Millennials Have No Time For Thinking

Ice caps are melting, tuition fees are rising, health services are privatising, arts funding is diminishing, attention spans are shortening and no one cares. Except perhaps for the 30 or so minutes they’re trending on Facebook.

Activism on social media goes as far as a one-status rant and maybe, just maybe, the sharing of an online petition. And to be fair, this could be a good thing for getting people involved in current affairs and getting them talking about the big issues. The trouble with this though is that many of us simply don’t have time to prioritise these issues. As soon as the next trending topic or viral fad comes up it’s on to that before swiftly moving back to chatting shit about Kim Kardashian’s ass.

And all of it – especially Kardashian’s butt crack – is distracting people from looking deeper into important issues. You read one Buzzfeed article on your lunch break and consider yourself fully knowledgeable of an issue, when really all Buzzfeed is telling you is what large sums of people want to hear. Often not the unpleasant truth, which is that we’ve entered into an era of egotistical, numb-minded consumers, who, unless it can be shared on Facebook showing ourselves to be involved, humorous and as liberal as possible, the majority don’t want to hear it.

I don’t know about you but I’d like to see more controversy on social media – not the irrelevant, watered-down Cecil the Lion bullshit, but actual political stances that people are prepared to stand firm on and defend when called out by their friends instead of rolling over and posting a noncommittal gif. But I get it, no one wants to sound like a radical.

And while I’ll admit that there are many people beginning to get angry at the modern world’s way of seeing things, these are often the people intelligent enough to sit back and let the idiots battle it out to be the most progressive and/or knowledgeable. What this means though is that we have idiots shaping the future of our online media, where clickbait listicles and self-righteous ‘open letters’ to anyone who’ll listen are becoming the most sellable content on the internet, and the content we’ll see most of for years to come. This is not a world I want to live in.

And I don’t believe that anyone is incapable of framing their own insights and opinions, but rather, many lack the time, energy and necessary background knowledge needed to come to their own conclusions. I’d also argue that this isn’t really their own fault. It took until I was 22 and successfully tied down to a tedious office job before I found I had opinions on politics, religion and the sorry turn of modern society. Before that, I’d always thought I was incapable of having worldly arguments, because I assumed I just didn’t know enough. So instead, I tried to be as uncontroversial as possible, gave everyone the benefit of the doubt and continued to pay into the system like it somehow owned me before I’d even agreed to its terms.

Then I said screw that and moved to Taiwan, a place with it’s own problems like any other, but a place that would allow me the time to take scope. The very real threat of China over here really does put One Direction’s relationship problems into perspective. Oh, and I’m also paying less than half the rent in the heart of Taipei city than I was paying to live in London’s shittier bits, so already I’m better off.

If you are to take anything from this, it is that as a society we need to be thinking more critically about things. Things don’t exist for consumption because they’re healthy and virtuous, they exist to make someone that little bit richer, and work to make you that little bit dumber. Huge sections of our media are biased and although we’re moving away from traditional models, it’s ignorant to think online media has any less of an ulterior motive; there’s just more of it to sift through.

So, instead of basing your opinion on what will get you the biggest number of likes, try seeing the bigger picture. Is the problem social, cultural or political? Is there anything that can be done? Who is at fault? Who has the power to stop or enforce whatever it is? Should you be getting angry at your friends and followers, or is it really the government, the corporations and the people trying to take away your civil liberties (and those of future generations) who deserve your wrath?


LessEvolvedThanWeThink, then, is a space to talk about the stuff of importance to society, in the UK and worldwide, and to call out bad journalism, political agendas, popular distractions from bigger issues and anything which ultimately aims to dumb us down more. Follow me on Twitter if you think it could be interesting.

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