Blog: I am a Millennial

You can’t curb climate change. You can’t close the wealth gap. Your votes won’t affect anything. Your words don’t matter. Nothing will ever change. That’s what millennials like myself are taught throughout our lifetime. That it’s every person for themselves.

I’m calling bullshit on all of that.

Compared to Zadroga, under-age interrogations, and LGBTQ mistreatment, being a millennial might seem like a topic too far under the radar of a writer like myself. But it is in fact, one subject which I am a fierce fighter of in life, because I understand this world view my generation holds is sorely needed in this day and age.

If you were to tell me things can’t change, I am inclined to spit at your reasoning and take a flaming dump on its corpse.

I am a millennial.  But at the same time, I am not. Let me explain. I was born in a very specific timeline in the Digital Revolution. Not before, nor after. I was born precisely at a period of time where it was guaranteed I would live through my formative years in the period of change.

That age is not the 1980s, where digital technologies took their first steps into the market. It was not in the late 1990s or 2000s, where digital technology was solidified. It was the early 1990s. The period between 1990 -1995. It was during this time, where, growing up, from the age of 4 -18, you could experience the height of the Digital Revolution as a day-to-day occurrence, a time period that had not happened in 150 years.

Growing up in that time effectively meant your entire life is a revolution. 

As a child, I grew up with landlines. We even had rotary dial phones around as payphones and in some houses. Being able to insert coins into a machine to make calls was magical to me. That was when I was 4 years old in 1996. In the next 14 years, everything changed.

First, phone cards, the precursors to the concept of a SIMs card, was introduced widely. Amazing technology. I no longer had to hold coins. This was 1999 for me. 3 years later in 2002, I received my first cellphone, an old Nokia with space for 20 contacts and messages, a flashlight, and in-built Snake. In the eight years after that, it went from colour, to internet, to touchscreen, and now, smart phones.

Kid: What are those squishy things?
Adult: Those are buttons, my dear.

I saw four generations worth of technology flew by me in 14 years. Rotary phones, to landlines, to cell phones, to smart phones. 14 of the most formative years of my life given to a single concept.

Change.

We live in an age of connected information which will not arise again in probably another hundreds of thousands of years. Maybe even millions.

And it’s not just with phones either. I owned a LaserDisc of the Power Rangers Movies. That same LaserDisc went to CDs, then DVDs, and now, Blu-rays. Gas cars, to hybrid, to electric. Snail mail to text messages, to emails to video calls. Tamgotchi to GameBoy to PlayStation. Records, to cassettes, to Walkman, to MP3s. Windows 92, XP, ME, to whatever the hell number we have now.

I lived through 9/11. The global financial crisis. The LGBT rights movement was started in our generation. The global climate crisis was brought to attention. The war on terrorism. Catholic Church sexual abuse case. And let me add this, Jon ‘fucking’ Stewart, Power Rangers, and Bill Nye.

The people of my age lived through an era of world-changing events, of great inventors, designers, scientists, and speakers. But unlike everyone else who were either born after it, or had a stable life before the change, we were born into it. We stepped straight into the shit storm and rode the wave.

And while many of my juniors and peers have been chastised as lazy, a descriptor that I do not wholly disagree with, there were the few who kept their eyes opened during the ride.

These people are some of the fiercest allies of rights I have ever met. They are opinionated on a variety of issues that do not simply affect their own small community, but the world at large. They come from all walks of life. Rich and poor. Religious and atheistic. Executives and workers. I’m fiercely proud to have been born in that turmoil of a time to be able to identify myself as one of them.

Except that. We try not to talk about that.

We are idealistic. Naive. We think the world can be better than we will leave it as. We see comedians like Robin Williams and we think that’s the role model of all decent folks. We’re contradictions. We know the world isn’t fair, but we’ll punch at the currents anyway. We think we are terrible people, but know we are good. Because of that, sometimes, we can sound self-deprecating, or sarcastically proud. But we’re not. We’re just blindly honest, except when we lie, which some of us do quite often.

He was a 7-year-old kid in 1999, lecturing a 21-year-old on discrimination.

I know it sounds like I’m bragging, but I’m really not. I can guarantee you that no one in the world hates me more than I do.

There was a kid who I once met named Marcus. We met at an arcade that had since been torn down. I was, I think, 9 back then. There was a kid who had an intellectual disability, who was just randomly smashing at the buttons of a game console next to use. The kid was probably a year older than me.

A store clerk came by and said the kid will have to stop hitting the machine or will have to pay for the damages. The mother, who was there at the time, gave zero-fucks, and just continued talking on her cell while her kid was being scolded and manhandled.

That was when Marcus stepped in. I followed quickly. We both talked down the clerk twice our age, and between us, our savings, mine which was for a PlayStation, agreed to pay for any damages that the disabled kid would cause to the machine. Marcus lectured the store clerk on discrimination. He was a 7-year-old kid in 1999, lecturing a 21-year-old on discrimination.

…sometimes, we can sound self-deprecating, or sarcastically proud. But we’re not. We’re just blindly honest, except when we lie…

This might be the first time I’ve told this story, and it’s one I will never forget for as long as I live.

As a millennial, I’m often told that what I’m trying to do, either my blog, or through my stories, is not going to work. That I was being too naive and idealistic. That the world is this bad and unfair and there’s nothing I can do about it.

That may all be true. But I’m still going to try.

One hundred percent your fault, baby boomers. #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain

Because that’s the culture I was raised in. I grew up through the greatest era of change the world has yet seen. If you were to tell me things can’t change, I am inclined to spit at your reasoning and take a flaming dump on its corpse.

When people tell me that there’s nothing we can do, I ask them, “Do you know the age we live in right now?”

We live in an age of connected information which will not arise again in probably another hundreds of thousands of years. Maybe even millions.

We stepped straight into the shit storm and rode the wave. 


Right now, we are at the fledgling age of communications. Every single creature we classify as ‘intelligent’ is within reach of a few seconds. Within the dial of a phone or the press of a button, it is theoretically and physically possible to get into contact within seconds. This period of communications will never happen again.

If we travel to Mars, it will take 3-22 minutes for signals to reach one-way. Life on other planets? Years. We will never be as connected as we are today as at any point in human history, past, close, or extreme future.

And that’s the world view of a millennial like me. Tell me, with all that in mind, that it took us just 14 years to get from snail mail to instant video call with the International Space Station, what problems can we not tackle and at least attempt to overcome?

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