GenerationMe: The Pressure of NonConformity

I've been reading a book that I picked up from an former prof before I graduated titled GenerationMe: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled - and More Miserable Than Ever Before by Jean Twenge, Ph.D. Other than having an incredibly unwieldy title, I think Ms. Twenge stumbled onto a very profound statement, even in her title - "Why today's young Americans are ... more miserable than ever before."

The first chapter of the book deals with non-conformity as a hallmark of this generation, which is an influence of postmodernism that influences art, architecture, and philosophy. And, ultimately, I think postmodernism is at the root of this desire to become a nonconformist. What's ironic, to me, is that this generation seems to express their nonconformity in the same way. The Gothic trend of the late 90's and the Emo phase of today are all examples of this phenomenon that young people can express their nonconformity by, essentially, conforming. Thank goodness this new generation of independent thinkers has new-vintage, mass-produced-unique finds at the local revolutionary store that confronts American capitalist aggression ... like Urban Outfitters and H&M.

This pressure to fit in by nonconformity is laughable. Our countercultural institutions are multi-billion dollar conglomorates. I'm a Mac guy, but even the anti-establishment Mac image is run by a guy who is two years older than my dad.The entire nonconformity bit is a farce, and the people getting played the most are the ones trying to rebel. They're unique, just like everyone else.

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