Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Defining Moments--N. Boer
A Generation’s Defining Moments
There are many things that define a generation. Most seem to have a negative impact or are the result of something negative like the increase in security after 9-11. Other examples would be Katrina or the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The list could go on. I am only going to focus on three of the things that I think define my generation. The events that I think define my generation are: political correctness, the digital age and information age, and all of the issues that college graduates face and future graduate will face.
America has become very concerned with being politically correct. I have heard or read this from a few different sources and I realized how true it is. We are so concerned with everyone’s feelings that we are afraid to say what we mean because someone might be offended by it. This has resulted in most everyone trying to be politically correct. According to Merriam Webster’s online dictionary, politically correct means agreeing to the idea that people should not use language or behavior that could be offensive to a particular group of people. The best example I can think of that represents this is the use of “Happy Holidays” around Christmas time instead of “Merry Christmas.” It is considered to be more political correct to say “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas” because it might offend those who are not Christian. (Which not saying Merry Christmas can just as easily offend Christians, though that seems to be less important these days. It is about what makes everyone else happy and in the process somehow it does not matter if it infringes on the rights of Christians). There is also the issue that once it starts, where does being politically correct stop? There are some things that I can see the need for but a lot of it is just overkill. This is one way that my generation can be defined. We are leaving the values that the country was founded on and moving in a direction where everyone will be afraid of saying what they think, feel, or mean because it will be politically incorrect.
My generation is also a generation of the digital and information age. The digital age is an age where we have access to all sorts of technology. The direct access to technology and the connection to others through the internet has led the information age. We can find thousands of answers to one question on the internet, which is not necessarily a good thing because it makes it almost impossible to tell what is creditable. This defines my generation because we are for the most part glued to the internet. The internet and technology is a part of daily life.
In my opinion, the most important thing that defines my generation are the issues that college graduates face. Graduating college students acquire high debt from paying for college and then are faced with the high possibility of not finding gainful employment after graduation. This is a result of the bad economy and the fact that a bachelor’s degree is very common (NPR). It is no longer rare, so to stand out the next degree level may be need. With more education comes more. This defines my generation because it is coming to the point that it is almost better to not go to college because the student will not have acquired the debt that they are unable to repay. However, even though degrees are common place, they are required if one wants a decent paying job.
The events and ways of living that can be used to describe a generation are what define that generation. There are so many things that make up and define my generation or any generation. America’s ever increasing sense of trying to be politically correct, the digital and information age, and the issues that graduating college students face all define my generation. All of those moments (though not really specific moments or moments at all) could be used to describe an aspect of my generation.
NPR Staff. “Are Today’s Millennials the ‘Screwed Generation’? “. NPR. NPR. 3 Sept. 2012. Web. 14 Oct. 2014. <http://www.npr.org/2012/09/03/160396937/are-todays-millennials-the-screwed-generation>.