By Sean Harris ’11
Trying to define this generation is like putting my hand on an elephant with my eyes closed; I’ll hit something but it would be very easy to miss a specific defining trait.
I’m going to attempt it anyway.
There are some very obvious things to take into account. For years now, the current generation has seen and learned that the world is not perfect—in fact it’s pretty messed up.
They’ve also heard that they need to be the ones to clean it up.
This ties into this year’s Summit on Human Dignity, where a lot of the speakers did not offer solutions to the problems—they just presented the problems.
Is the culture so badly damaged that no one can dig it out? As the problems facing the world have become more and more insurmountable, holding out hope for the future seems a little too idealistic.
It’s a generation that has adopted an uncaring attitude. If the problems are so insurmountable, why fight them?
But this is not what makes the current generation unique. This lack of hope and uncaring attitude has only been heightened from previous generations.
So if this is not the defining trait, what is?
My answer may seem obvious: it’s the evolution of technology in the past couple of decades. And what a rapid evolution it has been; just a decade ago, our own Tablet program would have seemed impossible.
It’s a generation that has been granted access to nearly everything, with the simple click of a mouse.
There are many other elements that I could mention: the increasing polarization of online opinion, the idolization of celebrities and the rise of online dating and networking sites.
But ultimately, what makes this generation unique is the variety of technology.
And if not careful, this availability of information can become this generation’s double-edged sword.