This week on International Wednesday: a photo series on ‘Generation (WH)Y’ by our writer and photographer Didi Strähle from Germany.
As the successors to generation X, members of generation Y — also known as millennials, born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s — are widely accustomed to the presence of media and technology in their lives. Generation Y is distinguished particularly by the diversity of its members: on the one hand it consists of individuals that have witnessed the beginning of digitalization and who have gradually adapted to its increase; on the other hand, it also consists of individuals who have never experienced a world without smartphones, computers, or televisions.
Millennials are often criticized by older generations for their immersion in the digital world and their inability to ethically question technological advancements. “Everything was better in the old days,” is a standard allegation voiced by pre-millennials that is of destructive nature; instead of offering sophisticated critique as well as potential solutions for the problem, generation X often rejects the digitalization and its impact altogether.
The non-digital world may have had its advantages, but this does not imply that the digitalized world lacks any virtues whatsoever. Generation X romanticizes the old digital-free days, while generation Y is in need of a helping hand of its predecessors to face the acute challenges of fast-paced technological advancements, information overflow and technological manipulation.
The photo series Generation (WH)Y expresses the disorientation, overstimulation, and frustration Generation Y is confronted with. The series further acknowledges the bilateral allegations and accusations exchanged between millennials and their predecessors, and simultaneously poses the quest for a more productive and solution-oriented generational exchange.