The Invisible Warriors: Millennials & Social Media
By Laura Davenport, Intern
Lazy, they call us. Apathetic, they accuse. Insults like these, and many others aside—materialistic, selfish, and lacking in focus, to name a few—are leveled at the Millennial Generation on a regular basis. When they accuse us of these charges, I wonder to whom we are compared. Maybe its the all-American soldiers who bravely fought Nazi Germany in World War II. Or maybe the revolutionaries of the 1960s who resisted their own government and its ruling. Those generations became what their world demanded they become.
We, the Millennials are no different. We are a product of the world in which we’ve grown up. Ours is not only the world outside our front door. We occupy a world you cannot see. We exist both in the physical space and cyberspace.
It is there that we fight our battles. We fight, daily, against the invisible enemies that have always ravaged society. Racism, sexism, and homophobia, among others have met with and fallen to an army of Millennials who envision a world without them.
Our weapon of choice in this war of ideology is social media and our battlefield is the worldwide web. We wield Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to challenge the very things of which you accuse us: apathy, carelessness, and a stagnant thinking.
Before you dismiss us as a self-involved and antisocial, I ask you to consider that we have friends and relationships with other Millennial soldiers across the globe. We are constantly engaged in conversation, in both the physical and invisible worlds. We are innovative, creative, and bursting with passion.
Don’t take my word for it. There is recent historical evidence that proves our involvement in the world, and the force we mobilize makes a real difference. In the Middle East, students took to social media to form protests and begin the Arab Spring revolutions. Because of the efforts of cyber soldiers, several regimes crumbled to make way for democracy.
When a neighborhood watchman shot an African American teen in Florida, the digital world was set ablaze. Millennials once again raised the battle cry. A discussion of racial prejudice began, one that continues today, as more and more instances of archaic inequality emerge.
When a UCSB student shot and killed six of his classmates out of resentment and hatred for women, millennial women fought back through a single hashtag. #YesAllWomen became a rallying cry for a battle for gender equality and the defeat of misogyny.
The Millennials aren’t perfect. We must learn to communicate with other generations, our would-be allies. We invite to join us in the cyber world, where we are making a difference. Perhaps if you see us there, you wouldn’t call us lazy. You wouldn’t call us apathetic. Maybe you’d see us differently: as involved, as passionate, and maybe, just maybe, as a hope for the future.