Self exploration is a romantic commodity of the past

Modern day technology and expectations from elders don’t allow this generation to explore our needs.


by Helen Wheatley, Copy Editor of Opinion

Ever since the dawn of modern technology some twenty-five years ago, most of Generation Y has been living under the constant stimulation of our virtual world. Nurtured by our omnipresent parents, we tend to be extremely focused and goal oriented. Join these two factors with our present day approach to education– twenty-two years spent soaking up information in a square room– and you’ve got a deadly concoction determined to create automatons for the working class. With our lives already planned out for us, has self exploration become a thing of the past?

Generation Y tends to be highly respectful of our elders. We believe those who are older and have more life experience are therefore wiser. We listen to them telling us what our options for life are, but we listen so closely that we don’t hear the rest of our future existence screaming in our ear.

It seems as though American lives have been planned out for us from the moment of our birth. While being constantly stimulated by the many schools of thought out there, we forget it’s possible to create our own.

Graduate high school? Check. Attend college? Check. Internship? Check. Master’s degree? Ten years at a desk job? Twenty years as CEO? Family? Retirement? Check, check, check. Make money, build the economy, have a family, live a happy retirement, die.

While this paradoxical system may not be new to humanity, it is constantly enabled and gratified by our lack of attention to the consequences. Self exploration is quickly becoming a romantic commodity of the past. Curious as to where you should live after college? Interested in the number of children that will suit you and your future partner? Just hop on over to Buzzfeed, and all of life’s long-pondered questions will be answered for you, by another 20-something year old hoping to catch a break as a quiz-writer.

We no longer have the need for asking ourselves what will truly fulfill our lives, because we believe there are only a few tangible options. Any step taken that shies off the beaten pathway of life and career is deemed impractical or too difficult.

We must continue to nurture the sense of curiosity in our children and in ourselves. While many new technologies help us further our developments and explorations, it’s important that we pay attention to the ways in which they hinder us.
When young kids dream about their lives, we want them to dream about grand endeavors and explorations, about being fearless and immune to criticism and unfearing of any challenge. We want them to be superior to no one and inferior to no one, and to dream of things larger than themselves. Mostly, we want our new generations to accomplish great things in the scope of humanity, and as humans always have, if we strive to do so, we can.