Millennials Aren’t Any More Selfish Than Other Generations, You Just Think We Are

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It’s not exactly revolutionary news that we’re currently living with an all-time high need for constant gratification. You could blindfold yourself, drunkenly smack some keys on your laptop, and still easily stumble upon a thousand thinkpieces on why this newfound ability makes us The Worst.

In fact, I guarantee you there are people RIGHT NOW writing 1,500 word articles on the selfishness of our Snapchats, of our selfies, of our 140 character limited late night thoughts.

They’re intellectually masturbating all over screens like they have brilliantly figured out this answer that no one else has thought of — Ah, YES! THIS IS THE PROBLEM WITH OUR SOCIETY! *Fap, fap, fap*

Tease us for turning to Tinder. Call us narcissistic. Call us out-of-touch with important issues. Joke about Viners, YouTubers, how we want to consume entertainment in quicker doses. Faster. Faster. No attention span. Ahhh, millennials, just a giant Angelica from The Rugrats.

And in some ways, sure, I get it. Millennials are easy fodder to poke fun of. We are constantly handing you the material left and right. We’re willingly putting out jokes for you in this giant Internet void. My feelings! My photos! My thoughts! Take them all, world!

But does that automatically change who we are? As actual, you know, people? Are we really somehow that much worse than Baby Boomers or Gen X? Because, as my understanding goes, human beings are always going to be terrible and wonderful. This isn’t a generational thing. You aren’t somehow defected because you grew up with access to Google. With that mentality, wouldn’t we want to stop all technological advancements?

Quick! Stop production on whatever that next cool/weird/kinda-useless-kinda-gotta-have-it thing is you’re making, Apple! You’re turning our precious children into MUTANT-ZOMBIE-CONCEITED ASSHOLES! It’s definitely not parenting, or genetics, or just luck of the draw. Nope. You a millennial? Ahhhh, I smell vanity in the air!

Maybe you’re sitting here side-eyeing, “Me thinks the lady doth protest too much!” And you’re not wrong. I’m as addicted to my phone as the next Shitty Selfish Millennial.

But the truth is, we’re all just hungry for connection. We all want to feel like we’re understood.

That’s a basic human desire, not a thing dependent on when you were born, or how old you are, or how many Twitter followers you’re currently sitting with. I don’t think it’s selfish to want this acceptance. It’s something that lives in all of us. Even if you’re shaking your head, you want it too. You want someone to see you for who you are. To get you. All of you.

Maybe that’s what we want. With our posts and Tweets and blogs, maybe we just want someone to say, “I get you.”

I don’t think that makes us special snowflakes, nor does it make us egotistical sociopaths just constantly refreshing our feeds.

Sometimes, we just want to be seen. Even if it’s only on a computer screen. TC mark

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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