Dark Humor: A Millennial Coping Measure

Dark Humor: A Millennial Coping Measure

We see it in our memes, in our hastags, in our jokes--we laugh to keep from crying.

We all love to laugh. There is nothing more appealing in a lover or friend than a strong sense of humor. It's nothing to new or startling; appreciating humor is far from generation-specific ideal.

Only, it is. Our sense of humor is very specific. It's rooted in sarcasm, irony, and cynicism. And we love it.

We like our humor how like we like our coffee--dark, bitter, and with a fresh cup of morbid perspective. We see it in our memes, in our hastags, in our jokes, there is pessimism that's very distinct to us.

For long time, while I sat in sardonic political discourse about the evils of capitalism with my roommates, I thought it was an age thing. Young adults have always had a knack for melodrama, my mother always said, whether that be a 19-year-old in the 1950s or a 15-year-old during the Bubonic Plague (circa 1346 BC). It's part of the quarter(depending on local life expectancy)-life crisis, I've always believed. And that peculiar sense of adulty optimism would seep in shortly after our teen-angst phase has properly subsided. Except it didn't. When we let go of the heavy eyeliner and retired all the My Chemical Romance paraphernalia, we didn't become optimistic. We became bitter.

When I looked and listened to my peers, all I heard was that twisted sort of perspective about life. I heard it in myself. The way I critique things, even in the way I sigh--it's always heavy and pessimistic.

Now, I'm not saying we, as a generation, are dark and moody all the time, but, yeah, aren't we? Sure, it's perhaps in part because of increased recognition of mental disease, but when was the last time you were shocked and dismayed when a fun-loving peer was diagnosed with depression? I don't intend to get too deep here, but aren't the most broken people you know always the ones making jokes about the thing that broke them?

It seems that as we get more wonderfully diverse and progressive, we also become increasingly and distinctly unattached and disillusioned.

Despite the accessibility of counseling and therapy, the most utilized coping measure I've observed is that sort of dark humor.

Every generation has overcome and lived through their share of tragedy, and, of course, some seem to have gone through more upheaval than others. I couldn't imagine being someone who grew up and lived through the Great Depression, WWI and WWII and be "fine." That generation (the G.I Generation) was not fine, but they're main coping mechanism was displayed through a weird sense political engagement. That civic duty pushing you to be involved in state-building--built on having a faith in the greater good of government--or whatever. I don't really know. The Silent Generation, bearing the brunt of the Vietnam War and and civil/social revolutions, coped by topic avoidance.

But what I do know is that millennials--we do not either of those things. Not at all. Maybe it's all the television scandal and corruption, but we're not exactly hopeful that things will get better with certainty. And we can't avoid talking about these problems. When we encounter tragedy (which seems to be too many times,) we are unable to face it with transparency. We (I) cringe at any sort of awkwardness, so instead of being frank, we generate memes that says what we we want to say through a veil of humor and insensitivity.

We are a people of increased skepticism; we recognize the problematic nearly in everything, we have witnessed the rise of technology before we knew it was rising, we've watched the world shift, ever so slightly, in incomprehensible ways. Perhaps it's due to increased globalization of media, but we are so attuned to catastrophe that is seems to occur so often and we thus desensitize it.

It sounds cruel and cold, but we've reached the point where we hear bad things happening so often that we are unable to mourn things like we should. Instead of dealing with tragedy head-on, we exploit its irony. And don't tell me you don't see it, too.

Whether its western-world islamaphoba, American racism, police brutality, political corruption, 9/11, Brock Turner's "sentence" or whatever we did to Harambe, we take these things--no matter bad, and make them jokes. I don't meaning trolling either, it's a weird type of pointing out what so tragically wrong about situations in a way that's funny, funny because it's so darkly true.

Recently, I think it was most poignantly was described by the hastag, "Things Longer Than Brock Turner's Sentence." Rape is never funny, and yet, in lieu of something so problematic, we see some of the best memes I've seen in a while.

It's funny and morbid, and the only thing I could do when I saw those posts was retweet them as fast as humanly possible.

