High school is a journey of courage, self- discovery, and taking a decent selfie once in a while.
Since social media began its takeover of the impressionable minds of young adults, the youngest generation, professionally labeled Generation Z, earned the nickname: “The Selfie Generation.” Whether a picture is taken at the beach, or before a music concert, or during a routine walk to class in a crowded hallway, taking a worthy selfie can change the overall mood of a person’s day. So, what on earth can a person who cares about “Instagram likes” possibly do with their future?
People from Generation Z were born after 1995, which makes most of them adolescents, yet they have been dubbed many different things despite being a young group; by molding expectations, older generations confined the youth.
Why isn’t the story of Eqbal Asa’d, who is currently the youngest doctor at the age of 14, defining the younger generation?
A doctor traditionally goes through years of schooling before they earn the prefix “Dr.,” a dream to many, an honor to few. Doctors age with years of knowledge, but Asa’d is a different story. As a Palestinian Muslim woman, the young prodigy “started... Medicine school when she was just 14 years old,” according to Radiance Weekly. With will and motivation, Asa’d received her Bachelor Degree in Medicine, and she will continue her education in Ohio to move closer to her goal of becoming a pediatrician.
Is it her age that makes it insignificant? Ironically, that is the exact reason people should be talking about Asa’d. Underestimating the youngest generation is not only a waste of time, but laughable. The potential they have has been tainted by the turmoil the older generations have left behind.
There are stars of our generation at home. Karina Moreira, who recently passed away at the hand of cancer, served as a role model for Malden students and beyond. Using social media and blogging, she spent her ultimate years fulfilling her love for fashion online, inspiring people and roping the attention of celebrities like supermodel Gisele Bundchen and Taylor Swift. Moreira is a role model who highlights the social media aspect in the youngest generation, a role model who should define the greater aspects of Generation Z.
Our younger generation always seems to repeatedly fail to impress the older generation, also known as the “Baby Boomers.” The years following World War II experienced a high birth rate, creating an overpowering force in the government, the economy, and the lives of the younger generations. Before they start to judge the selfie-takers, they should take a look at their own hands and realize who raised them.
Let me be clear: age is not an excuse nor an entitlement.
Age does not signify maturity: an older person is not simply more cultured or better suited for the harsh realities of the world because he had the chance to gain a few more years of experience, similarly to the case of a younger person, who should not be subjected to the confines of society’s expectations. When someone mentions he are sixteen, there should not be predetermined thoughts or expectations. Simply being an age should not mean something. As Yoko Ono once said, “time is a concept that humans created.” An older person should not allowed to dictate the minds of our youth, or train them to take their places because they are trying to improve the world.
Do not think “Baby Boomers” are original in often believing that the younger generations are selfish and consumed with maintaining meaningless conversations with their friends. Once upon a time, “Baby Boomers” were once considered egotistical by generations who raised them. The difference between the two generations is highlighted by Generation Z’s extensive use of cellphones and computers. Social media entered the roots and veins of American culture and exceeded all fads and trends; it has become a social norm.
Generation Z adapted to the technological advances, and is using the changes around them to learn about world events and connect with people. Each time young people take selfies, or tweet, or update their Facebook statuses, they are connecting with peers, as well as people from all over the world. The connections are revolutionary, and those from Generation Z have the power to grow.
The next time you notice an adolescent taking a picture of himself on their phone, prevent yourself from thinking negatively. Remember that he does not even realize the heights of his potential, and it will only be a few more years before the youngest generation keeps its promises to work with each other, and build better connections.