The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Don’t you dare call Generation Y apathetic, inferior

Viewpoint by Rhiannon Saegert/managing editor

Only ’90s kids will remember the way Generation X suddenly decided we were all just naturally apathetic wastes of space.

Apparently, having technology to help us gather important information makes us unable to appreciate it. Protests organized over Facebook just don’t mean as much. Nevermind the sheer number of people who can find and sign an online petition as opposed to a hard copy. If those people really cared, they would use a pen and paper.

That all sounds ridiculous, so where did this stereotype of apathy come from?

I’d argue it’s impossible for my generation to be truly apathetic. Please remember, we’ve grown up with the chance to see all of the worst things in life up close and personal, faster than ever before and now in HD.

That isn’t boredom you’re seeing on our faces. It’s numb depression at the state of the world. Becoming desensitized is not the same thing as becoming apathetic. Nowadays, when a tragedy happens on the other side of the globe, we feel it. It’s a side effect of globalization people probably should have seen coming. We might even have friends living there because, yes, friends made on the Internet still count as “real” friends.

If anything, we have more things to care about at any given time than previous generations and more causes to throw ourselves into because wherever there’s an Internet connection, an emotional connection of some kind will soon follow.

If we appear to be standing still, it’s not because we’re lazy, it’s because we’re completely overwhelmed.

Other generations were continually reminded of how lucky they were to be where they were and have what they had, “walking uphill both ways in the snow”-style. Mine is no exception. 

There’s a reason we’re the generation who came up with “emo kid” jokes. It’s the same reason the “First-World Problems” meme became so popular among high school and college students. The self-deprecating tone of those jokes reveals a fairly common insecurity: “You don’t deserve what you have, and you won’t last a day in the real world.”

The best part is that this isn’t the first instance of generational strife, and it definitely won’t be the last. Our parents clashed with their baby boomer parents, who clashed with their WWII-era parents. Clearly, we’re slow learners. I hope we don’t put our kids through the same thing when we inevitably find ourselves unable to relate to them.

In the meantime, I’m sick to death of being told my generation is inherently inferior. We’ve already begun telling ourselves it’s true. We don’t need anymore outside help.

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