Earlier tonight a cousin on the phone was complaining about the rampant ageism of millennials in her office, describing it as overwhelming, and being sad that she couldn't understand where it was coming from. She knew she'd never seen it before.
Even when we were younger, when the cultural theme was "don't trust anyone over 30", we weren't rude on a personal level like these kids today. So of course I shared with her the horseshit that goes on this forum. How the millennials relish even in homophobia to inflict their ageist views.
I suggested to her that the cause was technology, helicopter parents who accepted computers as substitute babysitters, the lack of socializing in person, of seeing facial expressions, of the threat of getting hit for what you say, these things that keep a person in line, that reduce opportunity to both develop empathy and practice compassion.
I've mentioned on this forum before that I think it a temporary glitch. That we have gone from the summer of love, to the winter of discontent but I believe that once technology advances further, once implants allow people to share thoughts and emotions directly with each other, that the summer seeds we sowed in the 60s and 70s, even through the muck of the 00s, will spring forth an empathic society that might surpass any we've known before.
The trick will be getting over this millennial hump. I think they will have to die off first. Because the technology which truly connects might be another generation or two or three away. And the kids growing up today who lack empathy will be the adults tomorrow with their finger on the button. May humanity survive itself.