To say we live in a life that is not fundamentally dependent on pop culture and Internet memes would be a profound lie. The latest, and seemingly media-monopolizing generation are the millennials: a group full of innovators and tech-types constantly changing what’s cool and updating the iPhone every year (which could possibly be one of the most irritating [and brilliant, if you think about it from a business approach. Damn you, Jobs. As if you didn’t already have enough money. Too soon? Rest in peace, good sir] things to happen in recent years. Wanna stay on top of the latest software? Nope. Can’t. Gotta buy a new one. Every year. And like, really, who has the money for that?). For most of the people in this group, those talents are used to invent new and seemingly cartoonishly futuristic ways to abuse technology in means people never thought were possible (I’m sure if you looked at Abe Lincoln in 1864 and told him that people would be able to send a letter via a device called a “cell phone” he would have laughed your ass back to fore score and seven years ago). There are a number of advances that have helped the world for the better: modern medicine is evolving and becoming more and more helpful, the space program is pretty neat and those fools at NASA are pretty close to finding aliens, right?
Unfortunately, millennials don’t get to take credit for those mind-bending and world-changing techs. No. Millennials don’t get to stand on top of a pile of cash, lay their heads down at night and drift off into blissful sleep because one of them invented the newest brain-scope to take out brain tumors through your ear. Millennials get to be excited about viral videos, Nicki Minaj’s hashtag rapping and Buzzfeed.com’s “9 Cats Wrapped Like Burritos” photo gallery. That’s right, while Baby Boomers and Generation Xers get to invent useful new gadgets; millennials get credit for being lazy and weird. In a time where people get famous for “going viral” or falling off a table while dancing on a table they shouldn’t have been dancing on in the first place, there is a disappearing category for real accomplishments.
Now a days, instead of celebrating academic achievements, sitting down for family dinners or flipping through photo albums with your grammy and grandpa as they recount “the good old days”, people have notifications set up on their smart phones to tell them Demi unfollowed Ashton on Twitter. No one can even stay at the Hardrock Hotel downtown without hearing how Ashton brought his slutty hookup there. Heidi and Seal are getting divorced? Someone said something mean about Justin Bieber looking like a lesbian? The sanctity of marriage has been compromised, yet again, by some airhead bimbo who got married 36 hours after her engagement because her momager and some vertically challenged show runner decided it would make for a cool special? This, apparently, is news.
Even things as simple as chart topping hits have changed their ways. This generation is responsible for some of the most offensively misogynistic and appalling lyrics to ever exist. Remember when songs were about sunshine, lollipops and rainbows? When people could sit around the living room and listen to a record as a family? What would your grandmother say about Lil’ Wayne and all those tattoos. What would she say about Eminem’s blood pressure because he’s that angry all the time? What would she say if you turned on “Dance (A$$)” by Big Sean and Nicki Minaj? The hook of that song is, literally, the word “ass” over and over again.
Millennials and the 2000s invented YouTube celebrities like Kingsley, Jenna Marbles and Chris Crocker who sit in front of their computer and rant about things like Britney Spears, “white girl problems” and things that bother them on a daily basis. A chubby 12-year-old dances around her lime green and pink room, lip-synching along to Rihanna’s “Disturbia” (search: doglover199709) and this is entertainment? Where are her parents? Why is she allowed to do that? These people are the same as anyone else in the world; the only thing that made them “anyone” is a semi-decent camera and an Internet connection. New Internet technologies have given voice to the voiceless and that voice sounds like a screeching feral cat. Just because you have a means to make a video, doesn’t mean you should. The Internet (especially YouTube) should be a privilege, not a right (remember that girl who made that racist rant about Asians at UCLA? Yeah, well she got kicked out of school. So next time you’re annoyed by your neighbors or something, remember that things on the Internet don’t go away no matter how many times you push the delete button).
Instead of focusing on current events and things that matter to people, like the upcoming presidential election, for instance, the only thing that comes up on the Yahoo! homepage is a video of two twin babies sneezing and another article about Taylor Swift’s broken heart (because that isn’t evident enough from her terrible, terribly pop music).
If people channeled as much of their time and energy into useful inventions that may make the future easier (instead of dumber and more embarrassing to look back on) as they do into making bedazzled bras for an upcoming garishly overpriced 3-day Vegas rave, maybe millennials would have something to brag about in the future instead of being the group that came up with Nayan Cat and Rick Rolling.