Friday, June 29, 2007
You're young. You're smart. You're educated. You're connected. You have your whole life ahead of you. And you might just be scared out of your mind.
There's a bunch of different names for us as a generation--the millennials, the adultolescents, the rejuveniles, gen x, gen y, the echo boomers, the lost, or (if you're totally cynical!) the screwed. Since we were kids, there's a couple things that seemed to be written in stone about our generation.
According to Millennials Rising(Howe and Strauss) we're trained to behave as if we're special (due to constant positive reinforcement), sheltered (due to our parents overprotecting us/micromanaging our lives), team-oriented (due to education trends and the group dynamics of "play dates"), achievers (due to goal-orientation and massive pressure to succeed), and conventional (due to a desire to "follow the rules" in expectation of reward).
We've also come of age into a world where technology has grown and developed in step with us. We have life-long exposure to cellphones, TiVo, DVDs, blogs, MP3s, laptops...and we have an almost instinctual understanding that the iPods we're grooving to will soon be obsolete, along with every other gadget that aids and abets our lives. There's not so much a sense of wonder at the technology explosion around us, but a sense of ennui and expectation.
We multitask; we absorb information from a dozen different streams at once, as we watch TV, read the paper, eat dinner, and work on assignments all at the same time. We expect instantaneous gratification. We execute rather than memorize, as trial-and-error is a lauded learning method. With the world changing so quickly, what's the point in holding onto knowledge, as it might be junked tomorrow? Reality feels softer, and the boundaries between us as consumers and us as creators is quickly shifting, dissolving, reforming, and disappearing.
Okay, if you've read this far:WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS MEAN!?! And if we know what this means, and if it gives us insight into how to "play the game" of being a grown-up in this day and age, then why is it so hard to find a job, or decent health care, or feel like we're moving forward into the place our parents were a generation ago?
In short--what the hell is happening to us?
This blog is dedicated to stories by us--members of our generation with perspectives of "The Entitlement Generation" as we come of age. Funny, scary, weird, banal...it's all welcome.
If you have something to post, just drop a line to 20somethingFreakout@Gmail.com. The rules follow in the post below.
Welcome to the real world, twentysomethings. Let's hope we survive the experience.