I'm just talkin' bout my...GENERAT-ION.
I've done some reflecting on my generation of late. I think I'm supposed to be part of Generation Y.
Things that represent a large sector of my generation really well are YouTube stardom, Tinder, Vine, Instagram, Urban Outfitters, soy lattes, gym selfies and EDM.
Of course there are a bunch more and many of them are not generic or kind of embarrassing. But in the same way you might sum up a 1980s generation with synthesizers, shoulder pads, leggings and blue mascara and perms, I'm going for the most blatant things here.
That's a list of things that does not make me all that happy. It's a list that says 'we want things easy, convenient and instantly gratifying. We don't want to work for what we want, we don't want to develop our own style, we want to feel good about ourselves without having to give up personal pleasures'.
I watch Jenna Marbles videos religiously. She's a YouTube star with no particular skills - I mean she has a psychology degree and is a solid athlete but she doesn't use those in her videos - other than a natural gift for comedy and a firm belief in not caring what others think. I love her, I want to be her best friend, I think the message she puts out is wonderful.
I wish that last statement was about a journalist, or an academic or a firefighter.
Gym selfies reinforce the 'fitness is important for looking hot' mentality dangerously prevalent among young people. So much internet content is based on saying 'look what I have, look at my life'.
I hate it and yet I am a part of it. It gives me a lot of inner turmoil. I'm part of an industry that relies increasingly on the social media that I avoid, and that values high physical standards sending everyone racing to the gym (which I hate) in their Lululemon $90 leggings (which I'm not insane so I won't purchase).
Where's the compromise? I've taken to Twitter in the last couple of days. I'm seeing how it feels to go 100% against my instincts that tell me 'shut up unless you have something sensible to say' and instead promote myself like a product. So far it feels weird, fake and unnecessary. I would like to go against the tide forever and refuse to become entwined in the vapid self-absorption promoted by life-sharing tools. But not many people will do it with me. I can't turn the tide alone and, because of the world I have chosen to be a part of that means sometimes I'm going to have to surf the wave.
It makes me mad to even write that. But I've been fiercely opposing all the things that signify my generation for a while and I'm exhausted. I'm upset, I'm disappointed in so many of my peers and I'm disillusioned with humans in general. The humans who are allowing Taylor Swift and Beyonce to be the main females held up as role models, the humans who decided that social media can be a career, the humans who perpetuate the crap in the World by continuing to talk about it (see the recent madness when humans landed a craft on an asteroid but everyone was preoccupied talking about a trashy magazine cover)...BUT I DO IT TOO AND I'M MAD AT MYSELF!
We should all stop feeding the machine. The trouble is you can't get this kind of message through to a lot of people. They have been brainwashed by the corporations who told them through advertising that Tinder would bring them love and Vine would make them a star.
Wow this post got really dark...I had a much more reasoned argument planned and then I got angry with the World.
The good news is there is hope...and that hope is IRONIC SELF-AWARENESS
Bah. If anyone needs me I'll be in a cabin in the woods. Or, y'know, hating myself for being an internet user and for wanting to buy things on Black Friday.