The Generations Demystified

Difference of generations

What the Generations are and What They Mean

The Generations DefinedThe starting and ending years of generations can and will be argued over for who knows how long, but for now I’m going with Pew Research Center’s definition. If you don’t like your generation or you think you should be in a different one, well to bad because you were born when you were born and you don’t really get a choice.

Please understand that your generation doesn’t define you. Your generation will however influence you because of what was happening around the world at that time and your parents most likely had similar parenting styles. Hence, why the generations exist in the first place, but I’m getting ahead of myself now.

Silent and Greatest

The silent and greatest generation, oh how great…? Probably, mostly grandparents at this point, or dead?

Sorry guys, but that’s kind of how aging works.

No, but this generation was raised during tough times, war and more war. They worked hard and fought hard. (Here I go writing in past tense again, honestly though, soon there won’t be many of this generation left, I know, I know, I’m terrible).

Essentially, this whole generation can be summed up with those two qualities: hardworking and loyal. That’s probably why they are referred to as the Silent and Greatest generation.

My grandparents were tremendously hardworking and loyal to their families and jobs. Essentially, this whole generation can be summed up with those two qualities: hardworking and loyal. That’s probably why they are referred to as the Silent and Greatest generation.

Baby Boomers

Post-war prosperity. Pretty much.

Baby Boomers boomed because the previous generation was like ”yay the wars are over, let’s have babies!”

Baby Boomers were determined to change the world with rights movements, equality in the work place and getting to the moon.

For years they’ve been the gears that grind to move the world, work and war. (Not to be confused with the World Wide Web).

Generations Comic

Generation X

Baby Boomers decided everyone should work (the man and the women). That led to single-parent homes, divorce and MTV. Ok, maybe not MTV. But still, MTV was invented by Gen X.

Generation X is kind of the generation nobody thinks about, but they basically made the internet and the whole technology thing happen. Their parents worked hard so they work hard. Here’s the deal though, all the generations work hard. Despite what some may say.

All the generations work hard. Despite what some may say.

 

Millennials

Millennials, the generation no one can stop talking about. Mainly, because there are so many in the workplace and they have a hard time getting along with Baby Boomers and Gen Xers.

I will say that millennials hold the most power, for now. They are the ones that are in a position to make big changes around the globe for the next decade, give or take.

Millennials where raised in a world where the space program stagnated, meanwhile, gadgets and office spaces changed drastically. Management went from leaders to coaches. Couches went from chilling with wine to chilling with wine with your laptop sending emails to keep investors happy.

Millennials are the new parents and new bosses of today.

Generations Comic

Post-Millennials

And finally, my generation.

We are the new guys. I get that but why don’t we get a cool name like Next Gen or Young Stuff (ok maybe not the second one).

Post-Millennials were raised in a world where multitasking and tech is life.

For example, doing your homework while listing to music and watching Netflix, oh and munching on some Honey Dijon Kettle chips.

Once it was, don’t leave home without your wallet, keys and swiss army knife. With Post-Millennials it’s, don’t leave home without your phone, earbuds and bus card.

Post-Millennials tend to take longer to start driving, working and whatnot. That being said, we are being raised in world where knowledge is at our finger tips. We learn ridiculously fast and we are social media (not proud of the social media one though).

We have yet to see what this generation really becomes, but hopefully it includes space habitats, cleaner energy and really good coffee!

Why the Generations Matter

Well, they really don’t.

They exist for the same reason MBTI personality tests do. People have a hard time communicating and socializing so they try to put people in categories and find ways to make those categories play nice.

But on the other hand, it’s kind of fun to be part of a group or category, and trying to play nice isn’t a bad thing.

Questions

  • Do you think generations matter?
  • Why or why not?

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation

https://blog.shrm.org/blog/overview-of-the-generations-generation-y-generation-x-boomers-and-veterans

https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidsturt/2016/08/16/generational-differences-when-they-matter-and-when-they-dont/#8adc94a692dc

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/04/11/millennials-largest-generation-us-labor-force/

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5 comments

  1. I really liked the honest and funny opinions included in describing the generations.
    For me, the only reason I appreciate having generations is as a conversation topic. It is enjoyable to find the relatable things we have with the people in our generation. Like loving the Honey Dijon Kettle chips.
    But I think marketers have a much greater appreciation for the generations. The division of the world’s population in generations allows marketers to use different tactics that encourage each consumer to purchase their service or product. For example, Gen Xers love coupons especially through their email, so marketers tend to use that tactic to target Gen Xers. And for Millennials, using reviews is vital. Services like TripAdvisor are what works great for targeting their Millennial audience.
    More info on marketing and the generations: https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2016/09/28/generational-marketing-tactics

  2. Classifying generations are useful but not important. I agree that they are like the MBTI in that sense. Categorizations like these are not “the answer,” but they do have their uses. Your article reminded me of this one I read a few years ago (https://scholar.colorado.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2273&context=honr_theses). Lauren Troksa gives some background on how different generations view each other and why. I appreciated her concluding paragraphs – for all you lazy bums who don’t want to read the whole thing, it is basically the scholar’s TL; DR. Also, the dates for birth years are different for some of the generations but I don’t really think it matters all that much.
    Really the only generation we have to pay attention to is “this generation” (Citation: Jesus Christ) heh.

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