I don’t have to take a Buzzfeed quiz to know I am the stereotypical millennial.
Okay, okay, I did take a PEW Research Center quiz. Questions included whether I have a cell phone, landline or both (I only have a cell phone), whether I watch an hour of TV per day (Netflix, duh), and whether I read the newspaper regularly (I don’t). Electronics attached to limbs is the stereotypical definition of a millennial.
On a normal day, I watch TV on my iPad, text my friends on my iPhone and answer e-mails on my computer, sometimes all at once.
This is why some older wilderness protectors seem to have lost faith in us, the technologically-savvy, sassy-mouthed, social networking-obsessed generation. But what happens when you can harness that power to help save Earth’s most pristine places?
A photo posted by Abbey Dufoe (@abbeydufoe) on Oct 10, 2014 at 3:20pm PDT
Being a millennial, I obviously have an Instagram account – who doesn’t these days? While some of my peers would rather post a drunken selfie, I post my outdoor adventures, most of them #nofilter.
Did you hear that? I take my iPhone into the wilderness and share my photos with my Facebook friends, Twitter followers and Instagram acquaintances.
Some of my millennial friends just like the post. Others comment on how beautiful the landscape is. Others text me in jealousy. Yes, my selfie-obsessed, East Coast suburban-living group of friends is jealous of my cliff dangling Utah trip, day hikes in Glacier National Park, and snowy walks along the continental divide.
After arguing with someone at the Society of Environmental Journalist’s conference in New Orleans in September about how he has no faith in our generation, I have taken a new stance: these older-generation wilderness lovers and guardians should use their power to mobilize us.
Some have already done so. The Wilderness Society has a hashtag – #wearethewild – with over 1500 posts on Instagram as I write this. REI and Backpacker Magazine also have hashtags to promote sharing love of wilderness through photos.
Instead of bashing us for taking Buzzfeed quizzes or getting our news from Twitter instead of regular news outlets, use your power to mobilize us. We care about things, one of those things being the outdoors, and you can help us make a difference in protecting the wild lands you have been trying to hard to keep. And not only do we care, but we care enough to sign whitehouse.gov petitions. All. The. Time. We’re also starting to vote more.
I want to include a shoutout to my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles who have taken me out into the wilderness. Because of them, I have explored in 44 states, 13 National Parks, and countless State Parks, wilderness areas and outdoor places. Because of them, I aspire to take everyone outside with me.
So instead of putting us down, help us help you. We are your sons, daughters, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and we care about protecting the planet and beautiful places as much as you do. All you have to do is help us get started.