You can’t talk Millennials without mentioning Social Media. In fact, most Millennials aren’t hearing anything, if it’s not posted on Social Media. As an avid Social Medialite and Millennial Defender-In-Residence, I feel it necessary to address this thing we are often berated for utilizing — by both non-Millennials and fellow Millennials alike.
Since the dawn of time, aka 1990: when Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, our generation grew into a world of various mediums to consume and contribute Stories. The Internet was that primary source. Across the world, and particularly in America, we know of — and many of us currently live — the experience of being members of disenfranchised groups that have had their stories marginalized and/or erased throughout history and today. In the late 90’s, enter stage left, the modern version of the Internet and Social Media, and the Voices formerly known as Nonexistent finally make their Broadway Debut.
The critics went wild! “Must you post about everything?” “No one cares about your (insert personal moment/item of value)” “All you’re doing is talking/whining, how about actually taking action?” “They’re ADDICTED to it!”
For so long, much of TV was essentially white men breathing and it was all considered entertainment (I still can’t sit through an episode of Frasier) but now we have platforms for groups to vent, be happy, enjoy eating something other than Straight Bread sandwiches, attempt to understand and respond to this incredibly complex and often problematic world we live in! This is a net good thing, no pun intended.
Storytelling is an exercise from which everyone can benefit – both the Teller and the Listener. Immense Growth and Perspective can come from having the Courage to say to your world what it means to live in your body, to share the deepest, most intimate and/or laughable thoughts you have, and put these things on a platform that can be resonated with (liked) or not.
Yes, some of the bravest moments can be experienced in 140 characters or less, and we should respect, and appreciate that Possibility in today’s time, even if we don’t understand, resonate with, or agree with the content.
Again, I don’t blame Frasier for its vapidity, I respected its existence, but knew as soon as that skyline was being drawn and that theme music begun, it was time for me to go to bed. In that vein, there’s much to appreciate about a world where all voices are encouraged and empowered to speak, and we can respectfully and comfortably change the channel with an appreciation for our subscription nonetheless.
-Web W.W Dubois