On Valentine’s Day 2018, a 17-year-old boy shot and killed 17 kids and wounded numerous others in a high school in Parkland, Florida. In the wake of this, students from that school are responding to tragedy in a way unlike any other students ever have. The students have been very vocal, calling for government action on gun manufacturing and sales. Waves of support have swept across the nation. People are beginning to rally around kids who can’t even vote yet.
On Wednesday, March 14, students and teachers alike participated in a walkout, organized by students, at West Ottawa High School and across the nation, taking a stand on gun legislation and showing support for the Florida community. This is not the only example of the leaps and bounds that the iGeneration, OUR generation, is making. Our generation will change the world.
The Word of the Year 2017, according to Oxford dictionaries, was youthquake. Youthquake is a noun defined as “A significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people.” See? Even those who edit the dictionary as a living sense the changes being made.
In the past, words of the year have been selfie from 2013, unfriend from 2009, and podcast from 2005. The fact that the word of the year for 2017 centers around the influence that young people can have on the world is astounding. If a group of academics takes into account the voices of teenagers, that really says something.
Black Panther is the hottest product in the entertainment industry. Box office sales recently exceeded $1 billion and Black Panther: The Album is on its third week at the top of the Billboard 200 charts. Superhero movies don’t typically layer real-world problems into their narrative, but Director Ryan Coogler (who is the first African-American man to direct a big budget Marvel Film) decided to add in powerful issues into the storyline. The addition of ideas like empowering women and black people, debating the true meaning of freedom, and looking deeper than the surface has greatly impacted the popularity, alongside a changed mindset that is representative of our generation. During a time like the civil rights movement, a film that centers around black culture would have been highly controversial. Teenagers in that time wouldn’t have necessarily known what was right or wrong. In 2018, however, Black Panther is an international phenomenon.
Another piece of evidence that this generation is going to be a positive influence on the world comes from the US Department of Health and Human Services. According to a study conducted by HHS, the overall teen pregnancy rate has dropped from 59.9% in 1990 to 24.2% in 2014. That’s huge. A 35% decrease in almost 30 years is insane. Without a doubt, teens will be able to maximize their success and create a better life for themselves before they become a parent.
The iGeneration is already having a large, positive impact on the world.