Generation Edge

How Our Generation Is the Light in a Weary World.


Lizzy Linder, Reporter


Throughout the modern ages, people have been classified into generational clusters based on their emotional characteristics and ideology that came from events around them in their lives. For example, the generation that was growing up with the Vietnam war protests tends to be more anti-war, anti-government than the generations before and after, but the generation before them had been strongly patriotic. Even our generation has a lot to do with things that happened while we were developing.

It may not seem like it, but we are shockingly similar to our great-grandparents. Research suggests that we are almost identical, at least in matters of emotions and values, to the silent generation (born 1910 to 1924). Both generations grew up with tough political and social situations. While one generation grew up with the great depression, the other had the recession, which while not as extreme, the recession did last longer. The silent generation grew up in the midst of a war, while we grew up in the aftermath of 9/11.

Having such huge things happen in the early life can be incredibly influential to the way a person thinks. Both generations were practical, penny-pinching, and extremely distrustful of the government. If you think that Generation X was distrustful of government, you should try talking to a Gen Z kid. We’ve accepted the fact that our entire lives are being monitored, such as can be seen in the pattern of memes like the “FBI man watching my Laptop” meme. In fact, many of the social trends and memes pioneered by the younger generation are based on distrust, not only of the government but each other and ourselves.

Instead of “following our dreams” and “dreaming big”, we saw the earlier, less practical and fact driven generations fall flat on their face trying to do that.  Instead, we look for jobs that are in demand. We have seen the millennials going to college and getting a big fancy degree, only to be forced to come home due to extreme financial struggles, so we trained ourselves to be looking for jobs and opportunities, not necessarily follow our emotions or desires. If you ask any teenager where they’re wanting to work, you aren’t very likely to hear “artist” or “musician”, you’re going to hear “accountant” or “manager”. In our eyes, dreams aren’t nearly as important as having electricity and food on the table.

Gen z is commonly and basically unanimously agreed to be the most anxious generation that is alive in the present, but why is that? All that our actions seem to boil down to is one word: terrorism. We’ve grown up and come of age in a world where you don’t have to be in a war zone to be killed. Terror happens in places like shopping centers and movie theatres now, we can’t even be relaxed while we relax. We’re constantly on edge, looking for any warning of a situation that can turn south, which leads to our brains always thinking like that, even when they don’t need to. We don’t trust anyone or anything to keep us safe, which can lead to overwhelming anxiety. If you train yourself to feel some way, your brain will get used to it and make you feel like that all the time.

The main thing that we, as young kids, can try to do is to turn away from social media and the news. These things are making us more scared and anxious than we need to be; we’re worrying about things that we don’t need to be worried about at our age. Try to push away from making yourself scared and just have fun. Be a teenager, not a grandmother.