Wednesday, January 8, 2014

the label of a generation and a stream of thoughts about it.


it recently came to my attention that my generation is known as the "me generation." i had never heard of the nickname before, but then i heard it another 2 or 3 times within the same month. at first it was almost a little disappointing that that's what my generation is known as: self-absorbed. but you know what? the more i thought about it, the more i realized that it kinda fits us. and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

since we were kids, we've been told we can do/be anything we want. we've been encouraged to chase our wildest dreams. we've been taught sensitivity and to accept all kinds of people. perusing through and figuring out new technology is like our sixth sense. working our way around a webpage or smart phone is second nature. information, entertainment and even food come fast and conveniently. when they don't, we get frustrated and upset. we're encouraged to take time out of our young lives to travel and explore and "find ourselves." if we're not happy with ourselves, we're given a medical excuse and pill for it. we're a generation of quick fixes.

with the invention of social media we have multiple cyber outlets to portray our lives. we have facebook accounts to update our friends and family on big or small life events, instagram accounts to share visuals of our lives, twitter accounts to capture a permanent stream of our thoughts and blogs to record on online/public journal. we have "followers" and "friends" and "likes" and "repins" to measure our popularity. but will popularity keep you warm at night? will it put/keep a smile on your face? or will the fleeting reassurance just put pressure on you to keep up with it?

we have smart phones with a camera lens that points towards ourselves. "selfie" was the word of the year in 2013. it's like we've been conditioned to think that our lives are meaningless coincidences with no greater purpose than seeking personal pleasures.

how creepy is that all when you really think about it? my generation and generations to follow don't just worry about living a fulfilling, happy life but how we portray that life to an audience. if we weren't just actors playing on a stage to impress people around us before, we certainly are now. unless we making a conscience decision to live an alternative lifestyle. (which was previously known as a normal, media-free life.)

with all of that said, i think there is a lot of bad and a lot of good that comes from living during the "me generation."

let's start with the bad: it's so easy in this day and age to become self-obsessed. that's not even saying someone who's self-obsessed is egotistical or stuck-up. they're probably just the opposite. they're probably so busy comparing their life to others that they feel like they'll never be good enough. it's so easy to become so obsessed with our appearance and how we look and what we wear that it's actually crippling. we forget to live our lives. because we're too busy taking "selfies" or the "ootd" (outfit of the day) photos. we forget to spend our days doing things that will develop our mind or skills. or just get outside of our own little bubble and spend some time doing something for other people. undocumented, selfless service. i can attest that is one of the quickest ways to get out of a slump. or just live in the moment and enjoy the company of the people around us.

but then again, there's a lot of good that comes with being a "victim" of the "me generation": i don't think there's anything wrong with self reflection and taking time to figure out yourself. if you constantly ignore your needs and desires and live your life to please others, you'll probably just turn into a stifled 1950's housewife. "mommy blogs" have created this online community where mothers can share knowledge and moments of motherhood. it's allowed monotonous and daily events to be glamorized. and i don't think that's bad. it's amazing all the rights and freedoms and media outlets that so many people enjoy. they can be used for good. having outlets to let your thoughts run wild and evolve is amazing. as is having somewhere to document and remember special moments and good times and life lessons. it's inspired so many people to foster their creativity. plus, we have somewhat easy/free access to reach out to the masses. this modern world might come with a lot of downfalls, but think of the opportunities we have now that previous generations never dreamt of.

i'm learning more and more everyday that it's all about balance. if it makes somebody happy to have a fashion blog, good for them. keep doing it. (and i'll probably be stalking it!) but if it's making you insecure or unhappy, just stop. if i like to blog and post photos on instagram of my life, that's okay. if i want to spend time on my personal goals that's okay. as long as i don't get so consumed in them that i forget the other important things in life. i think it's critical to spend time on yourself and develop a good relationship with yourself. as long as it's not your only relationship. because that's a recipe for a long, lonely existence.

i guess what it boils down to is that every generation has had it's perks and pitfalls. humanity has come a long way for the better, but we still have a lot to figure out. and it seems it will always be that way.

original image source: here

7 comments:

  1. Nailed it! I totally see the good and the bad. I document EVERYTHING, but I couldn't care less who sees it or "likes" it. I just want to be able to look back and remember it all :)

    Thanks for the thoughts!

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  2. well said! I think there is always a good side on everything!

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  3. I am a teacher and as I watch my 6th graders, they have so many different struggles than I did in 6th grade. Loooove your blog. new follower!!

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  4. This is my favorite post I've read in ages! Well well WELL said, Shayla!

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  5. "every generation has had it's perks and pitfalls." this entire post was wonderfully put. :) i have a lot of faith in our generation and the things we can accomplish, selfies included!

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  6. This whole thing I love but mostly this line: "but will popularity keep you warm at night? will it put/keep a smile on your face? or will the fleeting reassurance just put pressure on you to keep up with it?"

    It's such a funny concept in our world that we are all sort of "on" all the time. We always need the best pictures, the funniest updates, the prettiest blog. I think the more you involve yourself with social media the calmer you become about having followers. It's the people who are hungry for more that have the most anxiety. This can be good or bad. It can inspire you to live the best life you can, or completely paralyze you.

    Your last sentence hit the nail on the head. There is good and bad everywhere. But at least we are all talking about it!

    Em
    Tightrope to the Sun

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