"Our generation has had no great war,
no great depression.
Our war is spiritual,
our depression is our lives."
It's not a pretty picture, is it? The not-so-heart-warming quote from Fight Club writer Chuck Palahniuk has some merit. There's a lot to be said about our generation; I've heard jokes-a-plenty cracked by sly 40-something journalists and my parents, aunties, relatives. We are the Me generation the no-time generation the ipod-MTV-have-it-all generation. According to Seal on The Voice our cumulative suffering, pain and weight as a generation is pressing down on the shoulders of Karise Eden (really, Seal?).
With all these catchy labels being bandied around shouldn't we have a say in how we're portrayed? We aren't incapable of speaking for ourselves, despite Seal's nationally televised assertions to the contrary. We are vocal opponents to the rising popularity of jeggings, strong supporters of free downloadable music (thankyou, Spotify) and have gone through some serious cognitive dissonance in regards to the role of Hipsters in society (the love/hate relationship is never-ending). We 'like' things constantly, 'share' our thoughts, 'update' our statuses and 'tweet' to our hearts content without really knowing where those 140 characters are meant to end up or what having a twitter account is actually meant to achieve besides adding hashtags to words. We aren't a shy bunch.
We share more of our lives with more people than any other generation in the history of the world. There's a scary thought. Then why all the fuss? What's this about our generation they were saying again? Maybe it got lost somewhere between instagraming what we ate for breakfast and checking in at Kmart with @AngeGreen 'Late night shopping with my bff!' I, too, am party to the instagram community - who doesn't love the ability to instantly make everything you do look like a vintage 70s slideshow? The point is between all of that social-"networking" we don't even get a chance question if there's something else going on we should be paying attention to.
We Follow people on twitter and Like pages on Facebook, we're so connected we can't miss a train without everybody knowing how long the next one will be. There is something to be said about the deteriorating quality of information we send out and the exponential growth of, for lack of a better word crap that we upload, share and send out into the universe every minute of the day.
It's not that I'm suggesting we all become luddites and adopt the Amish way of life but with that amount of useless clicking eating up our late nights, what are we losing out on? The internet was hailed as a revolution for globalising the world, reducing the disconnect and enabling wisdom to be shared the world-over. Somehow we've just developed ridiculous obsessions with cat videos and bizarre fan-cult-personalities (I sometimes have night-mares about the Britney fan guy and that crazy Twilight chic).
There's no shortage of issues going on in the world, there are constant famines and economic crisises, the never-ending political footballing over asylum-seekers, our very own Great Barrier Reef is under threat from the lucrative mining industry and small islands are sinking lower every year as climate sceptics refuse to believe the we've screwed up Mother Nature's Feng shui.
All this, while you were tweeting.
It's not to say I'm not surrounded by and have the honour of knowing young people bucking the trend, becoming social entrepreneurs, taking up a cause, being interested in social justice or abstaining from joining the half a billion people who have Facebook accounts - I've met my fair share; but these are the exception, not the norm.
There was the awkward situation with Tony, I mean Kony (was that his name?), our passing interest in shows like Go Back To Where You Came From and the current ABC series Dumb, Drunk and Racist. We'll occasionally watch Q&A, The Gruen Transfer or even read all the way to the end of an online article on The Conversation or The Punch (when we're not reading Thought Catalog).
But how does this measure up to what all the other generations have done before us, and what they're saying now? All those baby boomers looking down at us from the comfort of middle-age, just happy to be out of the lime-light and behind the panel of judges. What name are we giving ourselves, or are we happy to let others hashtag us #generationwhydontyoudosomething?
I'm no coach for Karise Eden, so I'm not speaking for a generation here - just as one tiny little blogger in the sea of internet personas. All I'm saying is that Chuck had it right with his quote.. great wars and great depressions breed even greater heroes, even greater triumphs; logically following do daily ego-wars and first-world-depression breed a generation that can't see past our own mac-book-pro-reflections?
Read more 'Why Gen Y will be running the world by 2020' here on these low on words high on graphics article about Generation Y or as they like to call us 'the Millenials.'