Natalie leads the worship and missions departments at AU Chi Alpha and is passionate about taking students deeper in their relationship and love for Jesus. She loves writing music, John Steinbeck, good coffee, and her family.
When I visited home a few weeks ago, I went to see the second Avengers movie with my family. On the way home, my mom said she had a hard time tracking with all the movements on the screen.
There were so many colors and actions and moving parts, and her mind didn’t work fast enough to keep up. She’s a middle school teacher, and she said all her students absolutely loved the movie. They loved the different story lines and humor and heroes and villains and actions.
They came to school raving about the film. My mom, however, couldn’t understand how someone could think up such plots or twists or stories. She mentioned that it was a generational thing. Born in the 60s, my mom wasn’t surrounded by technology or movies with the amount of CGI we have now.
There were no movies like Avengers back then. Her students, however, grew up learning technology quickly. Their minds work differently and have an entire world full of information and creativity at their fingertips that their parents just never had access to.
I hear the negatives in this. With technology and social media and the internet, Millennials are perhaps the most connected generation, but also the most disconnected.
When everything is in the palm of their hands, where is the need for relationships? Where is the need for real life interactions? With everything moving so fast, can we stop to understand the beauty of a waterfall or the joy of watching a young child swinging at the playground? If we’re always plugged in, will we ever be able to enjoy the laughter of a friend or go beyond communicating a payment at a cash register? This is a concern for my generation, and I think it’s valid.
However, I think there are always two sides to each coin. Millennials might seem disconnected, but they are longing for connection. They’re longing for relationship and to just be known.
This is a generation that’s tired of seeing past generations of problems and hardships and unrest. They’re a group of young adults who long for peace in the world. They want to see change and find the answers to their parents’ problems. They want to find long-term answers to the issues of development in developing countries and poverty in American urban centers.
This generation longs for change in a world where change needs to happen. And they’re willing to put the work into it to see it happen. I think we’re dealing with one of the most creative generations. One of the most innovative generations. One that’s not afraid to push boundaries and try to create new things. And I think Millennials have the chance to have the greatest impact on the world and on the people around them. What if those things came together? Community and innovation, relationship and creativity. What if they used their minds to find creative and new solutions to end world hunger? Or to invent new and effective medicine that no one has ever thought about yet? Can you imagine the impact they’d have?
So no, I don’t think millennials are doomed. In fact, I think they can bring the greatest change yet if we let them.