Our generation has been under a lot of heat lately.
And by lately, I mean since Socratic times. As Socrates once stated, “Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”
Sound familiar? Because if you were born after 1985 (or, heaven forbid, were born in the ’90s) you have probably been told how lazy and inconsiderate you are since you could utter your first word (which, in the eyes of the Boomers, probably wasn’t as impressive as their first words).
So let me clue you in on something… We are doing just fine. Yes, texting has increased since the Boomer generation, which likely has something to do with the fact that the Boomers couldn’t text. But do you know what else is different? Violent crime rates, which have dropped drastically in the past few years and have historically been attributed to youth. I suppose we’re too busy texting that we’re forgetting to kill people. Environmental advocacy is different now, too, which has been attributed to Y Generation and social media. College graduation rates, in particular with regards to women, have increased drastically and the highest paying, most competitive jobs, such as careers in engineering, have a record-high female employment. We are the least racist and sexist generation in history, with countless surveys displaying tolerance for differing races and religions.
What are we losing? Well, our minimum wage (factoring in inflation and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) is nearly 20 percent less than that it was in 1965. Even minimum wage jobs are hard to get now–the labor force has increased since the 2008 financial crisis, but available jobs have decreased. Obviously, this makes it hard to pay for tuition that is nearly twice as high as it was in the ’60s. When your parents explain how they only received a dollar a week as an allowance when they were kids (in 1965), they forget to mention a dollar would equal $7.40 now.
So take a day off and have fun in college. Stop listening to older generations telling you that you should have moved out already with the funds that you are receiving from your unpaid internship. Stop listening to how lazy you are for being on your computer all day and how our generation is the worst generation.
Mark Zuckerberg, that lazy Generation Y-er, was told the same thing. And he is doing just fine.