The current generation of young people, the children and grandchildren of baby boomers, is not rebelling against anything. It is rebelling from neglect, a lack of attention and America's overdose on materialism. This generation doesn't reflect its parents' values because its parents were too busy chasing bigger homes and second cars to teach it any values, or its parents were simply absent for a multitude of reasons.
What kind of rebellion is it when there isn't much, if any, evidence of an anti-materialism cropping up by this generation at all, but in fact an insatiable hunger for even more? As I see it, we consume more now than ever before and want better stuff now faster than ever before. If that's true, what is our rebellion? I hear we are a cause-oriented generation, that our rebellion consists of wanting authentic, meaningful, real relationships and experiences. But is this really rebellion against materialism or a generation seeking these things with the foundation of materialism growing both deeper and wider as evidenced by how we are saving less and spending more?
I saw much of the Occupy Movement and laughed, to be honest. There was a neighborhood I walked through here in Seattle almost daily. I remember always passing by a house with a car parked outside that had the sticker "we are the 99%." In that neighborhood the houses go for around $300K and rent is no joke. The car was a fairly new Volvo or Subaru. Here in America, at least, we don't know what 99% gets us. Is there income inequality? Sure. Is the middle class being cut out? Perhaps. But before the Captialism experiment here in America there was no such thing as a middle class anywhere in the world. Now I'm not arguing for any one economic system. The point is that we are so numb to our own embedded materialistic ways that we decry those who have way more than us because we feel entitled not only to have our pretty decent store bought cake, but their gold-flaked cake made by a professional chef as well.
|Photo by Coin|
Does Coin solve a real problem? No. Nope. No. He - and we - aren't asking the obvious question: Why the heck is my wallet or purse filled with all these cards? Why do you need debit cards and credit cards and reward cards? I'm sure if you run a business it's a bit more complicated, but it can't be that much. "You don't understand, Andrew. I have a credit card that gives me rewards for trips and I use that for fixed costs and then I want to be responsible with my money so I have cards for the stores I shop at the most to get discounts. And what's cool is I can use one rewards credit card to help pay off other rewards credit cards. It's awesome." Yup. This just proves the point. We are hyper-microconsumers, thinking we can game a system that just exposes our failures to keep up with it. Coin is what happens when you accumulate a bunch of stuff in an old house, move into a bigger house and feel like you have nothing at all. Do you see? The problem isn't that you don't have a big enough wallet or need to get all your cards on one card. The problem is you have too much to begin with. The card won't make you feel organized; it will make you feel naked, and before you know it you will have more cards and more debt than you know what to do with, but hey, since it's all on one card, it's not a big deal.
Perhaps our rebellion is multi-colored, spread out and not really able to be pinned down. Just like the acceptance of the notion that truth is relative, perhaps our rebellion is much the same way. Maybe it's like a bunch of cards in the wallet just waiting for that opportunist to seize the day and make it all come together in a digitized utopia of simplicity, ease, comfort, and bliss.
That person would make billions. And our overdose will continue...