It seems to me, a woeful literature major and creative writing minor, that my generation has been spoiled rotten by technology – even as this prose will end up in a blog. We, referred to as millennials or even “Generation Me,” demanded by virtue of trophies and technology to start out as millionaires – regardless of the livelihood pursued. We demand to commence not as entry-level employees, but instead, as those who could make decisions such that youthful ignorance might be mistaken as proper wisdom.
We, who were raised on the Internet, still assume that information and knowledge exist as the same thing. And, on top of that, who could have foreseen – people of my age anyway – that computers were the future. Some did, but not everybody’s going to end up as affluent as the founders of Facebook or Twitter. Dropping out of college amounts to a cautionary tale of capitalism, ambition and the brutal facts of true failure.
Yes, these thoughts appear on a blog! But, even as I force them out of my mind – not unlike catharsis or an exorcism – I am reminded of the fact that my generation has also given up on romance. We have, of course, replaced it with a disregard for human respect by virtue of unemployment or having replaced it with the scanning of Facebook posts and photographs. All without having to live life, we can deduce supposed common interests without having to consider people as human beings or individuals with whom we might form a bond of brilliant and wise humanity and individuality.
Journalism – in part due to the need for advertising revenue – has dissolved into start-up publications that feed into the contemporary mythology of Facebook. And, the job market of today demands either knowledge of Microsoft Excel or the ability to sell alternative electricity plans by going door to door – no kidding about that last part.
I could continue to rant and rave about taxes and economics, as I have in previous postings, but I will perhaps come up with a new idea for myself and for others. That idea, is that I despise the anthropologists and sociologists who stereotype my generation, as much as I despise the members of my generation who play into the stereotype which can further prospects of unemployment for my generation.
The arrogance of human resources departments, in that cover letters mean or can mean nothing, means that the members of that or any human resources department shall and do ignore the realities of Lehman Brothers and 2008 – in that the unemployment rate reflects both stereotypes and greed. Corporations and businesses do not want to train or cannot afford to train new employees in either jargon or technology. They seem to be run by Ivy League graduates who studied the “right stuff” or, otherwise, believe in the talent myth that everybody has the letters of recommendation or grades to return to school for an MBA.
And, what do people learn in those MBA courses? They seem to learn the art of not hiring people who do not have the same kinds of degrees. These individuals have poisoned the perception of my generation with the fact that we could all start the next Facebook or Twitter by virtue of supposed “talent.” Talent amounts to nothing more than curiosity and work ethic – and that definition alone should clarify that we must recognize how technology has rendered the older among us childish and the younger of us powerless. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook – all exist and will remain innovative and profitable. But, first and foremost, they were innovative and can never be defeated or duplicated. Instead, they can and perhaps one day will fade away into new ideas or new companies.
There has never been more of a time for the entrepreneurial spirit to flourish. But, why do not or why cannot those entrepreneurs desire to train employees? In part, if not in full, because these twenty-something founders did not want to start out entry-level themselves. We are “Generation Me.” We are millennial in our doomed approach. And, we do not seem to want to allow one another to grow up. I can only wonder what life would be like if the economy both forced and allowed us to grow up by virtue of any education – such that opinions were as valuable as facts toward profit as progress and progress as profit.
For all this ranting, I am not qualified to start my own business – just saying. As nobody older than me should have an interest, nobody my age would ever be willing to start out entry-level.
In working for the Chicago Sun-Times, Peter learned the basics of journalism. The prose must be clear and the facts precise. He has worked in retail, customer service and sales as well, all of which made Peter want to return to writing — as he developed many opinions on issues ranging from LGBT equality to America’s economy. Peter’s journalism – as in what he believes journalism must and should be — will seek to clarify society through facts. Opinion pieces being something different altogether. From Pittsburgh, PA — and a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh — Peter knows how to speak his mind in clear and concise prose.