In my reflection slide on Friday, I lamented to the room that our generation had stagnated. Like the romanticized vintage lover that I am, I said that things just weren’t happening like they did before. Nothing different was happening. Cultural movement and artistic expression had stagnated at the turn of the century and our technology soaked lives just weren’t as innovative.
I was a dick.
A narrow-minded, short sighted bellend, as my partner gently pointed out to me when we were discussing my day.
It’s not that culture hasn’t stagnated, instead, our hyper connected age has meant that we have accelerated. Cultural movements are still happening, but they grow faster, reach “mainstream” culture faster, and as a consequence become diluted and die faster. Flash in the pans that are dismissed because most of them don’t have the foot-print in time that many others did before. What this means for the growth and evolution of movements is one thing, but it does mean that we can’t define moments in our society by the decade any more.
It’s a phenomenon that’s different to anything that has happened before, and I dismissed it because I didn’t have anything to compare and mirror it against. People are wired differently; we produce differently; we ingest differently. It’s not any worse or better, it’s just not the same.
It’s a culture that requires a new and different state of mind to fully accept. So, whilst airing my hypocrisy to the world and gross disservice to my generation, it’s one that I’ve promised to adopt if it means that I’ll be able to effectively converse with it in future.