People are quick to blame my generation’s consumerist habits; they point to my generation’s love of cell phones and cheap plastic doodads as evidence to support their opinion. But I am here to defend my generation and ask: why are people (and by people I mean the generation that came before us) so quick to condemn us for buying the products that they created and from which they make their living? People point to our constant use of cellphones and our constant consumption of media as indication that the world is coming to an end, that we can no longer connect with each other, that we are doomed, that we are too plugged in, that we have failed. But I have to ask, as the children of those who came before us, what are we supposed to do when the best thing that you gave to your progeny was an amazing way to unplug from the horrors of a reality that you failed to fix? We are not the ones who came up with this gadget and mass produced it in China and filled it with fluffy T.V. shows that reinforce gender stereotypes and racial privilege. Instead, we are the ones who utilize this technology to escape a world that is still crushing us with defeat. Rather than making this world a better place, you gave us a medicine that is slowly killing us and then scream at us for willfully committing suicide. What is the better option? To fight an insurmountable fight? To get beaten in the battlefield of life? Or to run and hide in peace?
Perhaps the reason that we are condemned for our love of technology is because we are the robots who have been given too much power, and any day now we might turn around and revolt. Perhaps it is because we have a tool in our hand unlike anything that they have ever experienced. We have the power of instant communication, of recording all our experiences in videos and tweets and screen caps, and we can access any information we want at any moment. This is power. Yet they tell us to get off our phones. They say that we ostracize the human element with our phones. Or is it that we ostracize the human element that is not connected to modern technology? Are we alienating the people who invented this technology, who are watching it get out of hand and become a beast they no longer understand? Or have we been given power, and everyone is afraid of what will happen next.
We use this little metal boxes as excuses for our lives at times, but I’d like to hope that we use this technology to better connect and better communicate rather than accelerate the confusion from which we all constantly suffer. I hope we are figuring things out and eventually fixing things. I hope we are proving them wrong. I hope we are not the little monsters plugged into tuning out and disconnected from the sparkling facets of reality. I don’t think we are. I think we are a lost generation in moments, but there are still moments of beauty that cannot be taken away from us. So we should hold onto them with our lives because no one knows what the future holds, even if they built everything in our past.