, we challenge convention and find new and better ways of doing things, but we live at home with parents. We sounded like drugged idiots right? I mean how are we walking contradictions and oxymorons? We are either one or the other, right? This is the danger of Joel Stein’s overzealous generalization, because we then fall into almost every category, which near the end of the article he says how most of our behaviors are not new and have been around for ages. How we expect a great deal, but we know about America (and the worlds) great abundance. 

So are we foolish, lazy, over educated losers or are we something new? Not even Joel Stein could answer that question. I still remain firm that he was not talking about me. I was raised the same as my Generation-X siblings. I had their toys and watched television with them. I shopped and learned from people 11, 9, and 7 years older then me. Not to mention my grandmother practically raised me. My grandmother born in 1923! I grew up very aware of grunge and Lilith fair. I bought my home with my man at 22 years of age and I hate reality television (I can not stress that enough. What ever happened to shows like Friends and Family Matters?). I feel so much of myself was not represented in this article, which saddens me, but one can only ask so much out of six page article that was mostly photos, and diagrams, but somehow landed the cover. 

[1] Written by Joel Stein published in the May 20th, 2013 (volume 181, number 19 for anyone who cares)

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