That's the way we cope with problems. We laugh. We laugh to keep from crying.

Cover Image Credit: Red Online

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Time's Up: #WhyWeWearBlack

What to Know About the Movement

One in 3 women ages 18-34 have been sexually harassed at work. 71% of those women said they did not report it. #TimesUp

Nearly 1/2 of men think women are well represented in leadership roles and 1/3 of women think women are well represented in leadership roles. The reality is, only 1 in 10 senior leaders are women. #TimesUp

Exploitation is higher among those working low-wage service jobs. When the federal minimum wage is raised, sexual assault + harassment gets cut in half. #TimesUp

The 75th Golden Globes red carpet was less red than it was black. Both women and men attended the awards in black to protest the sexual misconduct happening in Hollywood. Brought up by the allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein, there have been many allegations of sexual harassment and assault against men in Hollywood and other industries.

The movement was created by the new organization Time's Up, an initiative to eradicate sexual harassment and gender inequality in the workplace along with the creation of a legal defense fund. The group has raised over $15 million already for the fund, and the number is only increasing.

Time's Up also supplied pins to be worn on the red carpet and almost every attendee showed up in black. The organization's open letter, with the support of over 300 actors, actresses, directors, writers, producers, etc was released January 1st and is now on their website.

There has been a lot of talk of controversy over the movement and the way they chose to go about it. The goal of wearing black was more than ruining the best-dressed competition as talk of the pre-show is often about the dresses, jewelry, and hairstyles.

The goal was to take this talk and steer it towards the movement's agenda; to create equality for everyone in the workplace. Many women spoke about their personal reasons and experiences that impacted their choice to wear black to the awards.

The timing is also notable. As of January 1st, it has been exactly a year since the historic women's marches took place.

#WhyWeWearBlack has been talked about both controversially and in positive light, and this was ultimately the overall goal of the movement, to get society talking about the sexual abuse happening in the workplace and we need to make a change. Time's Up is only the beginning, and this demonstration was a huge step in the #Metoo movement as well as a large victory for feminists overall.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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17 Social Media Habits To Leave In 2017

Let's make the internet better together.

Hey friends and family members. If you're reading this, there's a 97% chance you use social media. In fact, unless somebody else is reading this to you, you probably got this off of social media. When I say that I want these trends and habits to disappear in 2018, I'm not saying I want you to disappear. Y'all are great and I love you and care deeply about what YOU have to say, but I want it to be your words and your ideas. And I want it to be a comprehensible and reasonable manner.

However, in the interest of keeping it 100% real, I've got a list of social media habits I'm completely done with. There are three categories: spam, oversharing, and miscellaneous.

I don't actually detest all spamming on social media. I don't mind most meme reposts, and I don't take issue with those "how well do you know me" or "x facts about me" or "what x thing do you associate me with" kinds of spam.

The following five things, however, are some things I'd like to see disappear:

1. Stop spamming my Facebook Inbox.

If you send me those spam messages, I'm not responding and I'm not forwarding it. Have a nice day.

2. Stop reposting unsourced political material.

I'm not one to tell you not to post your political opinions on the internet. On the contrary, I would love to hear what you have to say and why, even if I disagree. I love a good public debate and believe that social media has provided new platforms for it to unfold. And if you want to post an unsourced opinion, go for it. However, if you're going to post something to be a fact, then cite that fact with a good source.

3. Stop reposting political material without reading it or commenting on it.

If you've only read the headline, don't share it. Read the whole article or post. Judge the whole thing before you decide to share it. If you do decide to share something, comment on the article in whatever platform you're sharing it on. I want to hear your thoughts and what you think, not just the op-ed or video.

If you find something resonates with you or disgusts you and you want the world to know it, great. When you share it for all to see, comment or caption it with how much you agree or disagree. Be engaged with the ideas you are sharing.

4. Stop sharing the "if you don't do x then y will happen" memes.

Look friends, I don't take issue with memes. They can be really funny, and it's actually a form of technology-spam that I don't mind. Friends who are posting funny, keep doing what y'all are doing. This is not directed at you.

