“You’re one in a million,” “No one else is like you,” “You’re special.” Growing up in the current generation probably meant that you’ve heard these things said to you.
Now ask yourself if you’ve ever heard this: “You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.” This quote from Chuck Palahniuk’s hit film Fight Club perfectly encapsulates the attitude older generations have toward the current one, sometimes derided as the Snowflake Generation.
In today’s society, individuality is yearned for, as everyone is seen as a unique human being. This has led to a lot of cynicism from older generations, as more and more are telling the millennial generation that they are not special at all. So which one is the truth? Are we unique special individuals or do we overcompensate our differences from everyone else?
In today’s society we are quick to forgive ourselves, but when we see someone make a mistake, we state “I would never do that.” This brash bias has led to our generation to be criticized for thinking we are different from the mold. Of course, we are going to believe in the good in ourselves, but often our confidence in ourselves is seen as arrogance by other generations.
Humans are biologically engineered to see themselves as above average, but the Snowflake Generation’s confidence in their own culture and lifestyle has led to delusions about our outlook on life.
For example, the constant rallies against Donald Trump by younger generations has brought on criticism from some claiming that the youth does not know how a democracy works. Trump will be our president for the next four years whether we like it or not. At the end of the day our generation is much more willing to voice their opinions than older ones. Our opinions on politics, sex, religion, and music, among others, have led to a youth revolution where those in power are looking at us to help make decisions, which has led to animosity from older generations.
The fact of the matter is today’s generation is one that is living unlike any generation in the past. In our generation memes reign, the Internet is more popular than Jesus, and there are 63 genders. We are living in a generation where uniqueness is paramount and conformity is frowned upon. Older generations would rather this society try to emulate George Orwell’s “1984” dystopian society.
Be the same, they tell us. Don’t be different. When you are a child your parents encouraged your dreams to become a cowboy robot astronaut. Eventually creativity is thrown out the door and conformity comes knocking. Go to college, get a job, get a family, buy a house; all of these are expectations set by society. Our generation is bucking the trend. We are still doing all these things, but we are doing it in our own way. The snowflake generation is so far from other generations that our differences which should be praised are producing fear and condemnation of our culture instead.
The Snowflake Generation is young, but we are smart. Maybe older generations should learn something from us instead of the other way around. Have you seen one of your professors try to get on the internet in their lecture? The next fifteen minutes leads to a shouting match for her just to press the search button, which seems invisible to them.
One generation can barely log in to Facebook, while the other generation is creates new apps, constantly uses social media, and texts faster than some older people can talk. Our generation is often criticized because we are different, but that is only because some people are used to certain behavioral norms that our generation violate. In this case, the critics are the older generations.
How do you see this generation? Do you see the uniqueness of the continual individuality in so many interesting people, or do you see them lumped in certain groups: Latinos, Millennial, gays, poor, women. The answer is up to you to answer for yourself.
For me I found the answer in one of my favorite movies, The Breakfast Club: “You see us as you want to see us—in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain…and an athlete…and a basket case…a princess…and a criminal. Does that answer your question?”