Youth Strikes Back

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In America, children born in the 90s are most commonly known as Millenials. In China, children of the same decade are called “post-90s”.

In the eyes of many, neither are held in particularly favorable regard as a whole, with some people pointing to their obsessive use of the Internet and other technology as time wasting and unproductive for whom they view as a generally lazier group.

Delving into objective views aren’t the point of this blog, but instead a focus into how writing through different modern mediums is able to spur positive change in the life and well being of people—including betterments brought upon by motivated people in our generation.

In the chapter of his book Smarter Than You Think named “The Connected Society”, Clive Thompson details how a group of students in China, born in the 90s, managed to induce a crowd of over 5,000 people to gather in protest in their city of Shifang over officials’ announcement that a $1.6 billion plant would be built.

Knowing it would exude harmful chemicals and that other places affected by them saw an increase in cancer rates, Shifang’s students took to the instant-messaging service of QQ and the social networking site Sina Weibo (image below) to exclaim their displeasure, raising awareness of the planned protest outside of the municipal government offices while spreading flyers and using Weibo to post pictures once there, where a huge crowd had gathered, many wearing T-shirts with short phrases opposed to the plant.

Sina Weibo

The success of the protest concerned officals who reacted on impulse and fired tear gas cannisters that struck demonstrators, a scene which turned into the picture of photos posted on Weibo that aroused anger in viewers and ultimately led to the stopping of the plant's construction.

Shifang protest

The description of this occurrence by Thompson stood out to me, showing a situation in which a group of people from a generation held in a more unfavorable light made a difference and combated an environmental problem some thought them incapable of solving.


Valerie Smith's picture

Hey Gavin! Your post really

Hey Gavin! Your post really grabbed my attention because you tackled a topic that involves research. It is very different than most blogs we see for this class because you addressed a historical point of view from another culture. On the flip side of pluralistic ignorance, we have the groups of people who use their numbers the better the world.

laurenew's picture

Hey Gavin, thanks for sharing!

I thought about how our generation called the "millennials" is often looked down upon as being lazy and ungrateful when I read about the "post-90s" too. I think this presumption was brought about by adults who are jealous of all the wonderful opportunities we have in today's society, but that's just me. It's awesome that a group of "post-90s" was able to come together to enact social change despite skepticism. It's pretty inspiring. Great post!

mkozma's picture

Hey Gavin!

I really enjoyed your blog posts about things happening outside in the world that Clive Thompson uses as real-world examples of pluralistic ignorance, and I like your take on them. I personally find that these examples are very relevant to how we can start to think about ourselves as self-publishers, and I enjoy your perception on the same idea. The whole thing about "post-90's" was very original!

Thanks for sharing!