In 2013, Time ran a cover story that dubbed millennials the “Me Me Me Generation.”
It claimed that millennials, born between 1980 and 1995, are more narcissistic, lazy, entitled, and coddled than any previous generation in the history of mankind. However inflammatory Time’s position may be, the publication did not generate a unique viewpoint. Rather, Time tapped into a hot-button topic within the American zeitgeist. Researchers, journalists, filmmakers, and marketers have become obsessed with millennials for the last several years. A 2014 poll conducted by Reason-Rupe found that 71% of American adults think of millennials as “selfish.”
Are millennials the worst generation of all time, the fruit of the debasement of American culture?
As a millennial, I am far too familiar with complaints about my generation’s behavior. We are in the midst of a global selfie epidemic; we are addicted to our smartphones; we prioritize digital over face-to-face interaction.
However, I am skeptical of critics eager to denounce millennials. Resisting generational change is futile. Digital tools may generate vapid self-indulgence, but they also facilitate immense creativity.
With these thoughts in mind, Asia Hunt and I launched a digital platform called the cyber wave: a nexus of cultural analysis, digital art, and pop culture commentary. We host a range of user-generated content from infographics about fuccbois to criticism about scenesters, to poetry composed of Kim Kardashian’s tweets.
We’re not making something about the Internet. We’re making something about our generation, and everything we do is filtered through the Internet.
Laura Divergilio is a student in the NYU/Tisch Undergraduate Film and TV Department from the class of 2017.