Ypulse Weblog: Gen Y and Lack of Outrage

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I  came across an excellent blog about the GenY or Millennials for marketing professionals called Ypulse.  Since I have a pre-teen, I am interested in what this next generation is all about.  One of the things that strikes me is the interest in global things that I see young Christians pursue.  It seems that the minority of the GenY kids that are "activists" I know might break the mold that Anastasia Goodstien talks about in her article (The Death of Outrage).  I think there is some great insight here into the temperature that this age group, even those kids we know, have to injustice and other global issues.

Apart from the trendy "consumer activism," buying American Apparel or Eden clothes, putting something on your blog to represent the One Campaign, wearing a rubber bracelet that means something, non-partisan get out the vote campaigns, I don’t see a lot of outrage…It’s not that I think young people don’t care — they completely rallied around helping Tsunami and Katrina victims. They volunteer at soup kitchens or for their churches. They want to help people. But it seems like the larger critiques of power, government control, globalization, racism, sexism, etc. are pretty much confined to some college campuses, and even there, I think they are waning.

One thing in church work we see is apathy of these kids to challenge the powers to be about the things that do not work.  GenY has worthy criticism of our churches but they would rather not go to church instead a raising a big stink about things they think need change.  This thought process is a the young have.  So, if not asked and asked in a way that is safe for them, negative feedback will never rise to the top levels of our church leadership.

In some ways, I think that this generation is so completely saturated with watered-down, uncritical news, slick marketing, hundreds of television stations and shows, games, music, blogs, phones, Web, etc. that they may be in kind of a consumer coma.

This is a profound quote!  On one hand, our media perpetuates marginalizing people between red and blue states, young and old, and you can pick your own playlists on iPods.  Everyone is grabbing and striving to carve an ever smaller piece of the pie.  So, no wonder these GenY kids are in a coma.  Choices make it ever harder to find an identity and be "understood."  In her article, we see reference to the lack of history.  Plainly, this makes a universal discourse about important things that need change problematic.

What do you think?  Is GenY without outrage?

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Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

4 comments

  1. I remember my generation being called “apathetic” by the generation ahead of me. That would be the baby boomers who felt (and many still do) that they had the market cornered on what was worthy of our attention, and what was not. I don’t know that this generation is any more or less concerned about their world than our generation has been. I do think, however, that one defining aspect of this new generation is their culture of media. That’s something different for us parents to understand.

  2. I remember my generation being called “apathetic” by the generation ahead of me. That would be the baby boomers who felt (and many still do) that they had the market cornered on what was worthy of our attention, and what was not. I don’t know that this generation is any more or less concerned about their world than our generation has been. I do think, however, that one defining aspect of this new generation is their culture of media. That’s something different for us parents to understand.

  3. I remember my generation being called “apathetic” by the generation ahead of me. That would be the baby boomers who felt (and many still do) that they had the market cornered on what was worthy of our attention, and what was not. I don’t know that this generation is any more or less concerned about their world than our generation has been. I do think, however, that one defining aspect of this new generation is their culture of media. That’s something different for us parents to understand.

  4. I remember my generation being called “apathetic” by the generation ahead of me. That would be the baby boomers who felt (and many still do) that they had the market cornered on what was worthy of our attention, and what was not. I don’t know that this generation is any more or less concerned about their world than our generation has been. I do think, however, that one defining aspect of this new generation is their culture of media. That’s something different for us parents to understand.

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