Generation Subscribe

The newest ‘post-Millennial’ generation has recently brought up a big question: what defines a generation that differs from others in so many ways? For clarity, I will generally refer to this generation as “Generation Z.” Gen. Z has been called by many names recently. ‘iGeneration’ is a big contender, but it would be absurd to define a generation from the success of a company such as Apple. Apple did not alone construct the qualities of young people. If this were a legitimate title for our generation, then baby boomers should have been called ‘Generation Pampers,’, or Millennials should go by ‘Amazonian Generation.’ Next to these options, it is much easier to see why iGeneration is kind of ridiculous.

I want to propose a fun, insider title for Generation Z. From the start, I found ‘Generation Subscribe’ to be the most fitting. It isn’t the most complimentary suggestion, but to me it is accurate. Since the start of YouTube popularity, I think the idea of ‘subscribing’ to something has infiltrated almost all aspects of a young person’s life. The things we enjoy are numerous; movies, quotes, memes, people. These things all construct an identity more unique than a fingerprint, and it’s all kept neat and tight on our social media accounts. The posts we make, share and like are all mini subscriptions, letting the world know a little more about ourselves with every click.

Even the media we share with other people has to do with our identity today. Let’s say I show someone a funny video over YouTube. This gives me a perceived ownership over the video because he/she probably would have never found it among the overwhelming amount of content available on the internet. I feel good for showing someone that video, and if that person shares it with other people I’ll feel even better. It will always be ‘the video I showed you.’

This generational quality does have its downsides, however. I believe that ‘Subscribers’ can get settled into the routine of adopting beliefs rather than creating our own. I mean, a subscriber is the opposite of a creator, and this is very evident in young people today. With the ability to construct our identity through content made by other people, we can sit back and be the person we want to be from behind our screens. Strangely enough, this constructed identity lately seems to be more valid than our own truth.

It’s only a suggested name, but ‘Generation Subscribe’ seems to be a fun and accurate title. It’s much more exciting and original than ‘Centennials’ and more realistic than ‘iGeneration.’ Our identity matters, and our generation should be known for it.   

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