Generation Like: Free Lunch, For Sale

PBS’s Generation Like attempts to stir up some sort of debate, asking if millennials and others participating in social media are participating in their own unique social space, or whether they’re being manipulated by their idols and sold as virtual chattel to the highest bidder. While the doc’s worth a watch, this is a stupid argument: we’re living in a cyberpunk corporate controlled wasteland, but without any cool robot parts or Mars colonies, and of course we are all being bought and sold.

Surely you’ve heard the phrase “there ain’t no such thing as free lunch.” I don’t need to talk down to you, savvy reader you that you are, so this is for the mouth breather sitting next to you. You know, they guy who needs everything explained to him. Simply put, the adage states that one cannot receive benefit without consequences.

Utahns are more than familiar with this concept: we all know the friend who you can’t do lunch with anymore, because they’ll try to rope you into their latest pyramid scheme and leave you with the bill. There’s always strings attached with these vultures disguised as people, and corporations (now legally people, too!) are no exception.

Even Ceili Lynch, one of the stars of Generation Like, remarks as much just six months later, stating “I had known we were marketing for the Hunger Games, but I guess I didn’t realize the extent of it. People are telling me I’m doing hundreds of thousands of dollars of worth [of] marketing, which is crazy. I never really realized how much of an impact sharing a tweet made.”

Like everything PBS produces, Generation Like is pretty on point, it’s just that the quandary it attempts to manufacture is stupid to anyone missing their rose colored shades.


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