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Ever since I was a little girl I remember wanting to be liked. Not just liked by a few people but by the masses. I dreamed of being the next Selena Gomez or Miley Cyrus. No, seriously, I dreamt about it, often. The next best thing was popular. I came to the conclusion that to survive and maybe even thrive was to be perceived as popular. Popular by definition is to simply be enjoyed and liked by a lot of people. And how does one be liked? A general rule of thumb is that people like themselves. They like people that talk like them, dress like them, like the same things as them and hate the same things as them. Nothing brings people together like a common enemy.

I mean everyone wants to be liked right? To some degree at least. Mine may have been more on the extreme side. A simple term for what I did is called mirroring. And I did it with everyone and everything. I got good at it too, pretending like everything you said was the most important thing. When I got to highschool, it only got worse. I joined this clique of girls who were the skinniest, prettiest and wealthiest girls in the class. They wore Lululemon leggings with Sacred Heart crew necks, tall UGG boots rolled over to expose the inside fluff and drank venti green tea lemonades, with no sweetener of course. These girls drank almost as much as their parents did. Making themselves throw up so they could drink more and look emaciated while doing so. So I put on the uniform and got a fake ID and was on my way.

I never felt as pretty or skinny or rich as them, but I could drink as much as them. When I found out that drugs and alcohol made you cool, it became my personality. And when I used, I was finally not perseverating and hyper analyzing on how much you liked me. Things quickly escalated. Getting kicked out of school, getting 51/50, found passed out with my face in a Chipotle bowl with a blue backpack full of drugs, covered in my own vomit. And it quickly went from cool to a liability. Bouncing from rehabs to different highschools, different jobs and college, I realized other people liked to drink and drug themselves into oblivion just as much as I did. I was liked again.

So cool until it wasn’t right? It’s hard to believe people like you when you don’t like you. And the more you hate yourself the more you feel as though you need others to love you. Begging someone to love you the way you want to be loved is the most painful, pathetic thing in the world. I’ve done it more than I’d like to admit.

Like me, like me, like me. One day I won’t care how much you like me. Because I’ll like me and that will simply be enough.

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The "Special Snowflake Generation"

Why don't we want to procreate?

47% of Gen-Z does not want children. Reasons involving finance, environmental conditions, feelings of apathy and depression, not wanting the responsibility, wanting to spend more time and money on themselves and/or simply “not liking children”.

Many confessed to wanting to spend their money on themselves instead of a child. As America specifically becomes more individualistic and as this generation becomes more materialistic this makes sense to an observer.

Growing up in the age of Tumblr with dark media circling the internet it became both trendy and expressive to be sad, show pain in a very physical way and internalize the pressing problems of the current outside world. Sub-cultures being pro-ana, idolizing self harm, drug use and being of a marginalized group.

Each generation gets less religious, moving away from God or a higher power and more into self. Depression and addiction rates are higher than ever with over 60% of teens ages 14-17 struggling with depression. If there is no definite good or bad, no after life and no one more powerful then one’s self; what is the point to life?

We are the guinea pig generation of social media with the need for instant gratification being more prevalent than ever. With the click of a button you can get anything delivered or ordered to your door step, have transportation on the way and communicate with anyone. Not only does this create ADHD, focusing on too many things at once and making it difficult for young people to focus on something that takes longer than 15 seconds but also creating great apathy when having to do something worthwhile. As the generation that raised us knew that had to work hard and long to have any level of success but Gen-Z has a different experience.

With the flux of images of celebrities, influencers and wealthy people it would only make sense that this “special snowflake generation” would envision themselves as the next big thing or not envision themselves at all. Furthermore, with Bitcoin and NFT’s, young people are making fortunes overnight. Peers see this and become depressed due to not having a similar experience.

An obsession with death:

With climate change and resources running out it makes sense that Gen-Z doesn’t look too far into the future. Some might say the planet is dying along with us.

The Trump era polarized America more than ever as most are aware of. Trump stood for the middle American, Christian white man who worked a 9-5 had a wife at home taking care of their two kids and a dog. TV dinners, shooting ranges, hunting, Church on Sundays, cisgender roles in the home and a “clean presentable” look to the public. How did Gen-Z respond to this? With the polar opposite. Gen-Z responded with colored hair, tattoos, middle fingers, music and art about pain and suffering, questioning the idea of gender, ect. Did we go too far? Is there a happy medium? Is there a right or wrong answer to this? No. These are things to discuss and think about with your friends and family.

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