What's Up with My Generation? | Teen Ink

What's Up with My Generation?

March 25, 2016
By ElsyM GOLD, Conway, Arkansas
ElsyM GOLD, Conway, Arkansas
10 articles 0 photos 46 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Carpe diem"

I realized last year that I have a strong concern for my generation. No, not everyone in my generation. But I find some fault with it.

Some people might think they know why. I could just hear them saying:

“Well, of course you do. You don’t read or watch the same things as most kids your age do.”
“Swell. I do too. Now we’re on the same page. Who likes people, anyway?”

Or just:

“Don’t tell me more.”

Shocking, I know. I’m a teenager who enjoys being young and having a future and making friends my age, but I am mildly outraged every time I think about my own generation.

Let me start off with a little anecdote, based off of a mixture of my own personal experiences.

About a month or so ago, I was caught in a situation during which I complained about my smartphone to a girl I barely knew. I told her that I could rarely access the internet using my phone, that it was nearly impossible to download more than a few apps, and that my camera was probably the worst in the history of mankind.

She looked at me, wide eyed. “You need to get a new phone!”

I had to outwardly agree, but inside I was a little offended. Sure, my phone is not from a well-known brand. And most days I want to light a bonfire and chuck the disgusting technological device into it. But I’m one of those people who complains about everything, without seriously expecting other people to join in with their complaints.

Later that day, I spouted a long list of adjectives about my crazy hair. My friend responded, “yeah, your hair looks kinda off today.” Of course I was offended, but brushed off the negative feelings once I realized that my friend just hadn’t had anything else to say, and sure didn’t want to disagree with me.

Right now, you may think that I’m just a sour grapes kind of person. Someone who gets easily annoyed at her friends and intimidates them. Just another person who hates social media and whatnot.

But that’s not my point. As a matter of fact, I love my friends. I don’t hate THEM. But I really just have a lukewarm love for the, you might say, “aura” of my generation. Personally, I think spending eight hours a day on Twitter is a waste of time, unless you have a business reason to be “connected.” You could be, I don’t know, learning another language. Watching an awesome documentary. Talking to people about your dreams to go to Wales to research Arthurian legend. It’s really up to you. On another note, I also don’t like people agreeing with me when I bash my hair, but that’s my personal quirk.

What I really hate is how hard it is to communicate with people. Most people today would agree that individuality is more common now than ever before. But it really means that everyone has to agree with everyone else. Sure, go and bash my phone. Even bash my notoriously frizzy hair. But give me reasons why. Make me think. Because when I’m forty and grumpy, I want to find comfort in the fact that I made good conversations when I was young, just because I could.

But no one wants to debate anymore. Everyone has to be on one side of the fence or the other.

According to today’s standards, if you don’t have a nice, up-to-date phone, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. It just means that you genuinely need a new phone. God forbid that your phone lacks that nifty flip front-to-back camera option. It will ruin your future. Either go big, or don’t have a phone at all.

Oh, you don’t watch Saturday Night Live every week? Go and watch it, it will improve your life. Everyone thinks so (even I am guilty on this one).

So you want to be a film director AND an international lawyer? Cool. But it won’t work. Tell me once you get your priorities in order.

That person is weird. She wears lace all the time. Hang out with him, he wears converse.

90% of Americans support this guy for president. You have to vote either for him, or that other guy, because everyone knows these two people.


Of course, these are simplified examples. Nevertheless, my main problem with my generation is that we don’t ask questions. We don’t think things through. We have to follow one side, or the other. We don’t make time for deep conversations. We think we do. But in the end we listen to what everyone else says.

Not all teenagers are like this. And I use “my generation” liberally. The phrase could really apply to anyone alive now. My one hope now is that I will grow up to be someone who asks questions, and doesn’t give one-sentence answers when asked them. Life is too short to not be contrary.


So next time you talk to someone, strike up a deeper conversation. Don't limit your ideas. Yeah, even make people a little mad. Just don't start a donnybrook. 

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