As the first generation to grow up with the internet, we represent the first group of people who—for the most part—don’t/didn’t have to go through a higher authority to obtain knowledge as we mature/matured. A lot of people have speculated how this affects our personalities and inclinations.
We want things, and we want them right now; this tendency is both a good and bad thing. Combined with a lack of regard for authority and the “I can do anything” disposition, it empowers us to enact tangible change on our surroundings. On the flip side, we’re more aware of the preciousness of time and it’s inexorable passage—something that requires a lot of mental strength to be at peace with.
For example, our generation has been characterized as being “afraid of commitment.” On the contrary, it’s not the commitment part we struggle with so much as deciding what exactly we want to commit our time to. Time is important to us, so deciding what we do with it is just as important. Cash is not our currency—time is.
This quality makes dating a pain in the ass and, ironically, a lengthy and complex process. Both parties want to be convinced that the other is worth spending time on, but neither is willing to initiate that persuasion. Moreover, with all of our hopes, dreams, failures and flaws reasonably accessible via the internet, we are even less willing to reach out and expose ourselves any more than we already are.
I think our biggest challenge as a generation will be overcoming a negative perception of time. Instead of concerning ourselves with the lack of it, we should focus instead on appreciating the ability of time to let things grow and flourish.
Easier said than done, of course.