Initially, the term “snowflake generation” was mere slang, but was soon it was recognized as one of Collins Dictionary‘s 2016 words of the year. Collins defines the term as “the young adults of the 2010s, viewed as being less resilient and more prone to taking offence than previous generations.
We live in a generation of people who are slowly learning to be authentic and actually feel – which is one of the hardest things humanity ever had to learn, on a global scale. Things should not be watered down. Instead the truth spoken should be the truth. Instead of harsh words penetrated by the persons suppressed hatred and anger, probably caused by fear and sadness, could we actually connect to our fears and traumas and acknowledge our sadness then we would actually be able to be honest, for the very first time. And that would probably help to prevent so many misunderstandings, conflicts, even wars.
I don’t believe there is a correct opinion. I believe in disagreements. That’s why I’m inherently against things that prevent the presence of civil discourse such as “safe spaces” and legislation that restrict freedom of speech. Our society achieved its intellectual height from dissent and any attempt to suppress that is direct fascism. There is absolutely nothing to gain from shutting down discomforting views, purely on the basis that they do not conform to the standards of another individual; doing so only exacerbates polarity.
People advocating against freedom of speech will say that the global financial recessions, the rising cost of living and education, insecure work, climate change and a turbulent political landscape have all contributed to significant increases in poor mental health among young people and that this has created a difficult environment for millennials to meet their potential. This feeling of constant victimization is rooted in “helicopter parenting”; parents hovering over their children and indulging their child’s every whim.
Moms and dads became preoccupied with the safety and self-esteem of their kids. I know parents who did their child’s homework and who joined their graduate at his first job interview.
Eventually it led to the concept of participation ribbons and trophies; kids being awarded just for turning out. It became more important to celebrate participation more than winning. The truth is most kids won’t win a championship and adults felt that should not prevent those average players from being rewarded in some way. A few years ago, I visited a friend’s home and saw her room literally filled with trophies and ribbons she’d been given. She had never won any championships. This has fostered an expectation of rewards just for showing up.
Parents, teachers and now our entire society has forgot that raising children is not just about protecting but preparing. Parents didn’t let them fail enough growing up. Parents removed the consequences of poor decisions. They praised the wrong qualities in them. They risked too little, rescued too quickly and raved too easily.
As the snowflake generation came of age and should have been ready to enter adulthood—more educated and with greater advantages than past generations— they instead expected a continued zero gravity environment as they had growing up. An environment with no resistance. They go to college with the expectation that the schools need to adapt to their standards of tolerance. A new study from the Brookings Institution found that a majority of college students are perfectly fine with silencing speech they find offensive, and want their schools to be “safe spaces” where “offensive” speech is prohibited. And a surprisingly large number of students support using violence to do so. If that doesn’t scare you, there is something profoundly wrong.
The truth is, we have never had it better than we do today. We have never had more opportunities to prosper, economic freedom and social liberties. Yet millennials and the snowflake generation will take to any opportunity to complain on social media. They complain about culture appropriation because a white girl wore cornrows and hoop earrings. They complain about the rent being too high and being paid $9 per hour. They believe everyone who disagrees with them is either racist, homophobic, fatphobic or transphobic This is an attitude of privilege and is beyond any kind of reason.
We are fostering a generation that believe their own hype, who measure self-value by the amount of followers on Instagram, who consider any opposition dangerous and who can’t stop praising themselves.
And I’m the controversial one?