It seems these days that you can’t say anything without someone jumping to conclusions or taking offence. There is a stigma attached to us millenials that we are incredibly sensitive and take offence at everything. We are seen as fragile and delicate in comparison to other generations. The snowflake generation refers to us young adults of the 2010’s. It characterises us as a generation as being more prone to taking offence and less resilient. We are apparently more emotionally vulnerable than previous generations but are we?
I don’t agree with this stigma and believe the only reason that we have been labelled as such is due to the rise in social media. Previous generations did not have an easily accessible platform in order to broadcast every thought and opinion. For millenials, if we have something to say, we type out a quick tweet and hit send. For more in depth opinions, we may whack out a blog post. Either way, our thoughts, feelings and opinions are available to the world and other people have thoughts, feelings and opinions about our thoughts, feelings and opinions. Some people agree, some disagree, some may agree or take offence. We now know the opinions of people on the other side of the world, something that previous generations did not have access to.
There is also more openness about mental health. For previous generations, mental health has always been a taboo subject with mental illness something to be kept hush hush. Millenials openly discuss mental health in order to create awareness and share stories which is amazing, it is something that should be talked about… but instead, we’re seen as emotionally fragile because we may have mentioned we have anxiety.
A few weeks ago, Lauren from The Emerald Dove shared a Daily Mail article on Twitter. The article discussed the fact that Cambridge University now issue trigger warnings to their students for some of Shakespeare’s work. This article was titled ‘Alas poor snowflakes’ and spoke negatively of how universities are protecting ‘the snowflake generation’ too much.
I’m so fed up with trigger warnings being associated with ‘snowflake millenials’. Ok, I did a degree in English Literature. Like many women, university was also the place I experienced sexual assault. Do you know know how hard it is to be faced with a description of rape in your 9am class?? For some people – 1 in 4 women statistically – this is not just a concept or something fictional. This is their own damn experience. Wasn’t it bad enough I had this experience? Or should I then be mocked for being overly sensitive when I don’t want to read about it? It’s easy to sit in your priviledge and mock others but until it’s you crying in that seminar room, you should reserve judgement.
– Lauren @TheEmeraldDove
Just because trigger warnings were not a thing of the past does not mean that previous generations were less sensitive. I am pretty sure, exactly the same as today’s generation, if you had a traumatic experience, you could still be affected by it and content relating to it. The only difference is, now there is actually something in place to reduce people being affected by things that could act as a trigger.
In no way do I believe that we are more emotionally vulnerable than previous generations. Our generation is full of strong, opinionated, independant people but everyone has a degree of emotional fragility and we’re not afraid to show it. Previous generations kept everything bottled up but we talk, we share. They didn’t voice conflicting opinions but we disagree, we debate. The fact that millenials are open to sharing emotions, shows our strength and the fact that we talk about mental health shows our progression. Maybe we are snowflakes but each snowflake is unique and beautiful.
Do you think our generation is more emotionally sensitive? What is your opinion of the term ‘snowflakes’?
This blog post is not sponsored or endorsed in any way. All opinions are my own and just that: opinions.