The Internet, Social Media And Bullet Holes

The Internet, Social Media And Bullet Holes

The connected dots that link our generation

Like any other millennial, when I wake up I instinctively check my phone.

On October 2nd, 2017 when I did, I immediately saw two words, "Las Vegas" and "shooting", splashed across news outlets and social media.

As a millennial the longest most influential relationship in my life is with mass shootings. This is because by today I've lived through over 100 and counting.

Many of which have been called "now the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history."

I can't help but think how the degree of separation between any of us and these events don't seem to exist anymore.

Any of us can remember exactly where we were and what we were doing for every massacre in our lifetimes.

Most of us can remember first watching countless scenes on television of students running out of Columbine High School with their hands on their heads or dangling from broken windows trying to escape.

It was then that our perspective on our peers and our culture and our security all started to change. In school we participated in "active shooter drills" and watched videos detailing how to survive a mass shooting.

Then not long afterwards, 9/11 happened and our generation went from cautiously skeptical to completely terrified. It was another seminal moment in our collective development.

We were very quick and eager to turn on one another. Every one debated about who or what was at fault. Which we know if history has taught us anything, there is no easy answer.

With Virginia Tech we saw that whether it was racial, cultural, or religious it brought forth an ugliness.

An ugliness that we saw again and again whether it was at a shopping mall in Omaha, a U.S. military base in Killeen, a grocery store parking lot in Tuscon, a movie theater in Aurora or a night club in Orlando.

Each one was an opportunity to advance personal and political agendas. All which is a top priority nowadays after a mass shooting.

We are a country that solely operates on our fear. We have let our politicians and talking heads and online forums dictate conversation about how "now is not a time to talk" about gun violence.

But it is. We shouldn't loose sight that we could have all been victims. No one was safe. Not even our own brothers and sisters and own children.

After Sandy Hook, our gut reaction was that things would surely change but it did not.

Following was Santa Monica, Santa Barbara, Charleston and many more I'm forgetting but there's too many to count. So many that we've become desensitized.

Our generation needs to talk about our role in the fight against violence and actually do something. This is not just a political issue - it's a looming menace in our daily lives.

We grew up on these shootings.The victims and unfortunately the shooters are people we personally know.

If any shooting has taught us anything it is that we cannot watch any more of our friends and loved ones die.

Let's not only remember the deaths of the innocent but what we did to finally make a change.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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Goodbye School, Hello Real World

I'm ready for ya!


It's starting to hit me.

I've been in school, year after year, since kindergarten. Maybe even pre-school!

Now, I'm about to graduate with my bachelors in communication and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I'll say it. I often sugarcoat it or suppress it but d*mn it. I'm going to applaud myself. It was hard work. It took a lot of motivation, determination, (caffeine), and willpower to get to where I am today. I worked my ass off.

That being said, I can't help but think... What is life without due dates? What is life like without scrambling to turn in an assignment that's due at 11:59 PM? What is life like with actual sleep? Sleep? I don't know her.

Like I keep telling my boyfriend and my parents, I don't have it all figured out. At least not right now. But I will, and I'm in no rush to land my dream job right now. If anything, I want to take a year to myself. I want to travel. I want to sleep in if I d*mn well please! I want to read as many books as I want. I want to write till my fingers fall off (OK, maybe not that).

You get the jist.

I'm free. I can do and be whatever I want. And you know what? That's terrifying.

I'm lost. I've followed this structure for so long. Now what?

I don't have all the answers yet. But for now, at least right at this very moment, I'm so thankful to have been able to receive such an amazing education. And to be able to say I'm graduating with my bachelors in communication at 21 is an accomplishment in itself.

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