Is our zeitgeist shifting beneath us, while my fellow Millennials are completely unaware? It’s a scope creep of our minds – a slow migration into the foreign. The unknown. We continue to preach liberalism yet we act more and more conservative with every new project, new community garden, and new commune style relationship with the land and our neighbours. We fail to see this label and we fail to recognise the path we walk.
The majority of Millennials preach liberal rhetoric in harmony as if to cancel out the frequency of any other off pitch view. Our universities, once places of great debate and discussion and thought, now have turned a back to open information and towards a method of ‘turnstiles for profit’. Each student number issued is a dollar figure for a few semesters worth of tuition. Each graduation becomes nothing but meaningless. A masters course, once for a professional with five to 10 year’s experience, has become almost a go to for unemployed and overseas graduates in competitive fields like Law.
Each university course added is in sync with pop culture and is subsequently irrelevant to reality as pop culture continues on a path to its made up edge of the world. Bachelor of Technology in Motorsport. Bachelor of Arts majoring in Journalism. Bachelor of Commerce majoring in whatever? All irrelevant to the processing HR representative or recruitment agency. Experience is king.
And so we find ourselves ill equipped for the world. We find out fast that the old credo ‘it doesn’t matter what you know it matters who you know’ rings so true that our ears hurt: as if cymbals are smashed in our bedroom. Our training has no relevance to whatever role we find ourselves in. It shatters our faith in the system we were born into. It has provided the foundation on which the entire new Millennial zeitgeist has built it’s preaching church. We know the game is rigged towards you Baby Boomers, and we don’t want to play anymore. We don’t want your debt.
We see the growing Millennial norm: the turn towards local food, produce, and ultimately, unconsciously: the anti-globalisation movement. Each home farm is a middle finger to the establishment in place. The massive chain owned ‘local’ pub down the road. We consider this a way to bring us closer together – closer to our world, our food, our lifestyle and our employment.
Yet through all of this closeness - lovey feeling rhetoric of ‘farm to table’ - we’re concurrently a generation addicted beyond repair to technology. It’s our life. And it’s a product of globalisation, whether we like it or not. It’s this dichotomy which eats at our minds.
We hold everything we know about ourselves in profiles we curate meticulously: like little museums of us. Our photos are taken with intent. Our addition runs so deep that we clump together in digital circles: essentially surrounded by ourselves.
The technology which brings us closer together ironically is isolating us to a level never before experienced. Entering a lift with another human has become a chore. No eye contact. No acknowledgement. Certainly no smile. An odd shuffle and then return to the warm glow in our hands. A notification received and a release of dopamine.
Our cities are the most isolating places on Earth. The homeless are ignored. The minorities are ignored. Every human is ignoring every other human like we’re paid for it, while simultaneously liking a tweet from the person they happened to have just ignored.
What is going to become of us? We’re measured not by our literal interactions, but by our digital caricature. A curated vision of our vain attempt to present something repeated. To be accepted. To feel.
Education is a cornerstone of our Western society, yet each day it crumbles: aged like rock breaking away in the sharp salty wind. If our universities continue to act as mere echo chambers for singular thought, we’re doomed to stay segregated.
Millennials don’t even realise their creep towards this traditional conservative ideology. Our want for sustainability. Our desire for self sufficiency. Our urban gardens, our container homes, our faux minimalism through designer goods. It’s all a form of anti-globalisation. Of conservative isolation. A desire to close off from the world. Faith lost in a governing body.
The societal zeitgeist creeps towards neoconservatism in the shadows following just behind the soon to be dissolution graduate, like a dominant volcano. A graduate’s mouth spouts hate and seeks to prevent a speaker from speaking, seeks social justice through government intervention, and concurrently cuts the head off by throwing themselves at new technology.
Technology that isolates, yet brings together. Long gone are the days of a man approaching a woman in a bar. As I write the adjacent sentence my heart sinks as I wonder whether I should label a person a ‘man’ and ‘woman’. So ingrained is our need to accept anything in front of us without question in order to not be negatively labeled ourselves.
It’s disturbing. But from a purely observatory perspective. Perhaps that’s what it will always be. Observatory. We observe this creep perpetually. Endlessly. Through the light filled glass in our hand, held as if it were our lifeblood. Because it is.