Woah, before you say anything I am not about to go Millennial bashing or ranting on about the so-called ‘snowflake’ generation because I don’t buy into any of it.
I want to try and address the balance if I can?
Every generation before us has put us down and told us they had it so much harder than the rest of us. That we were softer than them and we didn’t appreciate what we had and so on. In some cases they were right. My generation didn’t live through a devastating world war, nor had food rationing in the hard years after, so those of that generation had not only a right but also deserved to say we were ‘soft’ compared to them because we were/are!
But all this general public perception that those who were born in the late 90’s and early noughties onwards are ‘snowflakes’ and are total softies is complete and utter bollocks in my opinion. Why should we begrudge them because they were born in a world that has more options, more support, more awareness of issues and generally, even after a global recession, more wealth available and more materialistic items than ever!
We’re just jealous that’s all!
Let’s not forget the world isn’t as stable as it should be, the recession has meant they will be paying for it with their wages for most of their lives, that global warming is high, job prospects are low and now that everyone has to stay in school for longer job competition is rife!
I was born in ‘83 for any of you who were wondering, a year when we were still basking in victory in the Falklands when Maggie was on the Iron Throne and about to embark on the national privatisation of whatever she could get her hands on. There was a buzz about going to Space when we had the maiden launch of the Challenger Space Shuttle. Star Wars episode VI was released and we were introduced to the Michael Jackson Moonwalk! We were also in the midst of a cold war between us in the West and the Beast in the East (no, not the smattering of snow we have seen recently). What a year to be born eh!?
Talking of cold & snow, I saw an article the other day about a headteacher somewhere banning students from touching snow! Not even allowed to touch it in case they get cold and can’t then concentrate in class! BUT let’s remember this was the head teacher making the decision, NOT the kids, who I can guarantee, think its bullshit! A headteacher who was born in the 60’s, who went through life being able to do all the crazy shit kids in the 60’s were allowed to do (and they did some crazy shit back then)! We can’t keep blaming kids and the ‘Millenials’ by calling them ‘snowflakes’ when it’s us adults, usually the vastly older ones at that, who are making all the barmy health and safety conscious decisions, rules, laws and so on that are mollycoddling them and wrapping them up in cotton wool!
In the 80’s & 90’s, which were wicked (I shouldn’t’ve said that) I remember practically living in my shell suit, playing kerbsy, knowing everyone on my estate, eating penny sweets and 5p crisps, 30p bus fares, arranging on a Friday to play football on the Sunday, and then guess what? We all met up at the park on Sunday! That didn’t mean my life was harder than those of today!
We didn’t have the internet or our own mobile phones (we had a house phone to make the odd call, and for those more personal ones we had to walk to the phone box down the road). There was no need for constant updates with a Whatsapp or Facebook groups to stay in touch, we would have to phone them or knock on their door for a catch-up. There was no need to say we were on our way (no one cared), no need to get a selfie on every street corner and no need to provide updates about the weather to people who weren’t there! That didn’t mean my life was harder than those of today!
Skins Vs Shirts in any weather and the person who owned the ball made the rules. We would play until we got hungry, run home, eat crisp sandwiches and then back to the park until the sun went down and the street lights came on. Unless of course, you lived close enough to the park to hear your mum bellow “IN” or someone would send your sister or brother to come get you…annoying AND embarrassing. How much better would it have been to just have a simple text saying to come home rather than a shout or a sibling? That didn’t mean my life then was harder than those of today!
I was first introduced to the NES back then (Nintendo Entertainment System)…A square 2D computer box console that changed my life! It let me play Super Mario Bro’s, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Simon’s Quest, Bubble Bobble and my all time fav. Zelda. I used to wake up at four O’clock in the morning just to play it, blowing into the cartridge to get all the dust out, pushing it against the wall to keep the dodgy wire from moving and having to play it until you either completed it or gave up as most of the games had no way of saving (some did, but not all)! That didn’t mean my life then was harder than those of today!
I had these awesome trainers, called Roo’s I think, where the tongue of the trainer had a secret compartment that I could stash my sweets in! I once got a pair of light up ‘LA Gears’ where I could Moonwalk like a badass and my soles would flash (note…I couldn’t moonwalk like a badass).
I got my first walkman in the 80’s and then my Sony Discman in the 90’s. A portable Cd player that would clip onto my belt as I walked so I could play CD’s (these were new in the 80’s!) and would skip track every other step! I loved it, cutting-edge technology. One of my first CD’s was by Alanis Morrisette. I went straight up to my room to listen and try and learn the words to. I proceeded to write them all down, pressing play and pause for hours, until I had them all written down. Then my big brother walked into our room, saw what I was doing and with a large smug grin slowly spreading across his face he opened up the cd case, took out the inlay and showed me that all the words that were written on the inside! Fucking twat.
There was no such phrase as ‘Google it’. When there was a debate over a question, we just had to believe whatever we were told by the ‘olders’ unless we went to a library (we had to walk there rather than look on a phone) and tried to find a book (these paper things with words written in them) that could provide an answer, and by then we had forgotten what the question was anyway. That didn’t mean my life then was harder than those of today!
TV programmes were fucking brilliant too. Fresh Prince of Bel Air (Now this is a story all about my life got twist turned upside down), Gladiators, Generation Game, Thundercats, Live and Kicking, Dinosaurs, Flintstones, Scooby Doo, Biker Grove, The Wonder Years, Trapdoor, Transformers the list goes on!
My point is I grew up in a bloody awesome period of time, where we got dirty, we went out in the sun and played, everything we needed to know we had to seek out and we were on the cusp of the technological revolution, so in some ways we were the pioneers of what is used in everyday life today. The internet, Smartphones, chip and Pin/Contactless payments, buying online, virtual reality and everything else. Life was tough but it was in completely different surroundings and times were different. That didn’t mean my life then was harder than those of today!
We need to stop having a go at the ‘so-called millennials’.
It’s not their fault they have access to all this great stuff that we didn’t back in the day.
It’s not their fault we are creating a PC society that is too scared to fart in case it offends someone!
It’s not their fault that the health and safety brigade make up mad rules that are wrapping them up in cotton wool so tight they can’t breathe.
It’s not their fault that they can access things in an instant with just the touch of a button or access a world of information we could only dream about.
This doesn’t make them soft, this doesn’t make them less than us. This makes them different to us that’s all, and we should be celebrating the fact we aren’t all robots (yet…) They are the pioneers of the future, they are who we are entrusting our old age with. They will be paying our pensions!
They will be designing tools and robots and software that will make us live in comfort and hopefully peace well into old age (we’re all gonna live to 120 aren’t we?).
And don’t forget…piss them off at your peril, because one day soon they will be in charge of us, they will be making all the rules for us, they will be wiping your ass when your too old and weak to move and most likely they will be moaning about the next bunch of softies who have never had it so good!
On that note, Ocsko ‘The older’ out!