What began as a meme started to represent an entire generation of highly pessimistic or fatalistic people who saw no solution to or hope for the world’s problems
e all know about baby boomers and the millennials, but not many of us have heard about this ‘sub-generation’ of Gen Z, the Doomers.
Well, the doomers originated as a meme, thanks to Redditors that used it to describe an average person in today’s world who has been through a lot in life, both in the real world and the virtual one, and has been so affected by the ‘darkness’ in life that they’ve been compelled into a state of seclusion, or depression; sometimes simply an outrage at the world at large.
Slowly but surely, the meme started to represent an entire generation of highly pessimistic or fatalistic people who saw no solution to or hope for the world’s problems; climate change, war, poverty et al. In fact, the doomers believe that the list will continue as long as we are alive.
Let’s go back, not 50, but merely three years ago. Most of us had our lives set; concrete career paths taken, loyal friends made and hopes well in place. Then fate put us through the wringer. From being social beings, we became anti-social or secluded. In these few years, humanity has had a lot of time to ponder and process their thoughts and their place in this world. Some of us got closer to our families, while some discovered why they were distant in the first place.
Help came to us in the form of the internet, which too threw images and stories of horrors of the world our way. Some of us were able to reconcile with the new reality; some weren’t. Nonetheless, we all were affected by it in one way or the other.
A lot happened in these couple of years of the pandemic that will have historians clutching their notepads and clenching their teeth. The pandemic forced teenagers to become shut-ins, and the internet exposed us to the horrors of the world, the endless game of power, deceit, lies and conspiracies fed to us to keep us ‘sedated.’
During the pandemic, my best friend was a screen. The closest thing to human connection depended on what was there on the screen: the face of my girlfriend who lived in another city, or that of a friend or a cursive instructor who kept telling me I’d never make it. And so on.
With the help of discord and Reddit, the young people became aware of all that they harbour deep inside; our collective hurt and insecurities that have roots in our childhood, or the different experiences that have moulded us into what we are today.
As a kid, I was the kind who’d never shut up, and who’d just say it out without much thought. When I reached adulthood, I freaked out, because I had become alive to the unfair world out there.
Scientists have spent years developing sentient beings; and some have even succeeded in creating AI. Just imagine being able to curate specific memories and remove the bitter ones so that they won’t haunt you — the insecurities of your pre-adolescence, the scars of the childhood, and whatever. Remember the movie, The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?
But would that help? I don’t think so. My trauma is mine, and it’s for me to bear and let pass. And it is what has shaped me into what I am today.
Which makes me wonder if this is what defines a doomer. Am I a doomer, too? Perhaps, I am. But I hope I ain’t.
The author is a freelance writer. He can be reached at email@example.com, and on Instagram @okdoomer09