Our generation, Gen Y, the millennials and some other silly names that we have are not enough to fit us. Our generation has been called a lot of things: fastidious, fleeting, flailing. We have been accused of being superficial (that we are), and foregoing the real for a beautified version. It may be true; all of that criticism and disdain that the older generations throw upon us.
Our great revolution is the internet and the demise of personal bonds. We want instant connections that lead to fairytale endings without the work involved. We pledge our forever too easily, only to take it away a short while later. We’d rather swipe on our phones than hang out with actual people. We’d bend our necks silly for the mobile screens, but won’t look up to greet people. The breadth of our connectivity is impossible to match, but what about the depth? We watch amazing stories at the cost of the stories that beg to be seen around us.
Our great revolution is the commercialization of art. Of selling stories that seem popular, of coloring down our reality to make it more appeasing. We don’t look for people anymore; we look for stories to pawn. An adventure here and there will be enough for the time being, it’s worth a poem, a shadowy painting, a mixtape maybe. You see the sad girl, everywhere. You don’t comfort her, you write about her, croon songs with pain to show people how deep you are.
Our great revolution is our lack of permanence. We are butterflies that refuse to make homes, afraid that staying at one place will turn us to caterpillars again. Nothing is enough, nothing is forever. We keep on moving, ‘looking’ for ourselves (looking for a home? What was it that you left behind?). We are refugees of our own making. If we would just stop for a moment and look inside, we would find it all there. Beneath all the layers and pretenses, a light that is enough to guide us to through the darkest times.
So in spite of our generation being flailing, fleeting and maybe foolish, there are things we do that no one could have done before us. We are soft, so soft that swords would shatter if they strike us. We care, for our climate, for human rights, for sitcoms and stories. The revolution of our generation has been embracing mental health, and encouraging even strangers to never give up through a mouse click! We form silent revolutions through the internet, even if momentary, they leave a mark.
Our great revolution is that we dissent: against norms, conventions, oppression and war. We paint rainbow flags on the same backs that carried the burden of centuries of repression and dance. We put blue display pictures in solidarity with a country a continent away from us. Who says it won’t make a difference? Our revolution is that we are aware, and this awareness helps us to make people see what is wrong with the world. We put on ripped clothes and make our own music because we can. And we will be drag queens and soldiers and influencers, but we will leave our mark, because we are the generation of revolution.