Okay, time to admit something…I’m young. I don’t know if my readers, you guys, knew that about me—but I’m in my early twenties. Specifically, I’m now 22. I don’t really say that much or make many references to my age because I’ve found that people are less likely to take me seriously, especially as a professional writer, when they realize how young I am.
But, yeah, all of that—the weight, the walking, the dark stories, that’s all coming from a young adult. To some, I’m even considered a kid. Even if I’ve, at the very least, written some things that no kid should ever put to paper.
But, anyway, since it was just my birthday and I was thinking about what being twenty-two and a millennial means, I thought I would do a young person’s take on the world. It seems like an egotistical enough thing to do for the occasion…right?
We get accused of that sometimes, of being egotistical. Also of not wanting to work hard. And, while I can kind of get the first one, I really don’t know where that second one comes from—at all. Most people my age I meet are pulling long hours, working their asses off, all the time.
Sure, people my age may have it easier in some ways, but if you assume maintaining a social life, staying informed on pop culture (which is almost a prerequisite for modern conversations), constantly adapting to new technology, and maintaining a full-time job in a messy economy, is simple—it’s not. It’s madness.
I am not a terribly social person, writers don’t tend to be, but even I have trouble finding enough time to hang out with all the friends I have.
Despite what you might have heard, the world of a young person is not one of constant instant satisfaction. It’s a little different than that: it’s instant feedback. Too much feedback in fact. One noisy co-worker is distracting? Try being connected to everyone—nearly all the time.
I mean, just taking my recent birthday as an example, it would take an hour to respond to all my well wishes with a single personalized sentence for each person. Let alone take the time to thank them properly.
Now, I love technology, don’t get me wrong. Every new personalized setting I set or new gadget I get pleases me. But, still, it’s fucking intense.
Like standing in a data tornado.
In fact, is it really a surprise we are an anxious, and nervous, and stressed generation?
But, yet, despite it all. Despite crashing economies, political upheaval, riots, tragedies, and hatred, I’m still proud to be part of this generation.
I’m proud to be growing up in the world right now.
We’re are not all bad people. We’re are not purely self-absorbed freeloaders.
Sure, a lot of shit is going on—but I’m still happy to be making art in the most artistic period of human history yet. I’m excited to be part of the first generation to live (maybe) alongside conscious A.I.s. To see the first real cyborgs.
Our world is awesome and terrible, and big, and building momentum towards…something. Could be the end of all life. Or, it could also be something unknowably spectacular and beautiful.
If you so desire, go ahead, I guess, and hate on us millennials. But, I think we are an important piece in the largest upheaval of social norms ever. The world is not changing, that’s too small a word, it is being remade.
And, I’m sure, to some, this all sounds super naïve. But, then again, of course it does. Duh. It’s the thoughts of a twenty-two-year-old.
But that doesn’t make me wrong.