Generation Heard

I don’t know who it is that names generations…the Baby Boomers, the Lost Generation, Generation X, and Y (or ‘Next’ if this was a Pepsi ad)…I think this one is easy…I’m naming it Generation Heard.

As the internet and social media has given people a microphone, almost everyone under the age of 35 has grabbed it. They say anything and everything that comes to their minds…instantly. We all have a voice and we all will be heard.

My opinions. My likes. My dislikes. My interests. My inspirations. My girlfriends. My boyfriends. Everything, shouted out to the American public. For anyone to see. Anyone that will listen, we will be heard.

While I like it, and grabbed the microphone as well…I thought about how Yamamoto Tsunetomo would view the internet. What would he say? About what we all are saying and hearing…Generation Heard.

Think before you tweet. Everything you put out there is recorded. If I was 15 years old and on Facebook or Twitter or MySpace or any of them, I can’t imagine what I would have written. I can’t imagine what would have come back to haunt me at a later time. I learned this lesson a long time ago…if you ever want to rip into someone, call them on the phone. An email has infinite life. A post has infinite life. A Tweet has infinite life. I don’t think there will be a politician among us, as everything we write down is recorded somewhere. How soon before the first presidential candidate is nixed for some racist, sexist, or sacrilegious remark they made on the internet when they were in high school?

Don’t only write…read. Most of us are too busy telling everyone what we are interested in to listen to what other people are saying. Everyone is quick to give advice and state their opinion through social media, yet they will not read it. They will not hear it. Don’t be so quick to teach. And yes, I realize the irony of these words as I try to teach things over social media. I fall victim to it too.

Make sure to grow apart…or you won’t grow. Be careful of your personal growth getting stunted. Generation Heard will not lose touch with people. For the first time ever…everyone will always be a click away. When I graduated high school, I gradually grew apart from my friends. Some years later, we grew back together again. All having gown in different directions. All now adding different dimensions to our friendship. There is a real fear that staying so close to everyone you ever met will be limiting for your growth as a person.

This is a great new age and there is great new technology popping up all the time. But it’s unchartered territory. Be heard. Speak your mind. Get up on a soapbox and shout it. But just think about what you post. Think about the effects of this social media on you. On you in the present. On you in the future.