‘Generation Y’ Is Changing Almost Nothing
By Samantha Davies
In the late sixties, the youth of America made social change in the country through the politicos, hippies, and pranksters. They changed the social norms of America, switching a society of boundaries into a society of liberal thinkers. This generation of youth brought about the idea of racial equality and social change. The next generation in the seventies empowered equality and created a society in which everyone was equal, not just considered equal. These were generations of progressive thinkers and somehow the progressive thinking has stopped with “Generation Y.”
After reading the article, “The Echo Boomers” by 60 Minutes reporter Steve Croft, I can now see that my generation may be a bunch of conformist, materialistic individuals who are not changing the world, but are changing media content, clothing, and the “car business.”
Maybe the previous generations have created a society in which we don’t have to fight for change; we only have to fight for success. Or so we think. We’ve moved past the stages of rebellion in this country. And that is a sad thing. If there is no rebellion against the system and society in which we live, than there is no room for change.
Have you ever listened to a group of 19 year olds’ conversation? Unfortunately I have immersed myself in a typical conversation, which only reflects which iPod you own or how much your Gucci sunglasses were. I strongly disagree with Steve Kroft --my generation is not “beginning to change society,” we’re beginning to change sales statistics and that’s about it. We’re not trying to change the unjust economic systems in other countries, or trying to change the war in Iraq, ‘Generation Y’ is accidentally changing the way things are sold.
Buckingham, a marketing consultant of the Intelligence Group, says in the article that this generation is changing the way things are sold “from clothing to cars.” However, shouldn’t our power of being able to change translate into changing the injustice in many areas throughout the world? We have this power, as the largest generation since the sixties, to change anything we want, and yet the only thing people can say about us is that we are changing the economy.
Think about the word ‘echo boomers.’ What does the word echo mean? Buckingham says that my generation has the power of “word of mouth” and that “buzz is more important today than it’s ever been.” But why is nothing changing in terms of social, legal, economic, or environmental justice? The only things that seem to be changing from our power of echoing are the trends and fashions.
We’re not a “perfect” generation, as one of the focus group participants said in the article. We are far from perfect. Maybe this participant has been misled about the idea of perfect. Being a consumer crazed hipster, who wears the latest trends, increases the value of the American dollar, and is categorized as a generation who “loves shopping” is not a perfect generation.
No one is taking initiative. I think the problem is that my generation thinks we live in this ideal world, where nothing needs to be changed. Because of this, I wonder if ‘Generation Y’ reads the news, and this worries me. If we stay on the path of believing that only affecting the economy is a progressive movement, then think of generations to come. Nothing will be better in the world. We have to continue along the route of the preceding generations, who created a better world: A world of equality and freethinking. Let’s expand. But if we stifle, what good will come for those in the future? A higher price for a car? Let’s hope not. “Echo” is to imitate the ideas and opinions of another, and our generation seems to only be echoing the latest Paris Hilton song.