Priorities have shifted with ‘Gimme Generation’

Priorities have shifted with 'Gimme Generation'

by Emili JohnsonStaff Writer

Before spring break, I had celebrated by 21st birthday by doing the usual Simpson ritual and going to The Zoo with a few of my friends and getting completely trashed.

The next day, I went home for spring break and began my week and a half of work at American Eagle Outfitters at Jordan Creek Mall. I had been working for the company since I was 17 years old, and I would have to say that I have seen many different people come and go through the store over the years.

Since I am now at the legal age of 21, I not only realize all the things that I have learned up to this point in my life, but I am also seeing how different things are now from when I was a budding teenager.

Now, I don’t know how many of you have walked through Jordan Creek Mall recently, but while it is very nice and clean, there is something different about the people that shop there.

They are in fact younger, thinner and most of the time they have braces. No, this does not mean that the older generation is losing weight and getting more plastic surgery, but in fact, while on Spring Break and hassling customers if they want to sign up for an AE card, I noticed the kids as young as 13 were not only hanging out at the mall, but they were the ones doing most of the shopping with their parents’ credit cards.

What I realized while I was on Spring Break was a new generation that I have officially named the “Gimme Generation”. This contains the group of kids that were born between the years of 1990 and 1995, whom are just coming into their teen years.

There is something about this generation that differentiates them from our generation. It is the fact that their influences are completely different that ours.

When I was 13, the only things I cared about were my friends and getting home in time to watch Total Request Live. But 13 year olds today have a completely different agenda. They are growing up a lot faster than we did and all they want is lavish birthday parties, the latest cell phones and all the clothes and accessories the celebrities are wearing. They want it all and at all costs without a care in the world about how they get it.

There are some other interesting factors about the “Gimme Generation” and that is that they are far more advanced in technology and fashion that most of us were when we were they age.

While I was working, I saw more 13 and 14 year olds with credit cards and debit cards that it almost made my head spin. When I was their age, they only thing that I knew about a credit card that it was something that my parents kept in their wallets and I couldn’t have one until I was older. These kids were just swiping away as if there was nothing to it while they chatted with their friends on the new RAZR cell phones.

With the way the “Gimme Generation” is growing up, it made me wonder where these kids were learning all of this. Then, it finally hit me that there were only two possible answers. One was that they were learning it from their parents and two was that they are learning it from our wonderful media which heavily emphasizes high fashion and trends that all the stars are into.

Today, it is all about what you have and how much you spent on it rather than when I was 13 and 14 years old and it was all about what you did to earn what you had.

The life lessons my parents taught me and many of my friends are long gone and it almost makes me sad to think about how fast kids today are growing up.

So, I bet you are wondering why I am writing about something like this. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that the times do change and they each generation is different, but I think this generation has gotten a little out of hand.

I feel that most teens today feel a sense of entitlement when it comes to clothing and other so-called necessities. In their minds, their parents owe it to them to buy them whatever they want and whenever they want it.

Are these kids spoiled…yes; but that does not mean that I do not want to have children. I think that watching the “Gimme Generation” while I was at work showed me how not to raise my children and I think I also learned a little about why our society is so consumed with what people have and don’t have.

Maybe once our generation begins to have children, things will change and it will go back to earning what you have rather than having it given to you.

The next time you are at the mall shopping or going to work, take a look around at some of the people younger than you. I am pretty sure that you will see the “Gimme Generation” hanging out at the food court and texting and chatting on their cell phones (that may be cooler than yours by the way) and instead of getting discouraged, do what I did and laugh about it.

The one thing I know is that these kids have no idea of what is ahead and let’s just hope that they cherish their adolescence before they have to embark on the real world.