The millennial and gen x monikers were invented by boomers as a symptom of their generation’s well known narcissism. Which is also why boomers can’t stand the narcissism of the millennials. And boomer narcissism is also why they created the everybody-gets-a-trophy praise culture that they now themselves loath.
Full Disclosure: My personal slogan is “Throwing boomers under the bus since 1982.”
Looks like the “silent” generation are even more confused. Possibly because they’re very old, but probably because “silent” isn’t a very flattering way to describe a generation. Offered the choice between silent and greatest, I know what I’d prefer.
I know at least one sociologist who would say that the generational divides were much more than simply an invention of Big Marketing.
If they’ve started rejecting their “generation” markers, I believe there may be hope for these kids yet!
Huh. I always thought of generational terms as being basically 20-year cohorts, i.e
Boomers born 1940-1960, Gen X 1960-1980, Gen Y 1980-2000 so there shouldn’t be any Millennials over 15.
Although it might get fuzzy around those edges. Like if you’re the eldest sibling in your family and you were born in 1978 you’re probably going to have a different take on culture than if you were the youngest sibling born in 1978.
And of course this is pretty arbitrary and there’s always an agenda behind such labelling. My agenda is nice pretty categories for everyone!
Self-identifying narcissistic Boomers probably bristle at the idea of the generation before theirs being described as the “Greatest” - not sure when this “Silent” bit came in. You know “We lived through two world wars and the Depression! What did you kids do? Dance to Elvis! Huh.”
I assume that the “silent” gen skews to the you side (death and taxes being unavoidable) so it makes sense there would be more on the edge identifying as boomers. I also think the “greatest” gen is a more
Us pesky whippersnappers are the current generation to pick on. Ya know, because we wrecked the economy or some shit and don’t know what generation we’re a part of because basically the generation marker defined by boomers as “The kids we raised and grew up with lots of neon crap.”
Seriously, I’m in my 30s, and I sort of resent being put in the same group as my incoming college freshmen.
Why would it be “incorrect” for a 34 year old to identify as Gen-X instead of Millenial?
Oh, because these labels are arbitrary bullshit.
Gen Y and Millenials are the same thing, as most of the people into this stuff put it. The since-2000 lot aren’t named yet, though “Digital natives” is one shingyspeak term
Is it bad that I’d never even heard of the term “Silent Generation” before reading this article?
For me, the generational naming convention seems too arbitrary because there doesn’t seem to be a clear cut reason someone between the ages of 25-45 don’t share a deeper commonality today than the same age range 30-50 years prior. It seems whatever binds a age range it’s not so easily defined.
Lets take technology for example between myself, my parents, and their parents. When I was a kid I had an NES and cable TV. When my parents were kids they had transistor radios and color air TV. And then there’s my late grandparents childhood where aircraft were just invented and telephones were a luxury (they lived in rural states like Iowa and Kansas respectively). Technology is a good measure for ‘generations’ in this situation but I doesn’t work so well when you compare myself and my oldest niece’s generation as we both had computers in our lives and some form of Internet (mind you, the Internet for me as a teenager was vastly different than for her). Nor can you really group generations based on historical events either, since their impact isn’t always felt until well after the events have transpired (ex. the historical significance of nationalism of the 19th/20th centuries). It just seems to me that the concept of generations is less meaningful than what is assumed. At least in terms of the discussions surrounding the concept of generations.
The weird thing is that I’ve seen the Gen Y and Millennial generations used interchangeably (edit: @beschizza beat me to it). And I’ve also seen Millennial defined as “people who came into adulthood in the early-mid 2000’s”, which seems extremely vague, as it didn’t offer a definition of what “coming into adulthood” means. Does it mean turning 18? or does it mean those of us who were in our early 20’s around that time? Being born in 1978 myself (oldest child!), I’m constantly confused by what generation I’m supposedly in.
Throughout all of history 20 somethings have always been the worst. Old enough not to be a child, not old enough to know they can never have everything figured out.
It seems to be an afterthought, as though they just forgot about a generation and made something up quickly. Even the Wikipedia page is only a paragraph long and doesn’t even contain an explanation of why the word “silent” is used.
As others have pointed out, it’s pretty arbitrary anyway. I’m technically a millennial, but I was born in a world where the internet didn’t exist yet, at least not in a way that most people could use it. I would say the difference between myself and someone who was born after the invention of smartphones is immense.
EDIT: Okay, smartphones are probably not 18 years old yet, but still- big difference between myself and someone born in 1997.
15 years seems too big to define a “generation”. As a 34 year old, I don’t really identify with either the GenXers or the Millennials. I was too young to really experience the 80’s on a cultural level (I was 9 when they ended!), but don’t see how my experiences match up with an 18-year-olds (I didn’t get on the internet until college, I had dumb phones for almost a decade before the iPhone launches!)
Further evidence these generational divides are bullshit!
I got your digital natives right here.