Millennials: An age group which I am part of and a word I never remember how to spell. We Millennials are the generation of suicide jokes, avocado toast and killing businesses. Above it all, there’s social media. That’s not to say we all have the same relationship with it, though. The exponential rate at which technology has advanced over our formative years has left us with drastically different relationships with social media that practically require us to put sub-age groups within the Millennial moniker.
My sister, for example, is only three years older than I am. She doesn’t have a Twitter, she only uses Snapchat to humor children at her daycare and low-key doesn’t understand how to use hashtags (sorry you had to find out this way, Katie). Meanwhile, late ‘90s kids think I’m behind the times because I still use my Facebook.
And to the Baby Boomers out there reading this: First, hi mom and dad. Second, don’t pretend like you wouldn’t have indulged as heavily in social media as you did in free love and hallucinogens, had it been around. Y’all know you played hella “Pong.” We as human beings have always indulged in new technology and have always tried to push it further, be it the computer, the book or the goddamn wheel. All cars have wheels, guys, I learned that one from the president — who, for the record, is old as hell and is just as obsessed with Twitter as any teenager I know.
Sure, selfies seem vain. But when you think about the time and money people put into portraiture back in the day, it feels unfair to blame us for doing the same thing but more efficiently. Texting might feel disconnected, but can you imagine how wonderful it would be to be able to talk to your loved ones every day back when they had to write letters delivered by horse and buggy?
As a whole, it’s fair to say we Millennials are addicted to our phones. I know it’s a problem because I did some extensive research. And by extensive research, I mean I asked a couple friends if they were addicted to their phones, and they responded with an apathetic and synchronized, “Yeah.”
With that newfound insight, I turned to the internet to teach me about the internet. According to a DMN3 survey, 82.3 percent of Baby Boomers have social media, and Colorado University says they spend 27 hours online a week, which is two more hours than Millennials (or people 16-34). They may not know what they’re doing, but they’re taking part nonetheless. More than 75 percent of Gen X, 87 percent of Millennials and 89 percent of Generation Z are on a social media platform.
The point I’m trying to make is that while Millennials are known for selfies and likes, it’s not fair to blame us for it. We aren’t the only ones taking part in social media, and we aren’t the only ones who overdo it. And who can blame us? The internet and the freedom of information that comes with it is wonderful in so many ways. Even social media has its benefits.