Folk who are still sharing things that say "if you don't share you'll fail finals" and other vague e-threats, stop it because we should have left that in 2013.

5. Stop posting things that say "only my true friends will comment and share/repost" or "repost if you care about puppies."

Most people care about cancer being cured and shelter dogs getting adopted and hurricane relief. Great. So do I. But I'm not reposting what you copy-pasted from someone else who copy-pasted from someone else before them and so on and so forth. You aren't helping the puppies or the kittens or the cancer patients or whoever by reposting this and trying to guilt trip your friends into continuing the cycle. They are also less sincere than the original post.

6. Please stop oversharing about your relationships.

When I say this, I don't mean your relationship with snookums has to be a ghost that we never see or hear or talk about. I'm happy for you if you're in a loving, healthy, and cute relationship you adore. If y'all are doing something cute or important and/or you haven't reminded the internet that you're together for a while, by all means, go for it.

All 2,335 of your Instagram followers or 562 FaceBook friends don't need the play-by-play, hot-and-cold, yes-and-no version of every relationship you've ever had. Just because you don't post it on the internet doesn't mean it didn't happen.

7. Please stop spamming 24/7 about your children and pregnancy.

If you've got kids or are expecting, good for you. Like with relationships though, the whole world doesn't need to have every detail 24/7. Occasional, meaningful posts about your child (current or expectant) are OKAY.

If you're pregnant, we don't need everyday updates. There are probably people in your life who do care that the baby kicked for the seventh time, or that you've decided to switch the spelling from Kayden to Cayden, but it's not the entire planet. Your parents or significant other probably would love to know about it, call them. Nobody cares if you''re craving Cheetos, again.

8. Please don't give constant play-by-plays on your fitness journey.

It's January as I write this, so many people are starting their fitness *journey* and that's wonderful. I wish you the best of luck and when you've made substantial progress or added or subtracted something new to your routine I'd love to hear about it.

9. I like food, but please don't show me every meal you ever eat.

If you got a really cool meal and you want to show the world, great. But please refrain from constantly posting your meals.

10. Please warn me of graphic content when posting about medical things.

If something happened medically, yes, that's important. If you're going to describe something graphic, though, please put a warning at the top of your post, especially if there's a photo involved.

11. Please don't show the internet all your personal drama.

This is the one topic of oversharing that I don't need to see in general. If you're having issues in your private life, all of your FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media friends and followers don't need to hear it. At the risk of sounding like an old person talking about the internet, once you put it out there it's out there forever. If you get back together with that ex or reconcile with that friend or family member, it's going to be a bit awkward after you've bashed them in front of the entire internet.

12. Please stop sending me game invites.

When I get an invite to a game I've never heard of from a cousin I hardly speak to, it's not personal. Someone pressed an "invite all" button. I just ignore these, as do most people.

13. Please stop inviting me to brand "parties" randomly.

If you think there's a brand that I, personally, would love, then tell me about it. If you're just trying to cash in on what is the step down from a pyramid scheme, leave me out of it.

14. Please refrain from posting clickbait.

Just tell me what the "secret" is, thanks.

15. Let's please stop with the vague, attention-seeking posts.

In 2018 if you want attention, just be honest and say you want attention. If you have a problem, message someone who can help you. If you have something that needs to be dealt with, then deal with that person directly.

16. Please discontinue uncaptioned Photo Blasts

I like photos. You like photos. Pictures are great. But if you have 10+ pictures sans explanation, it's a little weird.

17. Please don't share ancient articles as news.

If it's older than a couple weeks, it's not relevant news. If you think it's still relevant, note when it was published when you share it.

With all this being said, part of the responsibility falls on me to filter out content I don't like. I know there are functions to unfriend, unfollow, hide, and filter out posts. I do my best to filter out and unfollow topics and people that I know will just annoy me, but there are limits.

Together, let's leave these 17 habits behind and make the 2018 internet a better place.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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