Rise of the Echo Boomers

imagesI’m in a good position to study Echo Boomers (otherwise known as Generation Y, the Millennials and/or the 9/11 Generation) because I’ve got two of them in my home. While the major foundations spend millions analyzing these future adults (mostly by funding university studies), I have my own ongoing observations based on actual experience. And I keep hope alive that a generation will emerge soon with a sense of spirituality, like mine did in the mid-1960s.

I was reading a piece today about how depressed these kids are because their reality doesn’t meet their expectations. Kids are growing increasingly self-absorbed and narcissistic, all the better to market and sell stuff to them. Instant gratification is the norm today. Kids are also becoming increasingly connected through various electronic webs, so much so it’s impossible to have a slow rise to adult awareness these days. Most teens know about every imaginable sort of sexual activity by the time they’re 14, and can watch it all on the internet any time they want, while my generation was lucky to find one dog-eared girly magazine by that age, magazines that seem ridiculously tame by today’s standards. Obviously, kids are being sexualized at earlier ages because sex is the foundation for most advertising, and advertising is just another word for “mind control” because it’s designed to influence your mind in ways your don’t consciously understand.

We’re slowly turning into mental cyborgs as well, spending most of our time interacting through computers, something that’s transforming the youth in ways we probably don’t yet understand. Pretty soon many won’t be able to think or speak without first consulting a search engine. The value of knowledge is not high when anyone can pose as an instant expert by secretly trolling wikipedia on one screen while conversing on skype on another.

I think one reason the establishment is rapidly taking away all rights is because the powers that be are worried about these Echo Boomers and what might happen when they come of age. After all, the Boomers became a huge problem when we rejected the paradigms of our parents and began searching for something beyond the official managed dialectic. It’s taken a huge propaganda effort to paint the hippie generation as some massive failure, when, in fact, the core values pioneered by hippies (like protecting the environment) have proved prophetic. With violence on the rise, was it really such a bad idea to pursue a path of non-violence? Even today, hippie bashing in the mainstream media is a constant meme, lest anyone stray off message and forget how demonized hippie culture is supposed to be.

I don’t think my generation would have spent most of their youth absorbed in graphically violent video games (many of us dropped out of organized sports because that was too violent) but since these games didn’t exist back then, I guess we’ll never know for sure. At some point though, we have to hit the saturation point with sex and violence, although I admit we may not even be close yet.

But the one subject none of these studies seems to touch upon is the influence of pills and their effect on the Echo Boomers. I have to believe a generation raised on Ritalin and Prozac is going to have serious addiction issues later in life. I also believe these substances contribute to narcissism. My kids have been spared all mind control pills and have zero addictions beyond the occasional sugar treat, and even that is closely monitored.

One thing I’m sure about: constantly telling an entire generation they are depressed is guaranteed to sell more pills. And that will likely only make this situation worse because when you put an entire generation on pills from around age 5 and upwards, and ten years later they start turning out super depressed, maybe you should consider that those pills may have played part in creating that widespread depression in the first place? Just a thought.

Author: Steven Hager

I'm a writer, journalist, filmmaker and event producer.

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