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I’m part of the Millennial Generation also known as Generation Y or as I like to affectionately call it Generation Desperately Seeking Attention while Dr. Keith Ablow, writing about us for FoxNews.com, coined the phrase “generation of deluded narcissists.”
Lindsay Lohan, Courtney Stodden, the Kardashian sisters are famous millennials who Tweet like it’s their job. Each of the aforementioned celebrities are prime examples of how my generation equates attention with success.
However, don’t get angry at my peers or even worse pity us.
No, Dr. Ablow we do not connect our self worth solely in the number of Twitter followers or Facebook friends we have. We are simply the product of our environment which is a fast-paced, media saturated, fame obsessed culture that covets exposure.
It is true that most of my generation lives vicariously on the Internet where we frequently compare ourselves to our “followers” and “friends.” Because of these social networking sites, each of us has a forum to voice our feelings and air our dirty laundry.
In essence, we are all public figures on some small scale and like an attention hungry celeb, we want to see reactions to our posts whether they discuss the intimate details of a romantic relationship or frustration with our boss.
Although it’s great to share intimacies with a close friend, when we open our private lives to hundreds if not thousands of “friends,” we are not sharing but rather seeking a response; we are seeking validation via Facebook comments and @ Twitter messages. Ultimately, it's true, we want attention.
Recently, one of my friends was shocked to learn that a guy she was dating did not have a Facebook profile. She exclaimed, “Something has to be wrong with him. Are you even real if you’re not on Facebook?” Hmmm…a puzzling philosophical question that Descartes may have been unable to answer: "I Facebook, therefore I am."
Joking aside, there is truth in her statement. Facebook and other social networking sites are a modern version of a census except this record is far more detailed, like knowing that say, Jane Doe had "like the worst migraine known to man ever,” on February 12th, 2012.
Social networking is a brave new world. Millenials have been the guinea pigs and some of us have faced the harrowing consequences of over-sharing via the web. Sadly there is not a mandatory course offered in schools, "Think before Tweeting 101: A Way to Save Yourself Public Embarrassment and/or Loss of Employment."
To be honest, I vaguely remember a time when there was no such thing as social networking and not everything that happened was worthy of a Tweet. I miss that time when our personal lives were personal. But I know that we can never go back to the old days.
Social media is the recreational drug of choice for my generation. There is a high that comes when you post a picture or a status update and get an immediate “like” or comment or retweet. It’s instant validation that's comparable to a gold star in school. Social networking is addictive and my peers are the junkies.
Oh, and follow me on Twitter. Dang it! I can’t stop.