Is our generation moving culture forward?

Rewon Shimray | Cartoonist

Have you ever heard a great old song you loved until it gets overplayed on the radio and eventually gets a remix that makes you retch? That is exactly what our generation is.

We are a generation raised on chronic complaining and bred on political correctness that has not contributed any kind of real revolution. Revolutions are supposed to unite people, and the only one we’ve really experienced in our lifetime — the meteoric rise of technology and social media — has done nothing but divide us, provide unrealistic expectations of reality and make us question if we have any privacy at all.

There’s no face of this generation, just dog filters and emojis. For that reason, we will never experience any great gatherings like in past generations, such as Woodstock or the March on Washington. Without a singular voice to unite people, those won’t happen or have the same effect ever again. When we try to assemble people for a cause through a Facebook page rather than a boycott or a protest, it does not nearly have the profound effect on the public. Nothing of any importance will change through Facebook or Twitter. On social media, we give ourselves a platform for all kinds of fake outrage. If you’re able to retweet something to show you’re upset, it is a lot easier than going out and actually doing something about it. We see it every day: Someone posts something on social media about a story they heard and it gets taken completely out of context until all the people who don’t bother to research the incident vilify the supposed “guilty party” and ruin them.

As far as the typical complaint that millennials and kids from Generation Z are too offended by everything going on, it’s no surprise when we actually look into how much social media controls our lives. When our lives become controlled by our timeline, we lose all touch with reality. We can follow whoever we want, never having to hear the other side of a story. If we see something we don’t like or don’t agree with, guess what? We can just block it. We can make it go away forever. There really is no wonder why college students and young adults can’t have civil, adult conversations with people on the other side of an argument.

Everything we do these days has been done before. It is so rare to see any original ideas in any form of entertainment. Take movies, for example; this millennium has been known chiefly for superhero movies and re-booted sequels. In fact, “Star Wars” has gotten not just one, but two re-booted trilogies since the turn of the century. We’ve done this all before. It seems like studio heads say to themselves, “We like this superhero, and we also like this superhero. Let’s make a movie about each of them and then have them team up in a few years for a different movie.” Yet these wildly expensive movies gross millions and millions of dollars because the strongest driving force behind our generation seems to be nostalgia.

Similarly, every Disney movie ever created apparently needs a live action adaption as well, as we’ve been deluged with them over the last few years. TV has become the same way. The network sitcom is officially dead via the hands of streaming services of Netflix and Hulu, so they have reverted to just bringing back old, popular shows. Since the beginning of 2018, we have seen reboots of “Magnum, P.I.,” “Roseanne,” “American Idol” and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” with announcements for a new “Drake and Josh” series as well as a third installment of “The Twilight Zone.”

Do today’s fashion trends look familiar? They probably should, because they’ve all been done before. One glance into the “fashion trends” section of the Seventeen magazine website will show just how unoriginal the clothes are that we’re wearing. The page is littered with articles such as “15 cute ’80s fashion trends you need in your life” and “10 coolest bucket hats that will make you feel so 1999.” We are trying so desperately to be like other generations that we are constantly impersonating it, right down to the clothes on our backs.

So, how are we going to be remembered? Are we going to be the generation whose biggest contribution to society is the Bitmoji, or are we going to step away from the desires and demands of social media to live our lives without considering public perception before we act. Maybe watch a concert without putting the whole thing on your Snapchat story, get into a sane and rational argument, and actually experience life instead of just posting about it. Right now, we are the generation who ran out of ideas. It is up to us to step away from our comfort zone and think for ourselves, for once.