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Generation Q vs. Generation Overwhelmed - A Deeper Look

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posted on Jan, 7 2010 @ 12:55 AM
These articles were written back in 2007, so I apologize if there is already a thread about them somewhere here on ATS. I did a search and could not find an existing thread.

Please see the two articles below. Both are commentaries about my generation, known more commonly as Generation Y or sometimes the Millennials. Basically, we're talking about people born between roughly 1980 and 2000.

The first is an opinion piece from the New York Times by writer Thomas L. Friedman that makes an obeservation about my generation's quiet action on social change. The second article, written by Courtney E. Martin on, is a direct reaction to Friedman's article and, in my opinion, a stunningly accurate portrayal of what I believe myself and my fellow young adults face in our future.

Read First: Generation Q - By Thomas L. Friedman

America needs a jolt of the idealism, activism and outrage (it must be in there) of Generation Q. That’s what twentysomethings are for — to light a fire under the country. But they can’t e-mail it in, and an online petition or a mouse click for carbon neutrality won’t cut it. They have to get organized in a way that will force politicians to pay attention rather than just patronize them.

Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy didn’t change the world by asking people to join their Facebook crusades or to download their platforms. Activism can only be uploaded, the old-fashioned way — by young voters speaking truth to power, face to face, in big numbers, on campuses or the Washington Mall. Virtual politics is just that — virtual.

Read After: Generation Overwhelmed - By Courtney E. Martin

My generation tries to create lives that seem to match our values, but beyond that it's hard to locate a place to put our outrage. We aren't satisfied with point-and-click activism, as Friedman suggests, but we don't see other options. Many of us have protested, but we -- by and large -- felt like we were imitating an earlier generation, playing dress-up in our parents' old hippie clothes. I marched against the war and my president called it a focus group. The worst part was that I did feel inert while doing it. In the 21st century, a bunch of people marching down the street, complimenting one another on their original slogans and pretty protest signs, feels like self-flagellation, not real and true social change.

I'm very eager to hear thoughts from not only of people my age, but also those younger and older. I'm curious about your perspective on this, and which writer you might agree with more.

Please share your thoughts. Thank you.

[edit on 7-1-2010 by paradigm619]

posted on Jan, 7 2010 @ 01:12 AM
We are hopelessly distracted

Take a gander at this thread and click the link in the OP

I think Ol Huxley had it right, our generation is sowing the seeds of more useless applications furthering the dilemma, at the same time Y does not seem to understand how to apply itself to things past next week. Our comedy is vapid, our music is hollow, our love is frigid our future is regurgitation.

[edit on 7-1-2010 by Janky Red]

posted on Jan, 7 2010 @ 01:26 AM
reply to post by Janky Red

Very interesting comparison of Orwell and Huxley. Definitely some very valid points.

I want to make the comment, however, that much of that lifestyle that Huxley describes is enacted to the same, if not greater, degree by the baby boomer generation. That is simply a paradigm that defines the time we are living in, and to some degree we are all subject to it.

I guess I just see a glimmer of hope in that enough young people are at least aware of all the BS, and are just searching for a way to truly act on their outrage for true social change.

posted on Jan, 7 2010 @ 02:46 AM
reply to post by paradigm619

I fall on the cusp of gen X and gen Y.

I feel that society (most noticable in younger generations because the older ones can compare them to themselves) is being controlled by preying on human traits such as greed and guilt.

You will do as your told as long as your life is full of material wealth and you are kept in a constant cloud of confusion.

I see this in my generation and this is accentuated in the younger generation. All the while you are kept in this mindset, you will work, consume and won't actually stand up for what you believe in because you feel powerless and guilty.

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