Generation Y

I just missed the boat on Generation X. Perhaps if I’d been a much cooler teenager I would have felt part of it, but I didn’t really do teenage until my twenties and by that point Gen-X had well and truly happened, although most people were still to here of it. Gen-X was the big sulk. The counter culture of the 60’s and 70’s had well and truly failed to deliver and been obliterated by the 80’s. There wasn’t going to be a hippy commune to drop out in, and the love bus was strictly trustafarians only. Gen-X faced Microsurfdom and they weren’t happy about it, and if the only alternative was to flounce out of the cubicle farm and take a McJob then thats what they were going to do.

For a about a week.

Generation Y watched Generation X crawl back to the corporate culture shelters and said hmmm…if you can’t beat them, join them. Or maybe they said, if you can’t drop out of work, make work a drop out. I’m still trying to decide which.

This is the clearest statement of Generation Y philiosophy I’ve found so far. I’m not sure whether its pitifully weak or wonderfully subtle. The revolution has come and we want the right to use Starbucks as our office! My inner hippy screams NO! THERE MUST BE MORE THAN THIS! My inner entrepreneur says reasonably, Yes! Give me a Macbook Pro and a skinny latte and together we will change the world! I still don’t know who’s going to win the argument.

This is a revolution powered by the internet. Its terrifying how quickly new technologies are obliterating history. Web 2.0 only started last year, yet already I find it difficult to remember what life was like without a blog, twitter, GMail, MySpace and the other things I now spend all my time using. I barely even turn my laptop off anymore, it’s as though I’m living my entire life through its 14.1 inch screen. I’m considering spending over ONE THOUSAND POUNDS on a new one, and that doesn’t even seem strange to me now. If you divide cost by usage its probably only 3p a day. But why do I want one? Is it because deep down I believe that the new Macbook Pro can replace the abandoned dreams of hippie nirvana? Its a possibility I’ll have to consider.

Whether I agree with it or not, I can’t really deny I’m part of Generation Y. I’ve had two meetings in coffee shops this week alone. And its only Tuesday. I balance a day job with freelance work. I have ambitions to start my own business. I forego a high income and the luxuries it could provide in favour of more creative pursuits. I’d go mental if I had to spend an entire day in an office.

That sounds like a manifesto.

Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.

2 thoughts on “Generation Y

  1. That’s some heavy shit, dude. A little outside my area of personal experience, though.

    I’m not sure what generation I belonged to , but I doubt that whichever it was would have wanted me, anyway.

    Oh, and a BIG thank you for the Facebook invitation – that was most of this afternoon wasted.

    Finall, if you’re quick, you may just be in time to be the 1000th visitor to my Flickr gallery; you’ll have the satisfaction of being, umm…the 1000th visitor to my Flickr gallery.


  2. At the same time both resentful of and grateful for, Douglas Coupland.
    Tch, what the hell do I know? I’ve never spent more than an hour in an office!



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