This week was destined to be a bad week here in the US. No matter which side you are on, I think we can all admit, this has been a flawed year for our country. However, I think there is a lot we as millennials can learn from this. Our generation prides itself on being so connected. We are constantly communicating, starting information, playing games, shopping--you name it--during the course of our daily lives. We have a symbiotic relationship with information and socialization that has never been seen before. But what have we done with it up until now? The world is literally at our fingertips and we have spent most of our mature (ish) lives waiting for the next instant message from MSN Messenger to trying out the newest Snapchat flower crown to see which makes our selfie look most on point.
I'm 100% guilty of this--I write a fashion blog, clearly I am entrenched in the social media takeover. I create the type of content that (hopefully) makes you press the heart while you scroll Insta on your lunch break. However, over the past year, I saw a different kind of content alongside mine. Of course, I'm talking about all the ubiquitous election posts and inevitable fights/rants/soap boxes they caused. Don't get me wrong, these instances were very annoying and I hope one good outcome of this week is that they will soon be over.
I am hoping for another good outcome too... Last September, I was sitting in my friends' house, watching a recap of the primary debates. I had known this family for years, through many election cycles, and never had heard them mention any opinion. They never got caught up in politics (maybe that's smart!). However, this year, they were interested and engaged. As the year went on, more and more people my age started to care. In my observations, this election cycle spurred more millennial interest and overall population awareness than I have ever seen before. Sure, the entertainment factor was high due to the nature of our nominees but still...we gave a s&*t about what was going on. And I say that generously...because while we were tuned in, we weren't engaged enough and we ended up with two of the most disliked candidates in US history. Meanwhile we were just like...
So today, people are mad. People are worried. But anger and worry are still engagement. Americans were disengaged and apathetic towards the political machine. That apathy led the machine to derail. We stepped up and got more informed this election cycle, but we didn't do enough. Now it's our job to stay engaged, stay informed, and stay inspired. Change isn't the end of things, sometimes change is the catalyst that sparks an entirely new era. And for us millennials, many of whom are having children who will be the future, it's time to take responsibility for where we are now and for where we'd like to go. I'm sure we'll still take some really good selfies along the way, I promise.