June 4, 2014

Every generation can say that their generation was unlike the one before it, but I can’t help but feel today’s generation is the most fucked up one of them all. I’m Mel and I’m 25. A year ago whist belligerent I coined the term The Last Generation, yes 25-year-olds today in 2014 are the G*d dam Last Generation of experiencing how communication worked before the age of the internet. Luckily our baby pictures weren’t posted by the minute for the World Wide Web to own until it bursts and thankfully we learned to write with our physical hands. Please do explain more Mel…

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw

If you’re under 25 and you don’t think it’s weird that mom and dad are on Facebook then you are not part of The Last Generation. If are currently 25 then you will remember when Facebook was ‘TheFacebook’ and was created only for college student networks and not for the entire world to pry into your life and push ‘like’ instead of giving you a call to say hello or to just click on your profile and stare at all your photos without ever saying/typing/linking anything at all. There was a time when privacy existed and when cowards hid in their house until they were forced to come out rather than behind computers. There was a time when people communicated without ever having to say a word merely through direct eye contact. If you are over 25, you will remember all of this and probably find today’s generation more of a culture shock than I do. If you are close to the age of my parents, then you probably write letters through text messages if you’ve gotten that far, technologically speaking. Why is it some people write long as phuck text messages? And why is it we, the Generation Z, often are turned-off by this, especially when you are first getting to know someone?

If our parents wanted to communicate with someone, they would’ve been forced to:
A) Speak face-to-face
B) Make a call

If our grandparents wanted to communicate with someone, they would’ve:
A) Used the power of old people guilt and channel it your way
B) Send a telegram

If The Last Generation wanted to communicate, they would’ve:
A) Send a long e-mail on AOL
B) Send an e-card on blue mountain
C) use predictive text on a Nokia interchangeable face-plate phone

If today’s generation, ranging from ages 6 & beyond (I swear to G*d I’ve seen 6 year-olds text like their 20), wants to communicate, they will:
A) ‘Like’ or ‘Heart’ someone’s Facebook or Instagram
B) Send an abbreviated text
C) Or just not communicate at all and play a game filled with ‘rules’ no one seems to fully understand

Look, I love technology, social networking, and anything that can be done in real-time. I have ADD and it is extremely difficult for me to concentrate on anything long form, but something just feels wrong about today. For me personally, with all our new and old available options to communicate, I continuously feel more disconnected from the world and people, often those I consider close to me. I ask myself why is it I feel so alone? Yes I’m a bit introverted, but still I genuinely believe we have become crippled. We no longer fully express ourselves and communicate with each other. Our parents write letters as text messages because they have something to say. It wasn’t ingrained in them during youth that expressing yourself through actual words was unacceptable, but all the opposite. We\’re turned off my complete expression because we\’ve become self absorbed and only care about what we have to say. (i.e. Constant status updates) Our parents write their letters as texts because it’s the only way to get through to us. We can easily ignore a call, not check the mail for months, and delete an e-mail, but a text will show up right in front of your face.

“I’m a great believer that any tool that enhances communication has profound effects in terms of how people can learn from each other, and how they can achieve the kind of freedoms that they\’re interested in.” – Bill Gates

Do we need to change?

It’s up to you, but I’ve changed and since have built better relationships, gotten more personal responses, and have become smarter. Unlike before, I can now easily have a political debate and believe I have an advantage of understanding both the world and where the future of technology can take us. I’ve taped posters of my resume on company doors rather than applied online and I’ve called my friends up to make plans to see them face-to-face. I am slowly finding a balance and like creating this blog, am trying to use technology and social media for what is was made for because it truly is the society\’s greatest invention. You must ask yourself, is it telling of future that the highest views on Youtube are of music videos promoting sex and body image, rather that on subjects that can bring someone true joy, information, and inspiration. I\’m not saying sexy music videos are bad, as I love shakin it to Beyonce when no one is watching, but the majority of people watching these videos on repeat are the kids that will have to vote and make decisions for our country, for our future. Jokes aside, is it okay that more people watch online porn than the news? Several friends and family members of mine will say that the news is depressing and misleading, but what I say is it\’s better to know something than nothing at all. The news is depressing because of us, we made it that way. Like many, you may think, well \’I just don\’t care\’ and \’There\’s nothing I can do to change the world or people.\’ I am here to tell you that you should care and if you really don\’t, you wouldn\’t have read this far. If you really don\’t care, then you must not complain about taxes, fare wages, health care, equal opportunity, & etc. If you think you can\’t make a difference, then you are wrong. Recycling just one plastic bottle takes hundreds of years of stress off the planet, speaking your opinions out loud will make someone else think something even if they do or don\’t agree. If one person can\’t change the world, well then the light bulb wouldn\’t exist. You should care, we should all f*cking care about how to properly communicate with each other. 25-year-olds may be The Last Generation of a certain cultural era in the past, but The Last Generation might just be you reading right now. Human connection and our beautiful planet are hanging by a frail string and if we don’t all grab onto it together and pull it up, we will fall, and only come together when we are unrecognizably splattered on the curb. Knowledge is power, get to know the people around you. We have one life to live. Don’t live your life behind a computer screen, it will give you squinting wrinkles and a sore neck!

Sincerely from The Last Generation,

Mel Blanchard

“Write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow.” – Lawrence Clark Powell

Etho-Z explored

Every generation can say that their era was unlike the one before them, but what makes today’s ethos the most unique is technology and how we’ve used and will make use of it in the future. Made for and from Generation Z, Etho-Z explores the good, bad, beautiful, & ugly of who we are as individuals and as a society today. From having useless college degrees to our obsession with celebrities, we are the most ambitious self-entitled generation of both opportunity and failure ever in history.

We were a country built on the American Dream, the ideal that if we followed a set of guidelines we would be more successful then our parents, that we would succeed because we deserved it, but this is no longer the case. The majority of us begin our real lives in debt (student loans, credit cards, & taxes) and live our lives trying to pay it off. Our nation alone is in over 1 trillion dollars of student loan debt. If America’s youth is the future, then America’s future is debt.

Blessed and cursed with technology, we have been given a Genie in a lamp. What would you wish to see? Who would you like to be? What do you want to say? You can know absolutely anything, but be careful, the more you know, the less you know, and the more you will want.

Although we’ve been given a bottle of wishes, we’ve ignored the bigger picture of what can be granted and instead used everything up on ourselves. We are the era of the constant status update, the selfie, loss of communication, online dating, celebrity gossip, online shopping, online bullying, and anti-depressants. We are constantly bombarded with images that subconsciously download and program in our minds, “If I owned this type of car I would be happy, if I looked this way I would feel better about myself.” Our cellphones have become a never-ending store window that we no longer have to walk by like our parents did, but rather sit, do nothing, and stare.

With all our wishes, the majority of us forgot that we were supposed to save the last one to set the Genie free, and now more than ever there is still a small window of time where we still have that chance.”