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There is a dysphoria of the millennial. They were born in the era of hands on mechanical with just the beginning emergence of technology as we know it. So, at their core, in their formative years they have that love of the tactile, mechanical, and classic play, but also the wonder of evolution. And the rate of that evolution was staggering and more than we could ever imagine. The last 20-30 years have brought to us a whole new civilization, unimaginable to those from just a few decades ago. For those from rural areas, looking specifically at those who have moved to larger centres for their adulthood, the paradox of their childhood and now is even more paramount. In some cases, our future is more than they could have even imagined in their cardboard box space fantasies.
With recent researching and Google adventures, I came to the harsh realization that I am, in quite of few perspectives, the last year or so of what counts as a millennial. And thinking about it, I do feel like I am genuinely of a different generation than those even five years younger than me. Even now, as I type my first draft of this article on my phone—partially in a moment of inspiration as I walk back home—I have a twinge of awe. To think that even middle schoolers are now having cell phones, but more than that, smart phones. It makes me inspirited at the thought of what they are capable of doing and making as they grow up. To me, all the new technology is so cool; it seems akin to spaceships, and the first man to the moon. But to these kids, and the coming generations, they are rooted from their first years in technology, and advanced technology. This is way more than the walkie talkies or big boxy TVs of my childhood.
Of course, with more technology is a decline in the environment, which we work to solve, and issues of vitamin D deficiencies and a possible reduction in more physically demanding play. Even with the millennials, there has been a worry of a rise in obesity and depression. But I genuinely believe that, with all the social change and technology changes we're seeing, that we will see a solution. We might even see higher understandings of health and how to be healthier. Even just looking at the advancing awareness and understanding of mental health, I am proud to see it. Just over five years ago when I was in high school, I was suffering from mental health issues with not even the slightest awareness that that was the issue. I hadn't even heard that anxiety could cause physical symptoms, or how common it was. It wasn't until last year that I was able to join a group to help teach me how to manage it. To think though, there are children already aware of what mental illness looks like, and being able to get help early on. That makes my heart glow for the possible change in quality of life for future generations.
I think to my parents and my grandparents. Issues that I learned were mental health related, and solvable, to a point, were issues they would tell me were just me being entitled, or me being weak, or me being a lazy millennial. My interest with technology, my desire to play video-games, or go through every setting and folder in a computer, they saw as me being a millennial, wasting time and not being productive. Luckily, now I can see it was beneficial, and it did help me get closer to the skills I have today.
Seeing more programs arise to help develop programming and tech skills in children is inspiring. In their formative years, some kids are already being taught the basics of concepts that still confuse me, as I'm still stuck in a more tactile and old mindset. These kids are bound to make technology leap forward beyond what we can even imagine today.
As a millennial, I am proud to see our curiosity, and our own impressive advancements be taken even further into a new era.
Thank you to the new generation.