Who are we? The West has been defined by a variety of generational monikers over the ages, and we are seeing the effects of these generations in our every day lives. The Silent Generation has almost completely passed away. The Baby Boomers have become society’s elderly, with the oldest being 70+ years old. Generation X is middle aged and cranky— or, to use the Voice himself, “teenage angst has paid off well; now we’re bored and old.”
The Millennials are adults and have discovered that, despite all the thick-rimmed glasses and indie rock, they’ve conformed all the same.
Now the iGeneration is up to the plate. I should know— I’m an absolute geriatric among this group. Copyright 1994, mate.
Even though smartphones were still experimental prototypes when I was a kid (or at least only sold in the more technologically progressive nations), I eventually came around and embraced the dulcet joys of being a slave to the sweet slab of electronics.
I’ve grown up with my generation; I know what makes us tick. We’re so cynical it hurts to think. Everything’s a joke. No really: everything can be a meme. We didn’t invent the meme, but we inherited it and made it our primary method of extracting humor from ourselves.
We extract humor like a capitalist extracts profits. You’d better not expect us to be serious about anything. That’s sad, though, because it reflects our sheltered upbringing.
And I don’t mean “sheltered” as in “everything is handed to us.” No, I mean compared to the rest of the history of Homo sapiens sapiens, we’ve got it so made, it’s borderline utopian. Why wouldn’t you expect us to be a gaggle of sarcastic asses? Screw the hunt, we’ve got Instagram.
People oft joke about children being the future of the world. Guess what, we actually are The Future™. Yes, the future’s been trademarked, because that’s the sort of thing we’d let fly. But the point is: we’re the lucky bastards who get to grow up in The Future™. We get to enjoy virtual reality and smartwatches, jetpacks and robots. Sure, it’s the first-gen versions of such, but that’s the beauty of it: we get to see these things grow in real time.
What even is there for us in life? Debt slavery. What else? I don’t think many of us will even bother with college if Bernie Sanders loses, because we’ve already seen what debt did to our parents. Our first cute little bouts with PTSD.
What do we listen to? Everything. People wonder why pop music sounds so bland, why rock music is so safe, why rap is so lame, and whatever happened to electronic music. That’s what always existed on the surface, but now that the Internet has entrenched itself into our civilization, it’s more blatant than ever.
Take me for example. I’m a rock purist (strange for a Louisianan black guy, but go with it), so this means I stick to heavy rock. I’ll post about heavy rock soon, what makes it different from ‘hard rock’ and ‘heavy metal’, but that’s my taste in music. I’m also into Jet Set Radio Future-esque music, that sorta retro electro-funk grooviness. I’m also into certain strains of indie pop and electronica. And everyone please give a hand for Classical, Baroque, and even Ancient music (ancient Greek music is… interesting). All this thanks to the Internet and the massive storage capabilities of smartphones. Back when I was a post-millennial rather than an iGenner, when I had but a music player and CDs, I stuck to the usual any ‘troubled’ teen would listen to— 2000’s alt-metal/post-grunge and ‘hard rock.’ Then I discovered Electric Wizard and the rest is history.
Now I’m a connoisseur to roughly 30,000 songs. I’d be lucky to know a tenth of that number otherwise. And it’s this reason why the iGeneration is seen as “bland”: we’re so musically overwhelmed that we’ve left the safe stuff to stay at the top while we do all our real searching underneath.
And that’s the story of our generation, idn’t it? IDN’T IT?!
We. Are so. Overloaded. Information coming this way coming that way coming these ways coming those ways coming high ways coming by ways, good god, y’all! Did you even notice that interrobang up there? We’re so used to all this extreme information overload that we’ve begun suckling the teat of the soma machine. I’ve come across this before: impossibly, absurdly, bafflingly, shockingly, stupendously, outrageously, inconceivably, Satanically, nuclearly amazing how meh everyone has become!!!1! And that’s just us. We were born into an age of fifty papillion exclamation marks. That’s because our attention has to be had somehow. Our shriveled, Voldemort-in-Limbo attention spans are too used to having fifty kalamaxillion things blasted into our baby faces.
And do we care? No. If anything, we want more of it. Why? Because it feels good. It’s a sort of virtual foraging, if the old African forests were filled with atomic trees and negative rainbow creatures every fifth step of the way.
Does this mean our generation is schizophrenic? No. The grown-ups just don’t get it. Remember when I said we live in The Future™? That’s part of the trade-off. We’re lazy as fuck because we just know the robots are finna be doing our jobs in a few years. The adults think they know the truth, and they claim to know the truth while programming the same robots that are gonna make us obsolete.
Ah, who am I to be calling grown-ups ‘grown-ups?’ I’m a grown-up myself. Mostly. Well I’m 21. I won’t be 22 for 11 months, so that’s why I get to be an iGenner.
Good god. Good god. Good god. The iGeneration’s becoming adults. I’m almost as freakin’ old as Scott Pilgrim. And even if you say the iGeneration begins in 2000, what difference does that make? The oldest then would still be 16— old enough to drive. If you say the iGeneration begins on September 11, 2001, then the oldest would be 14. Still rated T for Teen.
Well I identify as iKin, so check your privilege and accept that becoming a legal adult in the 2010s is something that should identify an iGenner. The Millennials? They became adults in the ’90s and Aughts. Hence the term ‘millennial.’
Who are we?
This raises a good question. If iGenners are those born between 1994 and 2010, then what about those born 2011 and after? If you want to go old school, you could call the Millennials and iGen “Generation Y” and “Generation Z” respectively— but no one does that, that’s uncool these days. Still, if you do prescribe to that train of naming generations, then what comes after ‘Z’?
The only name I’ve heard thus far is ‘Generation Alpha.’ Goodness, two Brave New World jokes in one blog post.
I guess that works.
Did you know that, once upon a time, there was a letter after ‘Z’? Yeah, it was ‘&’. I’m not even joking about this. So let us hail Generation Ampersand as the inheritors of the mess us iGenners will soon unleash.