Gen Y, Gen Whine, call them what you will but they’re “lazy, social media obsessed and filled with a sense of entitlement.”
They’re lazy and ungrateful, they’re bankrolled by their parents, and they spend their lives “constantly tweeting and Tumbling, always about themselves.”
These are today’s twentysomethings “who can’t get their act together to do anything” but bitch and moan about how badly off they are.
We’re ruined, right?
That’s not how I see it. Not by a long shot.
As you may know I went back to uni full-time in 2006 and 2007. I lived the life, wading through impossible-to-read French philosophy under the pine trees at Curtin University.
It was there I was introduced to that most Gen Whine of all evils, Facebook.
Yes, some were my lecturers but most were my fellow students. Unlike me, they were young, having barely reached their twenties.
They were kids who today are members of the much-maligned Gen Whine.
They were women like Shama Adams who, after graduating from Honours, immediately enrolled to complete a PhD.
Shama writes with such clarity and precision that the words jump off the page and punch you in the nose. Such is her intellect and skill that she’s presented academic papers to a number of prestigious universities throughout the world. In July of this year Shama will submit the final version of her thesis entitled The Ghost in the Machine: History, Progress, and the Enlightenment.
One day she’ll be the dean of a university or a senior figure in government.
Then there’s Rebecca Higgie who had a mind so sharp and so quick that it was close frightening.
In classroom debates she would show me up for the philosophical imposter that I was. Her intellect was so sharp and so immediate it was frightening.
When she wasn’t studying Rebecca was handing out how to vote cards and volunteering for her chosen political party.
And there’s Emily Murphy who’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. Emily has a moral keel that’s deep and steady. She thinks through problems and issues with the clarity you’d expect of of someone in the C-suite.
Yet these are just a few amongst dozens of young people I know who provide a clear and compelling case the the Gen Whine stereotype should be resisted and rejected for the lie that it tells and the truth that it hides.
These young people give up their weekends to serve as volunteers. They attend Rotary and help run soccer clubs. They study, they work, and they pay tax.
They’re not demanding. They’re not angsty. And many of them don’t even have a Facebook account.
They’re really no different to you and me.