Photo by Tyler Meuter

The older generations like to blame us Millennials for everything; they’ve really got it out for us considering all the things they ruined for us. But one thing that they’re especially fixated on is how self-obsessed we apparently are.  We take selfies while they’re hard at work, paying off mortgages and doing other grown-up things.

The thing is, every generation has looked down at the generation below them and despaired at how they would never amount to anything. Once the older generation lays the groundwork for innovation, they don’t seem to realize that the next level of innovation is arriving. They don’t recognize how their previous work made it possible for a new age to analyze their mistakes.

If you look at history, as each era has progressed, people have had more and more resources to work with and more innovation to take advantage of. People in the Bronze Age had knowledge from those in the Stone Age about what shapes worked best for what use; they didn’t have to start from scratch. We stand on the shoulders of the giants who have come before us. Scientific innovation continued to progress the same way; researchers look at what worked in the past, and how previous methods could be improved upon. This also applies to other progressing fields; music, social views and
even literature.

How does this tie into our narcissism? Well, we’re just improving how we capture our moments, whether its Vines, Snapchat, Instagram or Twitter. In our parents’ generations, remembering an event was a bit of an ordeal. You would get a camera, take the pictures, get the pictures developed, hopefully organize them and then put them in a safe place so that you could look at them sometime. Maybe you’d put them into an album that would be shoved into a box in the attic; perhaps you would frame a copy to remember the good old days. We have the luxury of taking thousands of pictures from the same devices we can talk to our friends with and sharing them with the world. Perhaps this generation is obsessed
with itself.

But why is that bad? We’re in an age that grew up with innovation and economic turmoil. The generation above us may have been able to pay for college with money from a summer job and buy a house a year after college, but most of us don’t have that luxury. So in the mean time, we share articles and pictures taken from painstaking angles with our friends while working to stay relevant in a fast paced world.

We’ve managed to reach a point where we can celebrate the big and little things in life, and we can share it all with the people closest to us. If that means I get the added bonus of being able to reminisce with even more materials when I’m older, great. Besides, by then, I can drink my coffee, read the paper and tut at how crazy the youth these days are; I mean, what would life be without that tradition?