20 October 2008

What Defines the Millenials?

Seriously? (I say that way too much!) I was looking around me as I walked to campus today, and noticed a girl (probably a few years younger than my 26 years) wearing a Pink Floyd shirt. She's too young to know who they are and what they meant to the generation of kids that listened to them. Hell, I'm too young to truly appreciate what they meant to their generation. I then thought about style in general and realized, yet again, that we are moochers. We have no style that defines us. As I was thinking this, I noted two girls wearing the same vest, embarrassing...lol. The vest was early to mid-90s. And now it's back 15 years later. (Give or take). Seriously?

Not being one to follow the fads, my clothes are things that look good on me, and will still be fashionable 10 years from now. (Provided that I don't gain weight, this allows me to just keep growing my wardrobe and not having to throw things out in a few months/years.) I don't want to go into a long discussion about fashion, so I'll leave it alone for now.

My point is larger than fashion: what defines the Millenials? (Barack Obama has taken to using that term to describe the 20-somethings and I've heard other using it too...not sure if he really started it or not.) We came of age during the millennium and that defines us. But what makes us truly unique? Computers? Video games? Cell phones? iPods? The whole iMovement? We've made no stand against the war in Iraq, as some generations have done with their own wars. We've done nothing truly significant as far as I can tell. 100 years from now, what will our great-great-grandchildren learn about our generation? What will stand out to them as our defining moment? I sure hope, it wasn't just that we happened to live through the "catastrophic" Y2K. That? Would be pathetic.

Facebook could be our defining characteristic. But not even that seems important. It's simply part of the larger information age. We are more connected than ever, we could do so much good. Yet, we spend our time finding that amazing piece of Flair that defines our friendship with someone. Or throwing a sheep at them.

Truly, we are the generation of no clear goals. Sorry, I'm not meaning to be pessimisstic, some of us are trying to redefine ourselves and make things better. It just seems we're not reaching our collective potential.

7 comments:

Redoubt said...

No, you've got it exactly. It is the fact that nothing defines us. That's what defines us.

The Dancing Newt said...

My dad has this interesting book on the cyclical nature of American generations. It was written probably 10-15 years ago, but according to the author, our generation is sort of like the work horse... we will be the ones to repair the nation after a serious crisis, not necessarily based on our own ideals, but on the vision of the previous generation, whose members are/will be in greater positions of power and influence than us (by virtue of their age).

Something like that. Wish I could remember exactly what the book said.

The Dancing Newt said...

Then I had to see if I could find the book... I think this is it.

Oh gosh I should totally be taking practice exams (!)

Amy said...

Nah, definitely cell phones. But history will probably remember porn. Do you realize that more than any other single thing, that's what people use the internet for? And people wonder why we hate men . . .

Confuzzled said...

There are actually all sorts of books about these things. And most of them agree: technology, as a whole, is our defining characteristic.

I kid you not. For evidence: do we need look much further than our cell phones, our laptops, our iPods? (And wasn't it nice of them not to choose just one?)

Confuzzled said...

Also, no . . . Barack Obama may be cool in many different ways, but he certainly didn't coin the term "millenial" in reference to our generation. Not sure who did . . .

NAlton said...

Confuzzled - I did mention that I didn't really know it was him ;)