Gen Y has mistaken its indulgence for freedom

The current stream of oversensitive and meaningless Gen Y material is numbing. The internet is saturated in its white noise.

Our news feeds are victims to the “outrage”that now define my generation. We interpret “freedom of speech”as “indulgence of speech”. As a result of the constantly reinvented hysteria it creates, Gen Y stymies its ability to actively debate and critically assess issues.

Why does the material pumped out by my generation have this common stink? Tim Urban, writer of renowned blog Wait But Why, has labelled our overly vocal mob “GYPSYs”: Gen Y Protagonists and Special Yuppies. Urban explains that bolstered by the promises of the most successful surviving generation, the Baby Boomers, Gen Y is deluded as to its uniqueness and its potential for wonder. Unrealistic expectations minimise the capacity to accept critical feedback. Couple this with a platform to connect to other like-minded souls (the internet), and you begin to see why our voice is so clearly the loudest.

It is this ill-fitting combination of ultimate self-belief and dependence on social media approval that engenders the outrage that is the stimulus for the content we produce.

Self-justified in “having a voice”and “the right to speak our mind”, we hound anyone who steps outside the impossibly narrow grounds of what we deem as acceptable.

Possibly the most annoying thing about Gen Y noise is that it is reactionary. Rarely taking initiative to tackle an issue head on, it chooses to lie dormant, waiting for someone to slip up before cranking up the noise machine.

Gen Y’s self-perpetuating hysteria prevents it from engaging in intelligible and constructive conversations about the future. If we remain intoxicated by our brittle belief of self-entitlement and obsessed with our need to speak, the content we create will be directionless and blunted.

Will McMahon is a Monash University law student.

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