Go back in time for a moment. I’ll wait. Skip around the 60′s and 70′s with the ease your time/space transporter allows and visit some people you may recognize; your family, important historical figures. Inquire about the social climate at that time: the unrest over the assassination of a beloved President and his brother, the anger and frustration over an unjustified war with unattainable victory. Perhaps you’ll let slip that you are from the future and they will begin to ask questions of you.
You’ll inform them that we are fighting multiple wars, suffering an economic turmoil of crippling magnitude, and that Country Star John Rich won The Celebrity Apprentice.
“I’m sure these wars caused people to take to the streets,” they’ll assume.
“Well, they did for a while,” you’ll reply, “but eventually people got fed up and stopped caring when we got a black president.”
“A black president?!” they’ll exclaim. “That must have been a momentous occasion!”
“Well, it was for a while. Then people started to question why he didn’t stop any of the wars. And others questioned whether he was a Communist Socialist Liberal Foreign Muslim Atheist Nazi…and eventually people got fed up and stopped caring.”
“So what’s the biggest story in the news right now?”
“A Congressman tweeted a picture of his penis to some chick.”
“I’m sorry, what’s ‘tweeted?’”
At this point, you’d let out a deep sigh and huff-and-puff your way back to the future, realizing how utterly obscene your little world has become. Of course our elders will claim that our generation is spoiled and brainwashed with no sense of the real world, stumbling blindly through a cavern of subliminal advertising forcing us to consume until we explode; but we haven’t changed that much.
If anything, kids today learn that the consequences of their actions are real and immediate because it’s happening all over, to a lot of people, including most of their friends. Because of the technology, we can mature faster and learn to use it responsibly. And even when we’re not being responsible, we know we’re being irresponsible.
The previous generation doesn’t have this luxury. They only see the anonymity and a way to send picture of your dick to younger women. Of course, it only happened to Anthony Weiner because he was already in the public eye (didn’t he used to be in the Beastie Boys?). How could something like that ever happen to me?
It’s this disregard for the reality that separates our generation from that of our parents. We younger people have a twisted mindset that given the right alignment of stars in the right time and place, we could be instantly famous at any moment. This delusion keeps us under the impression that we don’t need to work for what we get, but on the plus side, it makes us feel that our actions have more significance than they actually do.
Adults, you need to grow up. Realize that there’s a responsible way to get off without putting yourself or others in harm’s way. It is interesting, however, that the roles are reversed. The youth is responsibly handling news coverage, revolutions, significant (and insignificant) social interactions around the globe. And the people who we’re meant to be looking up to as our leaders and role models just don’t give a shit.