These days it seems like everyone is in a perpetual state of dissatisfaction. Even compared to the Karen people, who live under the oppressive thumb of the Burmese government while surviving in an unforgiving jungle, I have rarely come across people more profoundly dissatisfied with their lives as Americans.  In fact, the Karen are among the most content people I have known. To contrast, many in the U.S. live in a constant state of whining.

Google defines “whining” as “a feeble or petulant complaint,” and that’s a lot of what we see nowadays — it’s usually followed by doing nothing but tweeting or texting within one’s inner circle. We see complaining all over social media, from long-winded posts to grossly oversimplifying memes, both of which only serve to strengthen the speaker’s echo chamber. The phrase “talk is cheap” is heading out the window as people seem to believe their Facebook rants actually count for anything. If anything, the rants, memes and other useless rhetoric are largely damaging, even if they’re “right.”

You see young people complaining about how the older generations ruined their lives because of the economy, healthcare or current system of education; you see older generations spew out the classic “young people these days,” as if every generation that has said that up until now was wrong, but this new generation is finally, actually the bad one. You even see millennials ironically whining about millennials, as if they were the one magical exception who was born too late.

People would rather make fun of a handful of millennials for eating tide pods, rather than criticize them for having the lowest voting turnout out of any age group in American history. And of course most would never do anything about either.