The narcissistic Generation (friendl)Y

Well. It happened. That moment we were all waiting for finally arrived last Sunday, as millions of us crowded around our televisions with unhealthy food and beverages in hand to watch the event. You guessed it: Destiny’s Child finally reunited. In the too-brief moments that made up the Beyoncé concert”¦ I mean… halftime show”¦ I instantly reconnected with my youth and the musical sensation that had once filled my Walkman.

While it was a brief joyous occasion, I couldn’t help but feel melancholy during the second half of the game. Though you may assume it was because a) the football world was plagued in literal darkness or b) the 49ers lost, you would be mistaken. And after days of mulling it over, I finally realized why their rendition of “Independent Woman” made me think twice. The fact is, my dear readers, that these three people who had once been the best of friends were no longer as important in each other’s lives. Beyoncé had certainly moved on, leaving poor Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams to wonder what had happened to their friendship and girl-group of yesteryear.  This led me to think of my own friendships and of human relationships in the world today

We live in a world of convenience and temporary-ness. Our food choices (What did she order? Chick-Fil-A ???), homework completion methods and, most importantly, relationships have all become temporary in the past few decades as a result of globalization, technology and general apathy. Our Facebook “About Me” sections are filled with quotes such as, “when people walk away from you, let them go. Your destiny is never tied to anyone who leaves you”¦” (thanks, Tony McCollum) or the belief that we do not need to work to keep people in our lives.

However, I beg to differ. I think there is a big difference between simply clinging to a friend or loved one for fear of moving and being lazy towards relationships as a result of generational tendencies. If it’s the former scenario, then my “spiel” does not apply to you.  If someone brings nothing positive to your life, you should rightly move on. If you’re in the latter scenario, then I believe something must be done to salvage a relationship or human connection. Before you roll your eyes at my melodramatic tendencies (as you often find yourself doing whilst reading my columns, lovely reader), please let me explain why.

Labeled as the most “narcissistic” generation by the outer world, people between the ages of 18 and 24  (“Generation Y”) are told that they do not know how to work, care about things greater than themselves or maintain long-term relationships. With the possibility of friendships and relationships placed in front of us, we have the opportunity to prove our predecessors wrong.  I believe that through collective efforts as a generation, we can most certainly prove the opposite. Through the cultivation of temporary relationships into something long-term, dedication to mundane tasks or the simple belief that something should be done right instead of quickly, we can reshape what the world believes our generation to be.

Therefore, with that in mind, take care in your relationships. I know this is a feat that is easier said than done,but I do believe it is possible. Be sincerely grateful for those friends who painstakingly struggle with you over your Chemistry of Crime homework (definitely more chemistry- than crime-based”¦.), the ones who listen to your (constant) venting or the ones who never fail to make you laugh. Be that same friend in return. Check up on people (don’t stalk”¦).

We have so many technological methods of communication and yet apathy seems to be the method of choice in dealing with friends and acquaintances (and friend-quaintances?) from high school and early college years. Rise above apathy and try to actually care about the wellbeing of your compatriots. Aim for long-term and seek to eliminate the temporary. The world would be much better if we yearned for endurance instead of convenience. And I’m pretty sure that the Sistine Chapel and the Eiffel Tower would be inclined to agree. Just some food for thought, dear readers. Until we meet again”¦

Gabrielle Shayeb is a senior majoring in history.