In the book, Fight Club, author Chuck Palahniuk wrote: “You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.” While this may not be the origin of the term, it certainly does encapsulate its meaning. It really does seem as though young adults of the 2010s are less resilient than their predecessors.
It’s so easy to place the blame on our parents for creating the Snowflake Generation we live in. (I’m using “Snowflake Generation” as an umbrella term, because it generally encompasses millennials and Generation Z) parents. This makes a lot of sense, given the dictionary definition of the term “Snowflake Generation.” People become offended and upset about a term that, well, accuses them of becoming easily offended and upset.”Why should I be responsible for the way I am if my parents raised me that way?”
People do indeed have visceral reactions to being called a snowflake, or even to just seeing the word “snowflake” used as an insult. Recently, wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson claimed that his recent “Snowflake Generation” interview was fake. Whatever the case, it is interesting that he felt the need to defend himself. Did he feel pressured to speak up before the snowflakes destroyed his career?
Unfortunately, offending people and being offended by them are parts of being alive. It is terrifying that the majority of people hold that students should not be exposed to offensive material. Our bodies are intrinsically programmed to be on offense. Our entire immune system exists just so that our bodies can process whatever comes at them. Why can’t the way we think be that way, too?
Ultimately, our feelings about being called a snowflake do not matter. If we do not want to be associated with the Snowflake Generation, we need to prove that we can be adults. We have to take on responsibility, and live in reality. An astonishing number of young adults have no idea how (or desire) to do simple tasks. “Why should I, if my mom will still do it for me?” Some people have even enrolled in “adulting classes” to teach basic living skills.
It is really hard to step up to the task of overcoming a lifetime of sensitivity. But if young adults don’t start building a thicker skin, life is going to be a lot harder. Besides, isn’t always being offended really tiring?