October 13, 2014
Since World War II, journalists have been labeling generations of Americans according to their defining qualities. From the Baby Boomers to the Millennials, entire eras of history have been summed up by the descriptions of the people who experienced them.
But how accurate are these generalizations? Did every Boomer go to Woodstock (or wish they had)? Did all Generation Xers spend the greater part of their free time in coffee shops? Probably not.
And yet each generation seems to have its own consistent definition.
Or so they say.
As a proud member of Generation “Me”, I beg to differ.
Yes, we take a obscene amount of selfies.
Yes, we do concern ourselves a little too much with Instagram likes.
But I would argue that the kids of my generation are some of the most compassionate, generous, and charitable people this country has seen so far.
Since the baby boom, our world has shrunk. Today, it is more possible than ever to communicate with people on the other side of the world. YouTube videos, Facebook posts and online blogs give American teens insight into the struggles faced by others. Rather than turn away from these issues, I have seen countless people my age step up and try to make a difference. Even this year at Robinson, several clubs, like Teens for Haiti, have been created in an attempt to help those in need.
So, yes, our generation has flaws. But that doesn’t mean that we won’t do great things for our country and our world.
Every time I hear an adult proclaim the self-absorption and insensitivity of our generation, it makes me wonder if they’ve forgotten what exactly it’s like to be a teenager.
The Boomers? I’m sure they were told by their parents to quit that “civil rights” nonsense. Obviously, they were just trying to stir up trouble.
And you Generation Xers and your “revolutionary music”. You were the original punk rockers and rebellious teens. How did that song go again? Wasn’t it something like, “We’re not gonna take it”?
And finally, the Millennials. You have the highest rate of political and religious disaffiliation that this country has ever seen. I wonder what Grandpa would’ve told your dad, had he registered independent like you did.
It seems to me that every generation has been predicted by their predecessors to be the most disappointing generation yet.
And clearly, that has not been the case.
We may not knock down the Berlin Wall, or invent the internet, but our generation, Generation Us, is going to go down in history for achieving something great. And trust me, it won’t be the amount of selfies we took.
Isabel Giovannetti is a senior at Robinson High School. She loves politics and is part of the Mayor's Youth Leadership Council.