I am a millennial.
I own a smart phone, but remember spending hours curling the cord of my parents’ landline around my fingers while talking behind a closed door.
I can access data in my pocket, but remember when my dad got our first computer and hearing the sounds of dial up internet.
I share photos instantly, but remember going to the pharmacy to develop film and how angry my mom got that I wasted some of those negatives on pictures of clouds.
They once thought the future would be all about transportation.
Hoverboards and flying cars, jet packs and teleportation. But instead, we became the generation of communication. I wake up to a Facebook message from my friend in Slovakia and can shoot a text to one in South Korea. I can Skype for free with someone in Brazil, and read an email from someone in Morocco.
Computers which once took up an entire room now sit on our wrist and we can talk to our watch to keep up with the world.
Global travel is no longer exotic and unpredictable, but easily replicated because the stories and photos don’t hide in our memories and sock drawers but are shared with the world in real time.
We strove so hard to be different, and in that way we all became the same.
I drink my direct-trade coffee black and have never bought cable.
I buy my clothing in thrift stores (before Macklemore made it cool) and love getting produce from the farmer’s market.
I live with roommates so I can afford to live in a big city, and most of my friends aren’t yet married.
I laugh, I cry, I argue, I make peace. I talk to a therapist, and vent to my friends. I move away from home and build a network to serve as a surrogate family when the days get too long and the nights get too lonely.
I ask questions and argue politics, I question the status quo and argue for a truth I’ve discovered.
No, I’m not any different than you.
I’m a middle class white girl with first world problems, but sometimes through the gentrification can see the real world issues. I strive to meet people who challenge me and my beliefs, and find myself hurting as a way to feel alive.
Is that the point of being a millennial? Generations before us made the way so smooth that we have to roughen the course to not become one of a million faces?