First off I’m going to clarify what I mean by “this generation.” Generalizing an entire demographic is risky because there will always be exceptions and outliers and contributing factors that could arguable prove whatever is claimed as incorrect. The generation this post targets is often accused of being lazy, self-centered, and sensitive by the generation preceding them. Over sensitivity is actually a label that two generations share, which could mean the population is becoming more involved in their feelings, or this accusation is caused by the confusion of which generation is which. Multiple generations do overlap since there isn’t a set rule of when a generations start and end. Generation Y, commonly referred to as Millennials, have births from 1980 to 1995, and range of the ages 22 to 37. This is the generation who saw were starting their careers during the 2008 recession, and are currently battling the giant amount of inflation of housing prices. Most of the following generation, Generation Z, is still in school and have grown up with normalization of controversial subjects like the legalization of gay marriage and the first black president in American history. This generation was born between 1996 and 2010, with ages ranging from 7 all the way to 21. Gen Z is often accuse of thinking they are too special for regular treatment, and is therefore often referred to as the “ME” generation. source
The thing about this generation™ is that we really are sensitive. We do want safe spaces and vegetarian options on menus. This could be, perhaps, just a thought, because we aren’t fond of being around racists, sexists, and homophobes (titles the previous generation is often labeled as) so we prefer places we don’t feel afraid, as is a human’s survival instinct. Really, you could call xenophobic places with signs saying “WHITES ONLY” qualify as safe spaces too. Also, meat production is one of the leading causes of pollution and world hunger. Admittedly though, the youth that is Gen Z is sensitive about trivial things, like being treated as a kid when we first start working at a minimum wage job and the importance of gluten free hot dog buns. We really are focused on the “me” in the “mess” that is the people of the United States.
However, desensitization is just as much of an issue as over sensitivity. We are so overly desensitized to man-made disasters like what’s happening in Flint and school shootings. Along with child porn, the death of art, the wage gap, plastic consumption, dying bees, police brutality, the erasure of the middle class, gentrification and health care. Unless people experience it first hand or it’s an internet trend, people don’t talk about it.
That is why the hyper-sensitivity of our generation is wrong. Because it’s about our poor hurt sad privileged feelings. “You called me a bitch, you’re oppressing me.” “You called me racist, you’re taking away my free speech.” Grow up, my dudes. Don’t fall prey to microaggressions. Don’t fall prey to people on the internet who create offensive memes. Internet bantering is, guess what, a form of media oppression. Because you’re using your own personal energy to try to win an argument you only care about because you want to be right. If you put that much energy into recycling cans, you would be saving the environment and you could donate the money to, maybe, the cause you’re fighting over.