My generation does not define me, nor does it hold truths for who I am and what I stand. Every time I have browsed through the Internet in the past few months, I have come upon a study, article or explanation of why my generation is the most stupid, selfish and entitled generation of all time. People in their late teens and 20s are considered the “selfie” or the “me, me, me” generation. We are illustrated as individuals who are self-obsessed with the image and the broadcasting of our lives through social media. Quite frankly, I disagree with all of it.
Our generation is perceived differently because of technology, time, historic events and how the world has changed around us. The people who were raised in the new millennium don’t want to be selfish. We just grew up in a world that revolves around the technology and social media that helps broadcast our daily lives on the Internet.
Young adults today face job challenges in a world of brutal recession where machines and technology have replaced physical jobs. Although we are viewed as an “incompetent generation,” we have succeeded in life priorities, optimistic viewpoints and our competency with technology compared with previous generations, according to a Pew Research Center study released in 2010. The study also shows we are the most liberal group, accepting all individuals for whom they are and what life choices they decide to make. We strive to be technologically savvy and we are constantly improving the set of skills that are misunderstood by previous generations.
An article recently released by the Huffington Post looks at the test scores of Millennials, calling us some of the least skilled people compared to test results of students from 23 other countries. This article was written without taking into account we have been referred to as the most educated generation in the history of America and we have the credentials to show it.
The low-skill ranking is not because of a lack of education. It is because Millennials are heading in a different path with regards to curriculum. Where we once took classes on literature and history, this generation now focuses on data, social media and the advances of technology. When most generations before us ended their education after high school, we strive for more through numerous years of continued higher education, honing in on the skills we do possess.
Our generation is about the innovation of connecting through the Internet and other means of technology. The Internet takes away from face-to-face interaction with loved ones, but most seem to overlook the bright side of this technology. We are completely plugged in to those living near and far–friends, family and the world–making connections with a click of a mouse.
Debating which generation is the most intelligent is an absurd argument. Every generation has its pros and cons, often inspired by what is going on during their time of youth and young adulthood. The successes and failures of a generation should not be a competition or an invitation for insults, but rather a time of realization of knowing that the human race continues to grow and succeed in ways we previously could not. At the end of the day, Millennials are making progress for a better future for all of us, not just the “selfie” generation.