Thomas Friedman recently presented a very thought-provoking piece in the New York Times, expressing his concern about the lack of outrage he sees with America's youth. The piece, titled "Generation Q" (for Quiet) suggests that college kids these days have a lot to be angry about -- and should be showing it more.
Friedman comments that between massive deficits, the demise of Social Security, the trashing of the environment and other mishaps of the "greediest generation" (that's us, by the way), Generation Y should be out there getting arrested, participating in protests and generally rabble-rousing to gain attention and foment change.
But, see, I'm not so sure they aren't out there burning their bras -- they're just doing it in a different way. Boomers like Friedman (and, to some extent, me, although I'm in that gray Boomer / Gen X area) don't really understand the power of social networking techniques to create change. Generation Y is showing us new ways to be effective advocates, through a combination of online and offline approaches. We see their influence in the Save Darfur efforts, in the work being done on the environment and in how presidential candidates are running their campaigns.
Just because they aren't out there looting and pillaging doesn't mean they don't care. In fact, we have a lot to learn from how Generation "Q" speaks up!
Anyway, I've written a letter to the editor on this -- if it's printed, I'll let you know!