Words by Bonnie Bryson Art by Mariah Lantouris
We’ve come a long way since the invention of the wheel and the circumnavigation of the Earth. But, just what has been accomplished in OUR lifetime?
Our parents get to say they were alive when we landed on the moon and invented colour TV. But what about us millennials? What have we been around for?
The legalisation of same-sex marriage
In 2001 the Netherlands became the first country to legalise same-sex marriage. Since then a number of countries have hopped on board. This means it’s now legal in more than 20 countries, including Australia, for same-sex couples to get married. Our world is beginning to accept the gay community and each day discrimination dwindles (we hope). Our generation is one of not only tolerance and acceptance, but an encouragement of that. We are told to be different and to be whoever we want to be. It seems as if finally, the LGBTQIA+ community can express themselves both in and out of Mardi Gras.
Okay, so our parents were around for the moon landing … big whoop. We have stuff on Mars now. We’ve found other galaxies. A Batman-esque billionaire launched a car into space. It’s not just the world that’s our oyster, it’s the whole damn universe. Everyday scientists are discovering more and more incredible space curiosities. Did you know there is a moon orbiting Jupiter that has water (it’s frozen) and there’s likely life underneath it? There could be a real City of Atlantis under there. We found a galaxy that’s only forty light years away with three planets in it that can support life. We’re definitely winning the space race.
The rise of technology and social media
Oh boy has technology been a doozy for our generation. We’ve seen the invention of the iPod, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, the smartphone and online shopping. I mean c’mon, who actually walks anywhere to get clothes these days? Why would you, when there is a bigger store online and you can get clothes delivered directly to you? We can talk to someone on the other side of the world easily with just the press of a button. Our houses can talk to us and Amazon knows what we’re going to order before we do (yes, please investigate this creepy conspiracy theory). The level of reliance we place on technology is insane, but, you know what? It’s awesome. Sure, you could argue that’s it’s not as reliable as traditional methods, but it’s convenient and creative. Technology and social media have shaped our generation and will likely continue to do so in the future. We can say we were around to see the very beginning.
We hit seven billion
That’s right baby boomers, there’s seven billion of us now. Since the 1990s the world’s population has increased by two billion people and is still on the rise. The population of the Earth is incredible, but as I’m sure you all know, many problems are associated with this. We get to claim that we were the generation to hit seven billion, but who knows as of yet what that will actually mean.
Huge leaps in equality
There have been some massive developments around both race and gender equality throughout our lifetimes. Although it’s hard sometimes to know where to draw the line in regards to political correctness, we definitely are more progressive and accepting than previous generations. The employment of women in government sectors has increased by 60 per cent and legislation to prevent pay discrimination has been put in place. In 2009, Barack Obama was elected into office, making him the first African-American President in the history of the United States. And how’s this? Jacinda Ardern, the current Prime Minister of New Zealand, is the first world leader to give birth while in office and her husband will be a stay-at-home dad. Huge leaps have been taken towards equality for all, and although we still have a long way to go, much has been accomplished.