A week ago in my Journalism class we read an article about millennials and the first paragraph made feel as though I was being pushed into a box, that I didn't fit in. (Granted the article was published in 2003, but still)
They grew up plugged into the Internet, always cooked their popcorn in a microwave oven and never watched television without a remote control. They probably never played Pac-Man, and they think Kansas, Chicago, America and Alabama are places, not musical groups.
I may have been plugged into the internet for my entire life, but the rest of the paragraph doesn't apply to me. I have cooked popcorn in an old fashioned popcorn cooker,and I have watched TV with a missing controller and using the buttons on the TV more than once (my family used to have one of those sit on the floor wooden TVs). I have played Pac-Man online, in an arcade, and on a joy stick that plugs into the TV, and I may not listen to all of those musical groups, but I knew they were musical groups (I've listened to Kansas and Alabama).
I may be 19 years old and considered a millennial, but that doesn't mean I completely fit into that "box". I have grown up with role models that weren't millennials, who introduced me to music, movies, and customs, that don't fit into the millennial category.
Sure, I have listened to Justin Bieber, am glued to my phone or laptop, read more on my phone than in a book now a days, but at the same time, I don't conform to those stereotypical millennial ideals. I may listen to Justin Bieber, but I also listen to Earth, Wind & Fire, Lionel Richie, and ACDC to name a few. I am the one in my family that looks around the table while we are eating as my dad watches sports and my mom reads an article during dinner and I am appalled. I may read a lot on my phone, but that doesn't mean that I don't still enjoy the feeling of crisp pages under my fingers and the delightful smell that comes with books.
What this article has showed me is that you don't have to black, gay, democrat, republican, etc., to be pushed into a box by society. Just by one look, I am a short, white, nerdy, over weight girl, but there is more than that. I am a fangirl. I am compassionate. I am stubborn. I am goofy. And I have depression. There is no way we can shove everyone into one box based on how we perceive them, but I suppose that will never stop us from trying.
I propose we stop putting others and ourselves into the boxes society has provided for us and we just see the people around us as they are. No more boxes, no more labels, just people. Would that really be so hard?