Are things getting better? I think the world is currently united in answering this in the form of a mass shrug.
I am optimist and so I have always believed that things will always get better, lately however I am not so sure, lately I’m starting to doubt whether my optimism is verging on delusional. All around me I am witnessing events that don’t make any logical sense, pole opposites coexisting in paradoxical absurdity.
Here are the top 3 that come to mind:
- We are 1 globally connected community, we travel more, marry outside of our own identity more and are in general becoming more liberal but are also living through a period of heightened War, Brexit and Donal Trump.
- We have never been so environmentally conscious while at the same time reaching new heights of earth destroying consumption and waste.
- Social media has brought and is continuing to build an equal and plateaued societal structure while our economic and political systems are creating a larger and larger social divide; both live side by side, only slight affected by each other.
How is this possible?
One thing that we do know is that we are moving towards the fourth revolution. The first revolution used water and steam to mechanise production, the second used electric power, the third used electronics and information technology to automate production and the Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, and has been using a fusion of technologies since the middle of the last century which continues to blur the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres.
The millenial generation, is the poster child for this shift, we are the generation of the transition and in no other generation can we see the paradoxes between the two worlds sit more comfortably side by side. We are not digital natives because we knew a world before the internet, selfies and tinder; neither are we part of the generation that had to learn how to use technology as an adult.
I am part of a generation that is so anxious and obsessed to understand who we are in a world that is transitioning at full speed, that we have found temporary moorings in the art of the chameleon; we fit in that moment, shirk off unwanted labels and quickly adapt to what’s next, we simultaneously embrace the old and the new; and with this constant shifting between different realms of existence develop certain contradictions.
If we are living through a transition period which is breeding paradoxical extremes, what’s going to happen in our lifetimes? I have the succinct feeling things are going to get worse before they get better, but I do (perhaps optimistically) believe they will get better eventually and that we will do the right thing in time; whether that starts with separating our recycling, joining a charity, standing up for injustice or making our individual voices be heard so that each voice combines to make a deafening echo around the world.
Sara is a freelance writer based in Manchester. She owns the commercial and creative content company Fraiche Ink, focusing on thought pieces and marketing content.