A picture says a thousand words, and it’s funny how emojis seem to be doing that now. A simple heart eyes or laughing tears face is the go-to response when tagged in almost anything on Facebook. I’ve sent pictures of cute dogs to friends with just the crying emoji and they know exactly what I’m getting at. From cave drawing to hieroglyphics, we do seem to love communicating through images – even if the poop emoji is a thing.
People call our generation snowflakes, the selfie generation, lazy, and self-obsessed, but I disagree. For a generation that has grown up in recession, and now has to live in a world where Trump’s America sounds like it came out of Orwell’s 1984 and god-knows what will happen because of Brexit, I think it’s harsh to call us those things. I know, using the heart eyes to comment on food porn on Instagram is pretty trivial, and I was way too excited when I found that Snapchat lets you make your own emoji.
I think emoji’s, hashtags, and using words like “fleek” and “lit” are a way for this generation to find an escape and distraction. Everyone judges me because I actually like Keeping Up with the Kardasians, and sure, it’s not exactly educational but the news is always bad and if that’s all you’re gonna watch then you’re gonna end up feeling miserable. Sometimes I need to sit down and watch Kourtney leave Scott for the 10th time or see Kim crying because of an earring. Keeping a balance between current affairs and trashy reality shows keeps me sane.
It’s the babyboomers who say things like “I don’t care about global warming”, or can’t understand our struggles because we end up with precarious work while their mortgage is paid off and have a pension to look forward to. I don’t want to disrespect our parents’ and grandparents’ generations, but we have it tough. When they’re gone we have to live in a world of uncertainty, climate change is destroying the planet and while they won’t have to live through it, us and our children will. Don’t even get me started on global politics at the moment, but the demographic of votes for arguably bad decisions have been from older people (#shade).
For the most part this generation works hard, and are fantastic activists for pretty much everything. When we’re not using the snake emoji to throw shade at whoever we’re sub-tweeting, we use social media for activism. RTE didn’t cover things like #twowomentravel, but through Twitter we made sure the world knew about it. We use social media to call out false reporting, censorship, and live-tweet events as they happen. A tweet or picture won’t actually fix tragic events such as the shooting in Pulse Orlando, or the Paris attacks, but it’s how we show solidarity.
So throw shade and snakes to your heart’s content, we got dis.
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