Can Generation Q, or the Millennials, really change the future?

  1. In Friedman’s article, “Generation Q”, he calls, our generation the “Quiet Americans” because we are, “quietly pursing our idealism at home and abroad” (Friedman). He then says, “But Generation Q may be too quiet, too online, for its own good, and for the country’s own good” (Friedman). How do you feel about this statement? Do you believe that our generation should be nicknamed Generation Q, because we’ve been “too quiet” trying to deal with some of the issues in the world?
  2. Friedman also leads to the point that he believes we could be the solution to a lot of the problems we face in the world today, like the ones he listed, climate change, Social Security, and deficit. He says that in order to do this, “They have to get organized in a way that will force politicians to pay attention rather than just patronize them.” “Activism can only be uploaded, the old-fashioned way — by young voters speaking truth to power, face to face, in big numbers.” (Friedman). Cameron Russel makes the argument in her article, saying that instead of our generation trying to get the attention of the politicians, it should be Friedman’s. “Perhaps you don’t hear our screams because we gave up long ago on a having a government that listens to citizens, or on the ability of that government to take on big business by kicking it out of the bed. Friedman should be shouting at his own generation.” (Russel).Do you think if our generation decides to speak up it will actually make any difference, or will these politicians still try to roll right over us, since we are already known as too young and too quiet? Whose opinion would you agree with more, Russel’s or Friedman’s?
  3.  In Cameron Russel’s article, ” Your Generation of Hypocrisy Begat my Apathetic one”, she seems to disagree with the views brought up in Friedman’s article. She says, “These articles (15 thousand Google hits on “Gen Y apathetic”) usually miss the essential characteristics of our generation because the writers can’t seem to imagine the world from our perspective.” (Russell). Does how “privileged and advanced” our generation is said to be really impact older generations from seeing how we perceive the world and it’s issues today?
  4. Friedman says that our generation is “too online” and that none of our problems can be fixed this way. However Russel argues about how beneficial being online can actually be. “Meanwhile, let us figure out how we can use these tools that enable mass distribution and organization of ideas. It’s likely that these will be the tools we need.” (Russel). Do you agree that being in an online world now may actually be a tool we may be able to use later, or do you think we should take a more physical approach?


Big Words:

  1. hegemony: political, economic, or military predominance or leadership, esp. by one member of a confederacy or unionizer other states
  2. accrued: accumulated or increased by growth; (esp. of interest, leave) built up over time
  3. subsidy: a tax levied on imports and exports, the income from which was granted by parliament to the sovereign to meet particular needs; a sum of money raised by this tax

The Blame Game: “Generation Q” vs. Older Generations

1.) At the end of his article entitled “Generation Q,” Thomas Friedman states that courage is “what activism looks like” and that “there is no substitute” (Friedman). He believes that there is no other way to fight the problems facing our generation without speaking up. He believes, “America needs a jolt of the idealism, activism and outrage (it must be in there) of Generation Q” (Friedman). Do you believe that Generation Q can provide this “jolt” of outrage being the quiet, technologically advanced generation we are? Or do you think we must put down our computers and use our voices instead?

2.) The authors of the first two articles, Friedman and Russell, seem to be playing a sort-of “blame game,” trying to figure out whose generation created the problems that our world today faces. Friedman states, “Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy didn’t change the world by asking people to join their Facebook crusades or to download their platforms,” taking a jab at the emphasis our generation puts on technology. (Friedman) Russell combats this blatantly stating, “Friedman should be shouting at his own generation” (Russell). Do you think that, instead of blaming different generations, we should try to figure out a solution together? How could we work together to do this?

3.) Ross Pomeroy and William Handke, in their article called “The Most Entitled Generation Isn’t Millennials,” express similar views to the ones displayed by Cameron Russell. They too, believe that it is not our generation that is responsible for the world’s problems, but that we do have the daunting task of fixing them. However, they state “When we do begin to regularly share our opinions in the voting booth, not just on Twitter, you can be assured that we’ll act to keep this country great” (Pomeroy and Handke). How do you think the authors of this article would feel about Thomas Friedman and his views? Would they agree that our generation is too technologically-focused? Or do you think they would agree more with Cameron Russell and his view that technology is furthering progress?

4.) Friedman believes that “Generation Q may be too quiet, too online” (Friedman). Russell states that “There is a deafening roar in cyberspace,” advocating for generation Q. Finally, Pomeroy and Handke blame America’s problems on the economy, not the younger generation. Which of these authors would you most agree with and why? Is there anything you would add to their arguments?

1.) Subsidy: A tax levied on imports and exports, the income from which was granted by parliament to the sovereign to meet particular needs; a sum of money raised by this tax

2.) Hegemony: Political, economic, or military predominance or leadership

3.) Cohort: a group of persons having a common statistical characteristic, esp. that of being born in the same year