Wired published a piece in their September 2016 issue titled “Like. Flirt. Ghost: A Journey into the Social Media Lives of Teens.” It consisted of mini-portraits of five individuals from across the country. The author, Mary H. K. Choi, writes gracefully, allowing them the flexibility and flux to be and not to be what they say they are–which is what being a teenager is about, as she notes at the end. As much as teenage radicalism annoys me–and I’m barely twenty–I must admit that the incessant apocalyptic writing about “millennials” is even more annoying. If anything, doesn’t the constant media attention reinforce precisely what experts say is wrong with them? The medium is the message, right?
The point is, I was grateful to read something that sounded like it was written by a wise, capable adult rather than a cranky or freaked-out parent. Because let’s face it, “millennials” are tired of “experts” pretending to understand “exactly” what their problem is–even if the “experts” are “on their side.” Please allow “millennials” the dignity every other generation has been granted of being confused and afraid some dark and mysterious question. Maybe it’s “relationships” for us. Maybe it’s “community.” Maybe it’s “sexuality.” The important thing is, we’re the ones tasked by God to figure it out. And it’ll probably take us our lifetime to work through it.
The historians will write about our “problem” with clarity and precision. But I will happily punch anyone in the face who claims to be able to currently.