As the people of the millennial generation enter young adulthood for the first time, they are under an overwhelming amount of pressure during one of the most volatile political and economic times in modern memory. Millennials have immense challenges to establishing themselves financially including crushing student debt and dismal job markets for new college graduates. Despite the various roadblocks set in our way, coming of age in the beginning of the rise of the Internet has allowed this generation to be the most connected and educated generation in human history.
The millennial generation is comprised of people who entered adolescence primarily after the turn of the millennium, and hence the onset of widespread Internet and technology. We were the first generation of kids who were able to do a Google search for school projects instead of thumbing through an encyclopedia for information. We don’t know what it’s like to be an adult in a world where not having a cell phone in your pocket when you walk out of the door is normal. Sometimes, the unstable state of the world can be scapegoated on the slackened morals of the younger generation, but millennials could not choose when in history they were born any more than the ancient Egyptians could.
This generation is no better or worse than any other; our time on Earth is merely a single fleeting dot on the vast timeline of mankind. Since the dawn of the caveman, humans have been pupils enrolled in the never-ending curriculum of the enlightenment of mankind—passing down knowledge and awareness from generation to generation. Only a half a millennium ago, humans freely accepted stoning and quartering as a common practice. Now we protest for the rights of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. We will always have struggles as a species and as a society; millennials are merely next to receive the baton in the long relay race that propels us forward on the road to human progress. We are just one tiny dot on a giant timeline learning and coping the best we can.
One of the things that is so promising about being an adult in the millennial generation is that the Internet is available to us as the most powerful tool in all of human history for calling each other out on the vast issues that need to be corrected in our society. Right now is a time when people are smart enough and ready to receive the right message. By highlighting deeply engrained prejudices that were once accepted as fact in society, Internet campaigns are giving issues like blatant and unfair sexism and racism the overdue recognition they so sorely deserved.
The advent of modern communication technologies is a hundred times more significant to humanity than the invention of the printing press, when messages no longer had to be written by hand. Imagine two hundred years ago when the American Revolution was sparked by scrolls delivered on horseback over the span of the entire country. Now we can share multimedia links with people oceans apart from us instantly with the tap of a touchpad. Never before has there been a time in history when an interesting topic can be looked up instantly in a device we keep in our pocket instead of a card catalog. For thousands of years, astrologers have been predicting the Age of Aquarius, the period of enlightenment for mankind that is scheduled to arrive somewhere between the 20th and 24th centuries, AKA now. The time for major societal and cultural change in the human race is just around the corner.
Humanity is just like any other living organism that adapts to its environment. People are the cells that make up the whole, money is the blood that flows through us and keeps us constantly moving, connectivity infrastructure is the nervous system, and the Internet is the collective conscience. Our forefathers were insightful enough to create a government that can constantly be evolved to work better, smarter, and more fairly; not much differently from what mankind itself has been working tirelessly to do for ten thousand years. Before every bright age in human history is an era where there is a dissonant the clash of old versus new. Soon instead of despairing about the challenges of the future, we will be celebrating holidays in honor the heroes who helped to triumph the wrongs of the past. It just depends on how soon our generation rise to the occasion.
image – Shutterstock