The generation Y and their change motiff By Seyi Olanihun

It’s simply amazing how the ostrich continues to bury its head in the sand and protest loudly when steered off posture—by situations and circumstances that draw attention to the need for change with the times, and the oddity of its current position.

Recent utterances about social media and the use to which it has been put reminds me of the poor ostrich.

The twenty-first century is the locale of voice and its occupants more so! They are not merely objects to be heard, they are the active sights at the table of history. The wise man also knows that change comes, sometimes slowly but often times more rapidly than anyone truly desires.

I am talking here about the new generation, otherwise called the generation-Y.

The youth are no longer satisfied with platitudes and rhetoric from the older generation. Broken promises litter our history and honour has become a word whose meaning is only defined and found in the dictionary.

Quite a number have grown up listening to stories recounted by their parents and sadly some of them still ring true today. Their patience is not as deep as their forerunners and there are those that advocate it should no longer be so.

This new generation is by no means flighty or as superficial as they might appear. They often apply more stringent standards than is generally thought.

Where they merely feel they are simply expressing an opinion, others may feel otherwise. The generational gap of what constitutes respect constantly widens daily and brings misunderstanding. Thus, one feels an opinion or fact has been aired whilst the other perceives an insult has been made.

A lot of people are severely discontent and have taken to social media for its expression. Some are young(er), others not so much but all use this tool to speak about issues of interest. Politics, enterprise, social development, business, entertainment, fashion and much more are just some topics that come to the fore on these platforms.

Global developments have demonstrated that social media is a tool that has massive appeal and influence with its users.

A tool for strategy, organisation and above all anonymity, it has served many movements both positively and negatively. Governments have had to take note and some have clamped down as a means to preserve tyranny and corruption.

This is a state that cannot be prolonged since resilience and resourcefulness are characteristics that are second nature in these new movements and advocates.

Exposure to information and acts of their peers globally influences the courage displayed by this new generation emerging in the country. Taking their lives in their hands they chose to question, debate, try, and hold elected leaders to account.

Sometimes with tongue-in-cheek articles, questions and observations they seek to understand how things have been allowed to continue in these deplorable conditions that prevail.

As citizens they believe this is a fundamental right and choose to engage using available technology under conducive conditions. So without censorship and undue moderation by ‘authority’ they analyse policies, utterances and actions of leaders and other actors that affect the larger society.

Those satisfied with the status quo wonder at the audacity on display. They thunder indignantly at the attention this vocal specie has garnered and seek to squelch it by using words like disrespect and abuse.

Disrespect is further propagated when an entire generation is blatantly disregarded and told that they have to keep silent since they have not yet ‘earned’ the right to speak to elders. The elders must remember that change is at hand and even when you chose to ignore it…it happens!


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