This is one of thousands of open letters you get daily. With the stroke of a key and a decent internet connection we all have access to you, if only you choose to listen.
I’ve often thought, as one millennial to another, that we’ve been given the short end of the stick. We’re living lives our parents’ generation carved out for us with good intentions (for the most part), a pinch of greed and a hint of ignorance (afterall who knew social media was going to be “a thing”?). Then one night, sitting at home writing some poetry (for no good reason but the luxury of being a creative) I realized that the internet is one space we have control over and we’ve already ruined it. It’s amazing many of us didn’t see the power handed to us before it got out of control.
As a generation, we’ve literally forced multinational corporations to change strategy, teach new skills and create new job positions that weren’t available ten years ago. We’ve created trends and forced movements with simple hashtags, yet here we are, potentially even worse than we started. Over informed and under utilised.
At what point did we stop thinking and switch to autopilot?
Let me switch from poetry to prose and be more transparent.
We are the only generation (well some of us) to be in a position of knowledge of the old tech and the new social environment. We have shaped the conversations, created the apps and handed them down to the youth. We’ve created an entirely new world and we then turned around and killed it with so called “keyboard warriors”, clickbait and an excessive-borderline-crazy obsession with updating our communities with ridiculous, unnecessary updates (is nothing sacred anymore?)
So what’s the point; a little bit of clarity, revelation and the need for some sleep. I just wish we knew how much power we’ve been given and used it more effectively. Maybe a call for a little more fact checking before you send that provocative video calling for change. Perhaps the patience to listen to someone who doesn’t have the same views as you without insulting them. How about realizing that if you’re not paying for the service then you’re the product (and as such cut down the hours wasted online and get a hobby, educate yourself or monetize your time online somehow).
But then, it’s been said the internet is just a condensed version of the world we’re living in. And if that’s the case well… all I can do is lend my voice to the conversation and hope for the best. Let’s create as much as we entertain. Let’s learn as much as we educate. Let’s develop the world we want to see offline — online.