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Man Argues Millennials Were The Last Generation To See A ‘Truly Beautiful’ World — Without Distractions, Notifications, And Isolation

Photo: Ernest Brillo / Unsplash 
teenagers standing in a line

An influencer named Christopher Claflin went deep into the world of millennial nostalgia in a recent TikTok post.

He gently critiqued the world that’s been created for Gen Z and Gen Alpha as a more disconnected version of what we used to have.

Claflin argued that his generation was the last one to see a ‘truly beautiful’ world, without being distracted or isolated. 

“Millennials might have been the last generation to have experienced the world when it was still truly beautiful,” he said, then went on to explain why he believes that to be true.

He urged viewers to close their eyes and imagine that they’re back in 2006.

   

   

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“You’re lying in your bed in your room and you are bored,” Claflin said. “There is nothing to do, because there’s nothing good on TV, you don’t have a cell phone, and you can’t use the internet because you’re not allowed to, because it ties up the phone line.”

He painted a picture of what that moment in time looked like, saying, “The whole house is quiet … And that quiet isn’t interrupted by a notification.”

He continued reimagining that time, revealing the ways the day might have been interrupted back then: By the doorbell, by your friends, who show up to your house on their bikes. “When your friends show up, that’s when the whole day starts,” he said. “You all go out together and you don’t have cell phones, you’re just with each other. You talk to each other, face-to-face.”

He offered examples of ways the day could unfold, either by going to the mall, “just to be somewhere else, together,” or “heading over to somebody’s house, so you can all be bored, together.”

two girls hanging out in a bedroom with a dogPhoto: Chewy / Unsplash

“This is where the best memories of our entire lives came from,” he explained. “These are the days and memories that are going to stick with you, in your mind, that are gonna make you happy just remembering them, and they will stick with you until the day you die. Those moments are memorable because of the people you’re with … It’s about the people who you are physically with.”

Claflin argued that the same activities still happen in the present day, but they’ve “all been corrupted by technology, convenience, and making a buck.”

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The combination of modern-day technology and convenience has led to a greater sense of isolation.

He believes that Gen Z and Gen Alpha are more isolated than past generations because their social lives revolve around being online.

Being perpetually online changes the way we interact with one another. The immediate access we have to see into a version of other people’s lives makes it easy to compare who we are to others, in a way that’s detrimental.

“We’re doing the same things today that we used to do, but instead of bringing us closer together, the things that we’re doing today are isolating us from the people around us.”

   

   

He provided the example that families watch separate shows on separate devices, all in their own worlds, instead of connecting over a shared experience. 

Millennials Were The Last Generation To See A Truly Beautiful World  Photo : Steinar Engleland / Unsplash 

“Having friends in 2024 doesn’t mean the same thing that it did in 2004,” he opined. “And I’m pretty convinced that human beings are not designed to operate like this. We deserve and need face-to-face contact.”

“We’re just, like, drifting apart as a species,” he continued. “And the more that we drift apart, the more that we crave the simpler times when we didn’t have all these distractions. We just had each other.”

Nostalgia can be a tricky thing to reckon with, as most generations look back on their formative years as being a simpler time. 

Yet Claflin has a valid point: The world was slower in the early aughts. We weren’t as connected to technology as we are now, which meant that we were more connected to our own inner worlds and to each other.

It’s almost impossible to predict how the future will unfold. Maybe we’ll keep moving in the same direction, in which our interconnectedness is put to the test by more isolating versions of updated technology. 

But maybe Gen Z, Gen Alpha, and all the generations to come will push back against the world as it is now.  Maybe they’ll demand a different world, one where we put down our phones, so we can really see each other and connect in a whole new way.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture, and all things to do with the entertainment industry.