Hey you! Turn away from that game of Draw Something and look me in the eye. It’s time to have a frank discussion about your future, young man.
No, we’re not going to discuss the birds and the bees or how special you are. I’m not your grandmother, despite my mildewy odor. I’m your peer, a fellow member of Generation Y. We have some defining characteristics, and if you want to sit at the cool kids’ table, you best be puttin’ on your listening ears.
First and foremost, to truly be a member of Generation Y, you must ardently believe that the universe revolves around you. Entitlement gives you Generation Y brownie points! Consider yourself a beautiful and unique snowflake. It doesn’t matter that you’re one of 12,000 students living, breathing and excreting in Binghamton, N.Y. Don’t bother learning about other countries or communities. In fact, don’t bother learning about anything except how awesome you are.
You’re probably wondering how people fully focused on themselves have friends. Surprise, surprise: they don’t! If you want to be hip and cool, leave your social skills at the door. It’s time to stop making eye contact or forming coherent sentences. Utilize the following social networking mechanisms instead. This generation has Facebook friends because let’s face it, anyone off the grid is definitely a loser.
It doesn’t matter that Facebook sells your “private” information to corporations; your friends from elementary school simply must know how hot you look in that selfie. Don’t forget to gush about your most intimate feelings on Tumblr, post play-by-plays of your night at the Rat on Twitter, and Instagram your entire life.
Need specifics? A friend of mine once Instagramed herself in a hospital gown after wisdom teeth removal and posted a picture with the caption, “OMG I LOVE SEDATIVES.” If you’re not living up to that, you simply aren’t living.
After marinating yourself in the polluted sewer of social networking, you’ll find your critical thinking skills diminish greatly. There’s a scientific basis for your newly acquired ADHD. Multi-tasking on the Internet actually rewires the neural pathways of your brain so that your capacities to think deeply and concentrate are greatly diminished.
Don’t freak! It’s okay, because thinking too deeply is difficult anyways. This way you have an even better excuse to act apathetically toward everyone and everything.
Apathy is a key characteristic of Generation Y. Your life motto should be some variant on “Zero ****s to give.” We’re the first generation expected to earn less, live less and weigh a hell of a lot more than our parents, so we might as well keep that trajectory stable for our own children. Avoid voting because “politics is a joke,” but make sure to shotgun a beer on the 4th of July because you love ‘Merika. Instagram a picture of yourself shotgunning said beer. Do you see where I’m going with this?
Every generation leaves a legacy. Tom Brokaw even wrote a fancy book about the WWII generation. The Boomers blasted rock music and got divorced a lot. What legacy will we give to Generation Z? More likely than not, we’ll leave a love for McDonald’s and a world akin to George Orwell’s “1984.”
Although the picture I paint is stark, never forget that sons and daughters often manifest their parents’ values into the world. It is never too late to reevaluate your lifestyle and opt out of Generation Y altogether, tossing aside the labels that separate humanity and choosing instead to work towards the good of all. The choice is up to you.