Human Trending and the Gaps that Divide Us
With all the hype surrounding social media and desensitization of our country’s current youth, one must question the basis for such social liberal policies and structures. The Millennials, or those born between the approximate years of 1982 and 2000, is the generation of people currently dominating the youth driven pool. Graduating college and moving out into the workforce, this is the group of people controlling and dictating the shifting presence in today’s society. With the good old boys setting up for retirement, and the Gen X’ers leading the way through parenthood, the Millennials are still plugging away at supportive tolerance and social injustice.
Many psychologists and social scientists have classified the millennials as a generation which exhibits personality traits of narcissism, entitlement, and tolerance of pragmatic idealism. Lower motivation and longer attachment to parental influence has greatly impacted this young generation. With higher costs of living and ever-rising college tuition fees, the notion to stay home for longer periods of time during early adulthood became omnipresent throughout.
Technology has been at its rising peak for over a decade now. It has propelled the millennial generation to the forefront of the future, with vast amounts of knowledge at their fingertips and connectivity that no previous generation has ever experienced. Despite the growth of this generation and the expected turnaround that their impact will have on the future, they suffer great economic stress due to increasing national debt, personal debt, and the overwhelming notion of being the generation with the largest student loan debt on record.
As these young people take their college degrees and insurmountable debt out into the world, they begin to face what is the reality of the workforce. The fantasies of dream jobs drifts and the jobs that most of them obtain become a means to an end as they no longer reside in the safety of the homes they grew up in. The generation gap begins to grow.
Millennials are not typically the favored generation in the workplace as they are generally hired on by the baby boomers -- the good old boys. The work ethic strongly differs and the implementation of ideas greatly affects cooperative learning and growth between these two groups of people. Millennials are often viewed as lazy, entitled, immature, and idealistic with high expectations of others incomparably to that of themselves. However, during the upbringing and times of early education, states and schools utilized free learning and creative thinking. Phonetic spelling during grade school, critical thinking courses during junior high, and elective choice during high school, have all molded the millennial generation into the basis of what is now their thought formatting.
Many school districts and state regulators have changed their stance on this in recent years. Creativity is no more. Free thought is gone. Standardize testing and confusing sequencing are now the norm and Generation Y is filled with young people who are losing interest in education. They will be left with what? Technology. A generation of people who will one day take over the world and not know what it’s like to read a book, or to spell words properly. Abbreviations are everything, shortcuts are the answer, and the generation to follow is looking at an uphill climb if the societal gaps are not transitioned properly. We are turning into a society divided -- not by love or hate, educated or uninformed, but by the degrees with which we grow separately. We become engulfed in sensationalized media, we are desensitized to what is true and we lose sight of what it is truly like to learn from history. Rather than bridging the gaps and learning from one another, we are creating space and holding still to the ideals that we will change the world, alone and unlike anyone has before. The gaps between our generations are rapidly expanding and the rubber band holding us all together is stretching far beyond its means. There is no way to estimate the power or detrimental damage that these gaps could one day cause, only that our national society will never rebuild if we spend more time pointing our fingers than we do lending our hands.
We hear the words beatniks and it takes us back to societal rage -- a subculture of rebellion and intellectual progression. The hippies rebelled in their own way simultaneously, living “free,” and liberating themselves as they saw fit. Grunge moved in and punks united. The hipsters are rounding out today’s subculture of youth and there’s no telling what may be next. Is there a next? Are the labels we throw around everlasting, or are they just a categorization of human trending?
And where does that leave us as a society?