Make older generations proud of millennials

Katie Smith, Editor- in- Chief

My grandpa got a cell phone. I have called him three times and sent two text messages. Unfortunately, he hasn’t mastered retrieving the phone from his pocket in time to answer before I’m sent to a voicemail he hasn’t set up yet.

It’s easy to laugh off older generations’ technological incompetence. Still, it is unfair that a war veteran, medical miracle, father of four and ex-lawyer should be evaluated on his understanding of the iPhone 6.

At the same time, millennials are getting a bad reputation. In an age of constant technological advancements, we’re asked to achieve everything in our power but told to stop multitasking; get off our phones; pay attention; don’t take things for granted.

Truthfully, we do take things for granted every day. Every time we complain no one understands us, every time we dismiss with rolling eyes the advice of an older generation, we refuse to acknowledge they have already experienced and survived everything challenging and life-changing we are going through right now.

We may be facing a dismal-looking job market, but the opportunities available to us are possible because of the accomplishments and hard work of earlier generations – generations that raised us, educated us, and invented and produced the technologies many of our careers depend on.

They gave us styles we recycle, timeless music, and political and social victories so we might live in a safe and accommodating environment.

Our professors, parents, grandparents, and advisors – no matter how idealistic their standards – mean well.  They are hard on us because that is exactly how we can expect life to behave. 

And if we can survive life’s trials with the same brazenness as generations before us, we will better appreciate the moments of beauty and triumph, knowing how we struggled to get there.

Criticism toward our generation comes from a place of fear in knowing that the world will continue to be a terrifying and challenging place, despite the accomplishments of every generation before us. Humanity is ever-progressing in some regard and regressing in others.

They would hate to see years of hard work and perseverance be wasted on OK Cupid and reality TV. Our great-grandparents feared the same for our grandparents just as our grandparents feared the same for our parents and so on and so forth.

We are part of a trend of young know-it-alls who take their privileges for granted – the same young know-it-alls who will hopefully come to terms with how lucky we are to be so well off in life.

We have been born into opportunities young people around the world are dying in the name of. At the risk of sounding like an award show speech, I would like to extend an overwhelming thank you to anyone who has worked toward bettering the world my generation lives in. You have provided us with a sturdy foundation to set a precedent of our own.

Katie Smith is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at [email protected] or 581-2812.