The Millennial generation is the product of a discrepancy between accessibility and attainability. Anyone can send an email, but the responses are few, and the jobs are even further and far between.
How we got this way is rather simple.
It took a decade or two of indoctrination, of someone telling us that the world was ours, followed by the painful realization that reading Tweets were as close to big wide world domination as many of us would get. Ours would be a second-hand success. Most of us were left to fake it or blame the odds and cede to apathy. Delusions of entitlement headed off work ethic at the pass, and a narrowing spectrum of life experience and a contrary exposure to idealistic extremes left our senses dull.
Technology shoulders some of this responsibility (as does globalization, a weak economy that’s seeing the number of young adults making less than $25,000 increase by six million, and Sean Rad), but technology, for all its 0s and 1s has done something interesting, and slightly ironic: it has turned us into sentimentalists that lack the ability to see, or be lead to the truth. It has made us nostalgic for a history that’s not ours, and as a result denies us the future we desire.
It’s why we say things like: “I miss real photographs,” while simultaneously Instagramming, or Tweet, “I like the smell of books.” We’re stockpiling nostalgia, visions that never really belonged to (most) of us in the first place. We’re hoarding the image in our head without the means or the actual desire to put in the hard work to accomplish it. We’re busy surfing the internet wave, but never stop to realize that the wave is wet or that it’s pulled us under, or when, more often than not, we’ve missed the crest all together.
We don’t appear to want to shoulder any responsibility– like the fact that we refuse to read the fine print, and then collectively uproar that a conglomerate didn’t provide us with the magnifying glass. We’re a bit French (aie) in that manner. And when someone questions our abilities, we get pretty tetchy.
We want everything, while understanding the value of nothing. We accept everyone while having sympathy for no one. We see the man on the side of the road, but we aren’t going to be the one to stop. We jump in the fire and take a piss on it all at once. Tristan Walker may have succeeded, deservedly so, but for most of us this will not be the case.
We have to be willing to get out from behind the computer. We have to not only pay attention, but be willing to engage. We need unsentimental efficiency to disarm our nostalgia.
Yes and yes. I don’t know what to do about it yet, but this is relevant to my life.