I don’t want to sound high and mighty, but when I look at this generation, I can’t help but feel like we’re doomed. Look around you. This generation is completely out of touch with reality. They spend all their time on social media sites instead of spending time with their family or taking time to smell the roses. They’re so absorbed in their own little lives that they fail to recognize the problems that are slowly corroding the world around them. Then they have the audacity to claim that we millennials are the ones out of touch with reality. I am of course talking about Generation X.
According to “The Generation X Report” (CNN, 2012), those born between the 1960s and 1980s, coined “Generation X,” are characterized as being highly-educated, family-oriented, active, and happy. In this respect, they are not much different from the previous generations. In addition, as with literally every other generation throughout history, Generation X seems to have a disdain for the generation that follows it: us, the millennials. This view is inherently unfair to us, who have the responsibility of taking care of the world once Gen X kicks the bucket.
I would like to preface this next point by asserting that online media is the future of business, marketing, and interactions with a more globalized community. There are entire magazines and news channels dedicated to developments in the field of technology. Millennials, as a whole, are not only more receptive to using technology, but also using it to bring communities together for a common cause, create support groups for people who are going through tough times, or share the beauty and glory that is Michael Cera’s face with each other. Yet we get blasted by Gen X for being on Facebook too much.
All of the members of Generation X that I know criticize my generation for spending too much time on Facebook, but they spend just as much time on Facebook as we do (if not more, given that we’re busy college students), and yet they don’t even know how to use it. You could post about recent developments in your life or news articles that you find interesting, but by all means, please continue sharing clickbait and memes of minions with inconsistent font choices. They think that they can protect themselves from Facebook violating their privacy by copying and pasting a status that says, “By this statement, I tell Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, broadcast, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and or its content.” They think that with a simple status update, all of the User Terms of Agreement are thrown out the window. Their lack of understanding of social media, technology in general, and details in the fine print terrifies me.
And it is this lack of attention to detail that is perhaps the most staggering. Need I remind the reader that Generation X’s insufficient comprehension of mortgage interest rates and budgeting that led to the greatest economic recession since before World War II? Granted, what the banks were doing in the mid 2000’s should’ve been illegal; they were suckering a bunch of financially illiterate people into buying houses that they couldn’t afford. On the other hand, bad guys only get away when the good guys let them. In this case, thousands of Gen Xers signed their livelihoods on the dotted lines of contracts that were screaming corruption, and in doing so, contributed to the biggest financial crisis in over half a century.
I know that the 2008 recession is old hat, so why the hell does any of this matter now, after the recession and in the confines of our own spheres of social media? Well, turn on the news and look at the person who is reading from the teleprompter. Look at your boss, or the people who are likely going to be your boss. Look at the people making decisions for you in Washington. Look at the vast majority of people who are currently teaching America’s youth. The people who run the media machine, the businesses we depend on, the government that represents us, and those who are teaching the future generation almost all belong to Generation X, who largely fail not only to understand financial literacy, but to fully utilize the potential not only of progressive
technology, but also the generation who grew up with it and knows how to use it. They say we’re lazy. Entitled. Apathetic. Let’s prove them wrong. Better
yet, let’s learn from their mistakes.