With computers we become gods. Keyboards become our holy books, and social media followers become the audience for our sermons. We preach change, social justice, and shout out for campaigns to fight social norms, dreaming of great triumph to correct the wrongs we see in the world. As great trailblazers we note our observations of life, our eyes unclouded by rosey goggles as our fingers scrawl hypocrisy and injustice. Unfortunately, our dreams often times do not make it past our posts, they become halted when actual physical effort is involved. When the long road ahead becomes suddenly apparent and we think some messiah will come and sacrifice in our stead.
Complacency, entitlement, and narcissism are the hallmarks of our generation. We millennials often times take for granted our opinions and views because we have yet to really show any impressive feat.
We fail to recognize the fact that our generation is three times larger than our parents: Generation X. The ability and resources we have at our fingertips pales in comparison to the hard work and grit of the previous generations. Perhaps that is why we have yet to kick start our social activism on a wide scale. Yes, there have been triumphs, but they are few and far between. The ability we possess as a generation forged in the era of technology and globalization should be insurmountable, and it is, if only we could be captivated for more than a few weeks.
Those among the student body may recall the infamous Kony 2012 campaign, and can remember the frenzy of media attention and sense of moral injustice and activism it fostered. Teenagers particularly, were huge forces behind the campaign’s publicity. Many of us changed our Facebook profile pictures to the iconic print images the group produced. If you did not watch the film, then you were surely introduced to the shortened YouTube promotes that exposed and explained the inhumanities of a militant African madman who was the namesake of the social crusade: Joseph Kony. It gripped our hearts and thus caused us to spread the word. In the midst of all its great progress and exposure, all the hype suddenly died.
During its run, the Invisible Children –the grass roots organization that created Kony 2012- made nearly $20 million. With that amount of money, it is shocking that Kony was never actually stopped. Most of us probably just assumed he had been, thus the dissipation of the campaign’s popularity.
Our new aged devices have become double-edged swords. On one hand we have the choice and platform to express ourselves to broad audiences like never before; we can kick start programs and activities with a few clicks of a mouse or taps on a screen. Inversely we can lead idle existences, tumbling through our days, keeping our minds occupied with trivial celebrity gossip, simple games and photographs dragged through heavy filters. It is as if all the technological advancements of our forefathers, who sought to simplify life and make it more convenient, are collapsing on themselves as it creates a sedentary generation who have all the power but none of the ambition.
At least, that’s what we have been made to believe. An accepted fact. A challenge. We can live up to society’s expectations of a wasted generation or we can prove them wrong, show our strength and how we are just as capable, adaptable, and intelligent as our parents, prove that we are more so, that our gift of accessibility is something worthwhile.