Friday, November 2, 2007

The Restless Generation

I've been reading a lot of articles and critiques of today's youth (including 20-somethings) and one of the most interesting designations that I've read were those of "The Restless Generation." I think I've also read Complacent and Bored as designators for our generation. These critiques really seem to speak some truth to me.

Technology is booming, electronic communication is so easy and fast. It allows us to create and share so much, but I also believe that it shuts us down and takes away any sense of freedom we might have had without it. In its essence technology makes things easier. Tasks that used to require effort and work require almost nothing now. So now that these small yet meaningful tasks are taken away from us, what do we do? How do we measure our accomplishments, how do we dirty our hands?

Ours is a generation of exercise-nuts and alcohol and drug abusers, a complacent generation if you will, a people who cannot be content because of a painful disconnect with accomplishment. I believe that many of these replaced tasks give us too much and leave us agonizing over the strange place that it truly leaves us in.

I believe that one of the most important things in our lives in community and our connection to other people. We may not be aware of it but we depend so deeply on all of the people around us. We depend on a feeling of accomplishment as well; and technology has inadvertently taken those two dependencies away abruptly.

So where does it leave us? restless, bored and complacent. With so much energy that has to be extinguished in one way or another, through drug abuse, through exercise, through technology, through travel, through anything that is available to us, we don't know what to do.

I am not trying to paint a picture that doesn't include myself, I believe that I am an integral part of this mess, I'm just not sure how to deal with it.

I would love to hear others opinions on the matter.

listening to Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova, "Once" Soundtrack


  1. I don't think that we do more drugs than any other generation. I'd like to see some studies on that though.

    You claim that technology shuts us down as it makes communication easier. Could you explain that? I think I know what you mean, but I'd like to see how you think that happens. You also say that it takes away our sense of freedom. Do you mean that by carrying a cell phone you feel somehow attached to it? Chained to it?

    I'd like to understand why you think that technology, and it seems like you mean communicative technology, takes away from our ability to connect with our communities. Doesn't it expand our ability to connect with more people therefore creating communities?

  2. I wish we had the technology to teleport, then we wouldn't need communication technology. I mean shit, if we could teleport then we would be having this discussion in person in your apartment right now.

    If I could get off my lazy young adult ass I'd work on teleportation technology.

  3. You ask a lot of damn questions ilya,

    I see flaws in my arguments, but I do believe that with technology (written cell phones and internet) we can fulfill our human need to interact with others yet in many senses we aren't really interacting with others.

    When I post comments on your blog, we may be having a dignified, high-minded conversation, but we aren't connected in the same way that we may have been before internet communication existed.

    I do think that technology allows for individual connections when they may not have been accessible, but it also makes people less needy to create a real human community outside of their doorstep.

    You are chained to your cell phone, we all unfortunately are.

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  5. I think you're trying to say that it's a different form of interaction. I agree. I don't think it's fulfilling the same way that human interaction is. And because it's not as fulfilling we will always want to meet in person. There are sites that are dedicated to meeting in real life. is one of them. They have some cool groups too. Atheist groups!