As Millennials, we dream big. We imagine our generation will be revered by subsequent generations as ingenious, successful, intelligent and one of the most inspiring generations of all time. Unfortunately, the chances of that are very unlikely. That’s not to say that Generation-Y doesn't deserve praise in certain regards, but as all generations before us, we possess flaws and often make mistakes.
In the realm of our reputation, Generation-Y's downfall can be attributed to the tendency of human beings to access the negative more easily than the positive. So, how do we overcome this? We ensure that the good outweighs the bad; the negatives remain minuscule in comparison to the positives. While we’re not quite there yet, we can work towards this shift to alter the opinions of generations to come. Let’s be honest: There is quite a bit for Generation-Y to feel shameful for, or to lack pride in.
If you've forgotten the index of reprehensible behaviors our Generation has had part in, or if you simply regret to admit your association with such behaviors, here are 10 reminders of the reputation we hope to move away from, for the one we deserve:
1. "The Jersey Shore"
This reality show is the monster that started it all. Sure, it wasn’t the first of its genre, but "The Jersey Shore" ignited a string of some of the most pointless and ridiculous television since the invention of the boob tube. This show made outlandish behaviors, drunken stupors, unhealthy relationships and physical fights just a few of the identifying factors of a Gen-Y crowd.
2. Disregard Of Skin Cancer
We are the children of the tanning bed -- if not the tanning bed, then tanning in the sun. Our generation has named darker skin the more attractive tone to strive for. Unfortunately, for our burnt generation, we disregard the fact that there will be a heavy price to pay once the sunburn fades away.
Abortions are not to be taken lightly. This is not to say that previous generations did not resort to abortions in the face of a difficult decision; however, never before have abortions been as readily available as they are now, especially for a generation so willing to discuss sex and its personal implications openly. In addition, cultural and societal norms have changed in terms of marital relations, showing shifts in the marrying age and age at which a couple chooses to conceive a child.
In previous generations, young persons were marrying in their early 20s or sooner and producing offspring shortly thereafter; whereas, Generation-Y has altered the marrying age to be in the later 20s, with respect to budding careers and various other goals set to be accomplished prior to starting a family. As a result of these cultural shifts, Generation-Y may garner a reputation as being desensitized to the act of abortion.
4. Idolizing Foolish Public Figures
Kanye West is the prime example of a public figure that Generation-Y idolizes, even in the wake of his poor judgment, near idiotic statements and disrespectful behavior. He's the guy who compares his rapping career to a soldier’s on the battlefield and the accomplishments of socialite wife Kim Kardashian to those of the First Lady. I could go on, but I won't.
5. The Last Racist Generation
It’s forward-thinking, sure, seeing as racism holds prevalence across America and across the globe. But imagine if we were the last racist generation… While it's a change in a positive direction for the betterment of our nation and world, do we really want to be known as the last racist generation? We can proclaim, "We were the last band of idiots to divide our people based on race!"
It sounds good now, we think. "Barbie Girl" also sounded good 15 years ago.
7. Molly/Ecstasy Addiction
I can see it now: "Generation-Y, the generation that so strongly believed feeling happy was only in the power of a drug, they overdosed." Pretty depressing, don’t you think?
8. Feeling Entitled
Unfortunately, we’re already known as being the "entitled" generation. It looks as though that reputation is stuck to us like glue. However, we can make people forget about this so-called sense of entitlement. How? Let's stop running our mouths, get off our asses and do something good for society.
9. Inconsiderate And Selfish
Individuals of Generation-Y have big egos; we feel privileged. We like to think we are better than everyone else because that’s what we’ve been told growing up -- some would argue. Our generation has yet to learn how to work together peacefully. We still think the world is one big competition. Let's remember we're all in this thing together; we're all human.
Catfishing is an extension of our inconsiderate and selfish reputation. What possesses an individual to create a fake Internet persona and develop personal relationships with real people in the world? It's a selfish act, one that cannot be understood from an outsider's perspective. Hopefully, we'll be the last generation to engage in such disdainful behavior, and the last to fall for it.