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The Me Generation


The ???Me??? Generation The concept that history repeats itself is well weathered, to say the least. Over the past few centuries there have been phenomenal scientific discoveries, horrific wars, artistic and civil rights movements, pervasive plagues, and thousands of other events in history not worth mentioning. It was in these recent centuries that possibly some of the darkest sides of humanity have shown themselves, manifested in genocides, allowing corrupt individuals power, and an unquenchable consumerist thirst. One theme that has shown itself throughout former times is that after a time of negativity and woe, a grassroots movement begins and pushes back against the previous misdoings.

Perhaps that??™s where the real beauty in humanity lies, in the ability for the people to create new, positive cultural changes to counteract previous detrimental ones. Each time as a whole we sway too far towards becoming dark and destructive society, powerful orators find their voices and, sometimes by song, and guide us towards a kinder light. As our society has progressed through the digital era, technology has made our lives easier and more convenient. We are able to find information in a matter of seconds, the world-wide-web sits in our pocket, and people halfway across the world now are only a few quick finger movements away. This has, for the most part, made our society a better place. However for the children who have grown up with it their whole lives, or better known as Generation Y, has it changed us for better or worseGeneration Y, also known as the Millennial Generation, references those born after approximately 1980. Often referred to as the Me Generation, our notable traits and values are those of a competitive, reward-driven, and self-absorbed society, unfortunately enough. UCLA conducted surveys that showed a 30% increase in students since 1966 that said being wealthy was extremely important to them, at 75%.

Another survey showed a drop in interest in keeping up to date with political fairs, from 50% with the Boomer generation to 35% for the Millennials. In other words, personal fiscal success has become more important than national success. This may very well be due to the fact that we are the first generation to grow up instant messaging in grade school and Facebooking in middle school. Our daily integration with the media has changed so rapidly that the effects can be seen all the way down to the catty world of high school. Popularity is no longer based upon the nicest or most involved in the community, or even the best hair, but social rankings are determined by likes on a website. Now as critical an analysis like this may be suggesting, I don??™t mean to say that we are incapable of contributing anything beneficial to society.

Recent musical movements, remarkably haunting of the Woodstock movement, have been pushing for a more loving and accepting society. Electronic music shows are known for a community of peace, love, unity, and respect. While this can easily be linked to drugs often used there, it??™s more than that. And while the reggae movement may have started with Marley, the idea of one love for all people is trending back towards popular. Perhaps it??™s just where I live, but this music is sparking a tangible shift back towards communal success. No one can forecast the future and say that the ripples of this new musical style will be my generation??™s positive opposition to our self-absorbed new way of life. However, for those who, like me, hope the above statement is the truth, we can do our best to complete this cycle of history on a positive end loop by further promoting the message of unity and respect.