These are the kinds of things that need to be shown more when it comes to gen iY. Two young men have started an internet trend called “Making the Homeless Smile.” It started when a group of young guys decided they were sick of all the internet trends like planking or twerking going around and just how useless they are. So they decided to start a different kind of internet trend, one where you give food and clothing to the homeless.
I’m not saying that these guys are revolutionaries for this; I know they didn’t discover charity. Young people are charitable every single day. What’s great about this is that young people are challenging their peers to a higher moral fiber, challenging them to pull themselves from their “me zone” that acts as a buffer to any sort of uncomfortability.
This is what needs to be highlighted. What does not need to be highlighted is how many times an iYer has let you down with an “I know right,” response this week. We’ve been there, we’ve said that. And yes it’s fascinating…the iY is the only generation to be studied while it’s actually happening. iY is that confusing, probably because iY is just that confused. We know this, so let’s stop talking about it. The fact that the iY is apathetic has been strung out longer than Miley’s fifteen minutes of fame. (Just kidding, but really.) Soon enough you have a self fulfilling prophecy on your hands. Tell a fish it’s a bird enough times and before you know it you’ll have whole schools hurdling themselves out of the water toward the sky faster than you can say speckled trout.
I also think you can already see this taking place. The best tangible example I can give to you is this: These are links to two clothing websites that are arguably the most purchased by iYers. It’s fairly safe to say that Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters are both a major part of the indie subculture taking place today. Take a look at some of these gems.
My personal favorite:
Other than being incredibly lame, there’s nothing inherently bad about these. (Other than the suicidal tendencies shirt, don’t get me started.) But, they definitely say something about what is catching the attention of the youth in our country. These slogans are on Tshirts because out of a bunch of samples, these are the ones that sell. I promise you these tweens, teens and young adults didn’t take an introspective look inside and say, “you know what? I’m extremely apathetic with a rather bleh attitude. I’m gonna go with that! Make that my thing.” No. We have told them they are lazy, indifferent, unconcerned and unmoved. (which they are.) Because lets be honest, it’s not kids sitting around at a board meeting deciding they want “no eye contact please,” on their new threads. It’s adults. While this inarticulate stance of meh is important to realize and address, it HAS been. Let’s quit shoving it down their throats. Let’s highlight the positive. Let’s challenge them to a higher standard of self worth and expression. Let’s show them that “finding themselves” isn’t about their new tattoo or latest rave. It’s about others. It’s about Making the Homeless Smile.