I confess, I can’t really go on Facebook too much anymore. I was really into SnapChat for a hot minute, but since Instagram blatantly copied them with InstaStories, Insta is were I hide. I love it there. It could be that I don’t really follow a lot of family members, mostly just artists, dancers and pet accounts…. It could be that there are little to no political rants… It could be that there are no repeated messages of “tell everyone on your contact list…”
Really, I think it’s that I can’t handle a lot of the stuff spewing out of the Baby Boomer generation on Facebook. I feel bad for even typing that, but I’m just at my limit. I realize that there are some amazing individuals that are a part of that generation… but they seem to be few and far between some days, and most don’t seem to be friends with me on Facebook… There are a few glowing souls who have been wonderful supporters and mentors to me, but oh my gosh these people are unicorns. My feed looks more like a dumping ground for disillusioned and angry 65-year olds. No matter who is in political power, the world is going to shit. No matter how the economy is doing, the world is going to shit. No matter how good white people have it in North America, the world is going to shit… And I’m honestly just over it.
My favourite posts are the ones that get shared repeatedly by Baby Boomers… you know the ones. Millennials have killed the Economy! Millennials have killed the housing market! And the Automobile industry! Millennials aren’t buying toys for their kids, Call CPS! Everything is awful, and it’s all because of Millennials!
Dear. God. WTF.
Facebook has become the breeding ground for this sort of thing as far as I can tell. Everyone’s Mom, Dad, Auntie and Step-Mom is on Facebook now. Even Weird Uncle Ivan is on Facebook, sharing weird memes and “ranty” videos. You know the ones.
But you know what? I say let them have it. Let them keep convincing each other that Doctors are refusing to tell us about a magical fruit that cures cancer and that their current political leader actually an ISIS supporter. Go for it.
But dear god, if I have to read one more “Millennials have ruined the world” post….
News Flash: Every generation has shitty people. Every single Generation has shitty people and crap music and crooked politicians and seemingly unsolvable problems. Every generation also has amazing people, and awesome music, and people who genuinely want to try to fix the world’s problems. Also, sometimes good people have bad days, times they get overwhelmed, defeated, and lost. That isn’t a character flaw, it’s just being human.
Unfortunately the trend I’m currently seeing on Facebook, seems to be good ole’ Confirmation Bias (it’s a real thing, you can google it). People just see what they want to see. If Great Aunt Betsy wants to believe that the younger generation is full of crap and destroying everything she loves and holds dear, then by god, that is what Aunt Betsy is going to see. She’ll re-post meme after meme talking about the “good old days” and lament at how everything has gone to shit. She’ll even continue to share post after post of some pretty controversial stuff, never once checking to see if it’s true or not. Then her friends will all share it as well, they’ll rant about it in the comment section of each post, and the cycle continues on.
But really, you see what you want to see, which is why I think I find this so troubling. Why focus so much on the negative? Why ignore all the positives? Why not at least entertain the idea that maybe everything isn’t all bad? That maybe things are getting better, at least in some areas? At least fact check before you share that post…
There is a large community centre just a short walk from my house. I take my kids there for swimming lessons, skating lessons, and other sorts of activities. It is situated between two high schools, so there is usually a steady stream of unattended teenagers wandering around. There is a security guard (I’m guessing in his 60s) who patrols the area and keeps them in check. Reminds them not to loiter, that they can only smoke outside in the designated smoking area and not right in front of the doors. Occasionally he reminds them to curb their language when little ears are present, that sort of thing. Sometimes they teach him hacky-sac and it’s adorable.
On more than one occasion, I’ve heard an individual, of a certain age, grumbling over the “loitering teenagers.’ Lazy… Rude… Always with their nose stuck in a phone… No manners at all… No one talks to anyone anymore…. When I was their age, I never had time to hang out! I had a job!
If I wanted to view the teenagers in the generation coming up behind me as all those things listed above, I easily could. I could compare their lives now in 2017 to what it was like for me in 1997 and I could list several differences. I could go on and on about how much harder it was to do anything, that they don’t realize how lucky they are to have all the technology they have, that they aren’t using technology correctly, that they have it so easy…..
I could get annoyed every time a kid drops an f-bomb in front of my 4-year-old (ONLY I CAN SWEAR IN FRONT OF HER!) I could notice when I see them hanging around, noses down into their phones barely talking to each other. I could get annoyed whenever I walk out the doors with my kids into a crowd of smoking teenagers.
There was a crowd of just such teens at the Community Centre on Thursday evening, when I took my oldest to soccer with her little sister in tow. You know the type. Wearing hoodies instead of actual jackets because “I’m too cool for winter!” They were goofing off, loitering, and fiddling on their phones. A group of about 6 or so were hanging out by the doorway.
I noticed them when we were starting to make our way to the doors, because two of them immediately took off outside, at breakneck speed. I’ll admit, it looked suspicious and I wondered what was going on outside. When I got to the doors a kid, probably 14 or 15, was propping a door open and looked at me with wide eyes. I almost burst out laughing when he asked in a panic, “Hey! Did you lose a kid?”
Then I saw it. Another teen, a girl about 14 or 15, had scooped up a toddler. She got to her just in time, before the little one reached the busy parking lot. The toddler, completely unphased, seemed to think it was all a game. Then I watched as the teen carried the barefoot toddler all the way back inside, and all the way to a panicking mom who had no doubt just realized that her kid made a break for it. (Mom’s haven’t we all been there? you turn your back for 2 seconds and the little buggers just RUN!)
I really doubt that a couple of lazy, spoiled teenagers with their heads down in their phone screens would have got to that toddler in time.
Really, if there is a generation that can lament that everyone after them had it easier, and became lazy, it’s my grandparents. The Greatest Generation. An entire generation that lived through world wars, a Great Depression, gasoline rations, food rations, you name it. You want to hear some amazing stories? Find yourself someone in their 80 or 90s. It will blow your mind what they lived through. I may be feeling a little more nostalgic for these cats, as tomorrow is Remembrance Day, but really, is there a generation as a whole that has lived through more crap? And lived to tell about it? Also, the only thing my Grandma (ya, she’s on Facebook too!) ever posts are cute, supportive comments on photos of my kids. That and links to whatever slot game she’s currently playing. I often chat with the older people in my church congregation after service on Sundays. Not only do they not give a crap what specific toy I’m buying or not buying my kid for Christmas, they politely tell me that my daughter is beautiful while she screams through the church. Maybe they are too deaf to hear her yelling, but I really think they just don’t care. They see the bags under my eyes and the hear the frazzle in my voice as I attempt to discipline a strong-willed 4-year-old, and they just smile sweetly back at me without an ounce of judgment. Maybe they are old enough to see that so much of the trivial stuff just doesn’t matter, maybe they just don’t care. Regardless, I’ve always found them to be so much less judgmental than the Baby Boomers.
You can look for the bad, and dwell on it, or choose to see the good as well. Every generation has assholes, and every generation has angels. Remember that, and see if you can get Aunt Betsy to think before she shares a post…. or just do what I do and hide on Instagram. And if you are a Baby Boomer, please… for the love of all that is holey… please stop blaming Millennials for every little thing you mildly dislike. You’ll miss the good. xo
This is a photo of my Maternal Grandparents on their wedding day sometime in the 1940s. They are no longer with us and I miss them like crazy. My grandma looks like a real-life Snow White and how flippin’ good looking is my Grandpa!?! Not really relevant to the post above, I just wanted to brag about my genetics 😉