The Fourth Estate

Stance of the Staff: Our Generation

Our generation is constantly being labeled — whether it be as Generation Z, the ridiculous iGen or as narcissistic, lazy idiots, depressed because we spend way too much time on our phones. At the same time, the massive weight of issues inherited from past generations rests on our shoulders. Well? Are we too stupid to do anything besides look at our phones? Or, are we going to solve the countless problems caused by the exact people calling us these names?

Apparently both.

It isn’t the first time that younger generations have had to endure the disrespect of older ones — rather, it is a horrible cycle that repeats through all generations. But now, with technology, the generational differences are even more apparent.

We are told that the advent of the smartphone makes us depressed and antisocial. OK, so there’s a correlation, which, while it does show a connection between two things, does not show causation.Whoop-de-do. There’s also a correlation between homicides and ice cream sales. The truth is, yes, smartphones and other new technology may be interfering with how we spend our time, but at the same time, we use that technology for good. We don’t just sit on our butts and spend every second of every day playing video games with glazed-over, lifeless eyes. Instead, we use the skills we learn from playing those games, from creating and using these social networks, from just existing with these new resources for good. We create new jobs, transform old ones, and develop solutions for problems like inequality in the workforce (or in everyday life) or global warming because our exposure to these supposedly harmful resources is what will allow us to change the world.

We are told that we are unhappy because we have too much screen-time and not enough social-time. Maybe we are unhappy, but it’s not because we spend too much time on Youtube. Maybe it’s because we have grown up in an era of hate, of prejudice, of stupidity. We see the world around us, and we see very little reason to be happy. We see factories pumping out tox- ic fumes, ruining our air.We see trash and oil being dumped into our once clear oceans. We see people being put down for being a different gender, color, or orientation than the norm.We see children being killed in places of learning. We see people living on benches and concrete sidewalks being spat on, yelled at or ignored. We see billions of human beings without food or water, and a lack of the most basic necessities.We see millions of problems being pushed onto our generation.We see these things, and we are not happy.

To the generations before ours: don’t tell us what we’re doing wrong — help us do things right. Don’t give us ludicrous labels — let us create the names for ourselves. Don’t ask us to abandon our phones — let us learn from them.We are not idiots; we are realistic. Sure, we might spend a little too much time on our phones, but we use that time to fuel change.Weknow what needs to be done, and how we need to do it. While it might be difficult, trust us, help us and let us create a new future.

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