Updated: Feb 15, 2019
I can already feel the hate seeping in through my laptop screen, even now, before I've even written the piece. It's just so abundantly clear that by creating a post with this title I am attracting people to criticise me. But that's life hey? Onto the post.
We are living in the most progressive, productive, connected age that mankind has ever lived in and yet despite its many benefits there are also a number of downfalls unique to its existence.
With improvements to the racial inequalities that tormented our ancestors we now also have new forms of racism that penetrate every aspect of our society, reminding us that we will never truly escape it.
With the rise of feminism and the improvements of women's rights in all aspects of life we now too have this wave of fear leading the charge against men, what once was a united fight for equality is a divided war for power and control.
So too, with the implementation of the internet and social media we have created a generation who can speak to people across the globe instantly and in doing so have also made normal insecurities and vulnerabilities more accessible to taunt.
We can't escape it anymore. The things we see on the internet have shaped the people we are. Misinformed outbursts, celebrity gossip, international news, fear-mongering, political pressures etc. its all to blame for the society we are so immersed in.
We are all so scared to talk in case we are vilified or shamed for using our freedom to speak our mind. A joke from our past can now end our careers where before it was simply a joke. Now, we have to be so conscious of what we say, who we say it to, what we think or feel or believe in because it could all, one day, be used to destroy us.
So now my generation is labelled the 'snowflake' generation, because we easily melt at the sign of harsh criticism.
But we do. There is no denying we are weak compared to the generations that came before us.
We are, after all, a product of our surroundings. Our society is weak.
We follow trends, support causes of the day, go to rallies because we care about things, fight injustice, yell at politicians (through twitter) and openly criticise everyone who does not agree with what we agree with.
Because if we don't we are just as bad as the people or the injustices we fight so strongly against.
There are distinct lines in the sand.
Opinions are no longer a grey area. You no longer have to justify your view because it has already been labelled for you.
There is a good side and there is a bad side. There are people of colour and there are white people. There are republicans and there are democrats. There are feminists and there are trash.
You get to pick, but you have to be so very careful with which side you choose. Choose republican and your choice is also the bad side, the white people and the trash.
It's like a domino effect, one wrong choice and you're done. No re-spawns or health kits, even if you apologise for your oh so awful mistake you will never be accepted back into the good side.
Your choice is made.
You are either with us or against us. There is no middle ground. You either fight for all immigrants and refugees to be allowed into your nation or you want them all dead and gone.
You either support gay marriage or you want all gay people to be burned at the cross like your obvious christian heart desires.
You either vilify Trump for being the scum of the earth, for being the face of the 'against' or you obviously support everything he does and are therefore just as evil and corrupt as he is.
Yet the older generations wonder why we are so 'fragile'.
I cannot express an opinion that is intended to inspire debate without being viciously bullied, ridiculed and harassed.
I am just another white-trash privileged bitch for saying "I don't think I agree with that."
My path has already been laid out. My successes are due to my skin colour, my failures are due to the patriarchy, my fears are due to society and my passions are distractions from the war that I am somehow supposed to be fighting.
Yet you wonder why my generation melts at criticism? We are faced with it every second of every day.
In my parents youth they lived in perfect little bubbles, filled with the news of their hometown, the trials and tribulations of the custody battle down the street. Their opinions only had to go as far as the border of their state, occasionally drifting to the edge of Australia. The rest was a job for the politicians, the world leaders.
In my youth, I was bullied at school and at home through my screen. I made friends and lost friends with people all over the world through online games and I compared myself to the celebrities I could see instantly by opening an app. It was like my own personal torture, being so connected only created a larger mirror for me to see myself in and I didn't like the picture.
But that wasn't the only problem I found arising in my youth. I grew up in what appears to be the last generation of debaters.
Somewhere between 2010 and 2019 debate withered away into an early grave and no-one took any particular notice because were all too busy raising bigotry and dictatorship from the dead.
What do I mean by this? I'll elaborate.
Throughout primary school and up until about year 9 I was actively involved in debating. I joined debate teams and loved competing against other schools. Throughout my time debating I learnt a lot about how to hold a conversation and argue a point.
These are the few rules that I values above all else.
1. Know your argument
2. Attack your opponents argument, not the person delivering it
3. Always be respectful and calm
Recently, I made a post on my Facebook addressing treatment I'd received at my place of work by a customer for supporting Australia Day. I made a harmless post about my personal opinions surrounding the day and somehow in doing so managed to open the floodgates of hell.
Except all it taught me was that the few rules mentioned above no longer existed. Though the format of the argument (I take one side you take the other) was the same as a regular debate the rules that made debating so fun were gone.
Here are excerpts from just some of the comments I received:
This is a perfect example of what is known as the 'snowflake' generation. Before even understanding the context of the post you can see that the way they are responding is in no way interested in starting a debate. Despite the fact they have one opinion and I hold the opposite I was refused a polite discussion at every turn.
My generation cannot handle someone disagreeing with them, especially if their opinion differs from the popular narrative displayed on social media.
I am scared.
I am terrified that it is my generation who is next in line to lead this country, to lead all the world's countries. How are we to make informed decisions that benefit the country if we can't even discuss a Facebook post without being rude, bigoted and offended constantly.
This needs to end. This attitude of hate healing hate whilst preaching understanding and compassion is hypocritical and dangerous.