The great societal debate

SHAY MILLS
Opinions Editor
Older generations call us the teenybopper age, the generation of individuals who conform, the fad generation. And while this may be true in some senses, overall, we are one of the most unique generations since the baby boomers. Let us please be realistic for one moment. Every generation has a fad or style that it follows. From dance styles to clothing choices to hairstyles to music, each generation has those few trends that are popular among the entire age group. The ‘60s and ‘70s generation had rock and roll and platform shoes; the ‘80s and ‘90s had hip-hop, miniskirts and shoulder pads; and we have pop, Justin Bieber and thrift vintage dressing.
Does the fact that we follow these trends make us conformed and unauthentic? Absolutely not. The thing about us is that we follow these trends but in different ways. And on top of that, we do not all follow the same trends. We each individually choose what we want to follow or whether we want to follow anything at all. Some of us are flat-out hipsters who make it cool to not follow anything or to follow everything beyond its extremities. The point that I am making is that we take full advantage of our free will.
Did anyone consider those who stood together to protest against the war in Vietnam conformists? Was every girl who decided to wear teased hair to school not unique? I guess if you decide to follow a trend because you like it, you are not considered an individual, and if you go against all trends because you want to be considered an individual, you are seen as a socially awkward outcast. No one is safe anymore.
If we are considered to be conforming to the mainstream, then so be it. Like any other generation, we band together to contest against adversaries that directly affect us and our future. Do not consider us conformed because we all think smartphones are the best thing since cheeseburgers. Do not consider us conformed because Beyoncé and Kanye West make music that we can all relate to and enjoy. Do not consider us conformed because we use social media more than we write papers for English class.
We are individuals because we have a larger sense of free will in choosing our own paths than our parents did. We are individuals because there are so many different types of us that the categories can no longer be simply accounted for. We are innovative individuals because we think of creative ways to make our lives easier almost every day. We are individuals because we are not afraid to let the world know who we are. If someone says that we are uniform and brainwashed, then they must put themselves in the same category because no generation is better than another when it comes to individuality.

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