SELF

I am of the generation termed as “Millennials,” Generation Y, the Global Generation, Generation Next, the Net Generation, Generation We, or Generation Me rather. While there is argument over the birth ranges in this generation group, we share the commonalities as we consciously witnessed 9/11; we grew up side by side to technology; we witnessed the birth of the touch screen in its familiar form; we glimpsed the technological past of a computer as an object of privilege, watched this pattern die, but we still learned to write before we learned to type or swipe for that matter. As a white, female, growing up in a middle class home, I am of the Generation Me’s. We are said to be an anxious group; seemingly fluent in multitasking yet indecisive in our career paths, used to the hovering parent yet carry its influence as we foster higher expectations for ourselves. We are most commonly neoliberal. We were the first to grow up with computers in our homes and saw the birth of social media. As a result, we seem to adorn an increased narcissism, a focus on the me, fueled by social media’s persistent invitation to express this me. If a picture truly says a thousand words, a selfie may say “me, me, me” a thousand times.

As a member of this generation, I stand at a precipice, my youth on the line of time marking an integration of computers into household and my adulthood entirely on the other side of the line, something unique to my generation. As witness to this progression, I bring my own experience to the forefront, offering it up for dissection. Evidence of larger social movements, my history, though specific to my socio-economic status, gender, religious upbringing, and geographical positioning speaks to a larger historical epidemic. With our fingertips consistently connected to a screen and wearable technology on the horizon, technology not only integrates into our lives, but we, in fact, integrate into it, relying on it for the majority of our communication with each other. Relationships grow and fade in this ether. information spreads like a virus from share to share. All exists within this cover abyss, expect permanence that is, and as we use this space for human communication, self production and expression, these very things too stand at risk of digital decay, a risk I explore in the subsequent textual meditations.

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