There has been no better time to be alive than right now. Medical science, technology and civil rights have never been as advanced and sophisticated as they are, but millennials still lament their year of birth and upbringing because some people spend too much time on their phones.
The mantra of “I was born in the wrong generation” has been pushed in online communities like Twitter or Tumblr, reminiscing the old days and things like chivalry, personal connection or a less-informed and simpler political landscape.
It can be difficult for “transgenerationals” to look at the world’s current state of affairs and be optimistic. The political climate is volatile and every day it seems like the world is becoming increasingly ridiculous and unpleasant. When things seem so bleak, the past becomes easier to romanticize, but this doesn’t accomplish anything.
Instead of longingly looking back on the days when entire minorities (women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals) lacked constitutional rights because men wore suits and held doors, maybe consider how far the world has come. Yes, it’s unpleasant to go out and have friends glued to their phones or to wake up to a poorly thought out tweet that may dictate international policy, but the pros of living right now far outweigh the cons.
On one hand, the divorce rate is sitting pretty at around 50 percent, but on the other hand, LGBTQ people can legally take their chances with being part of that statistic nationwide.
Health care may be expensive, but the common cold is no longer fatal and we’ve managed to completely eradicate some diseases.
Women aren’t in nearly as many positions of power in business or politics as they should be, but progress is being made toward equal representation. Race relations may be running hot, but the right issues are being talked about, albeit slowly.
Millennials are justified in their dissatisfaction with daily life, but wearing rose-tinted glasses to read through history to pick and choose their favorite throwbacks immediately discredits them. If they want to see a positive change, transgenerationals need to stop ironically tweeting about their love for a time they don’t know and start using the tools available to them to be agents of change.
They don’t need to be afraid of actually contributing to the solutions of the problems they so often complain about. The power of a smartphone and its potential to improve society is evidenced by the Twitter-fueled revolutions in the Arab Spring or the #MeToo campaign that has led to the removal of sexual offenders in all kinds of professions.
With something as little as a hashtag, millennials have the power to spark entire movements,
so maybe it’s time to consider user error as the problem, not technology itself. Transgenerationals are going to have to consider the possibility that their newly developed distaste for this generation may be impeding progress as they fail to take advantage of the abundance of resources and opportunities afforded to them simply by being alive right now.
People’s antisocial tendencies and politicians’ erratic decision-making cannot be remedied by blissful ignorance to historical realities. Rather, the best way to deal with society’s shortcomings is to embrace being a millennial and all of the benefits that come with it. Sit down, grab some avocado toast, forego a mortgage and at least try to make some change instead of wallowing.