Why old people complain about millenials

Isn’t this true of all generations?

We all know that our generation got things basically right (the way God intended from creation), certainly our grandparents didn’t. And tragically, our grandchildren don’t.

For any generation’s value of “we”, past, present, and future.

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I’m totally over Millenials. Can we bitch some more about those damned not-retiring Boomers? And can they please stop trying to blame people who were, at the oldest, 15 years old when Reagan became president for electing Reagan president? Why didn’t our grandparents teach our parents that projection is always wrong?


There are several factors that go into the lack of interest in independence between the ages of 16-22 (late highschool through college). One is a lack of income, because jobs that are willing to hire teens are less common than they used to be. Financial independence is quite important to overall independence, and it’s tough to get that as a teen. And even if there were more jobs available, teens have less free time than ever, because schools have increased the amount of homework expected to ludicrous levels. Good luck finding time for a 20-hour-a-week job when you already have 4-hours a night worth of homework.

Technology also plays a factor. Remember that a big drive for independence is socialization. It used to be that the only way to see your friends and get away from your parents was to hop in a car. Nowadays you can call and text your friends to your heart’s content, lowering the importance of achieving independence in that respect.

It’s also important to keep in mind that educational expectations are on the rise. A bachelor’s degree today is what a highschool degree was to previous the baby boomers, or a middle school degree was for the “Greatest Generation.” Going to college no longer makes you stand out, having a Master’s or PhD does. If adulthood starts with your first major career employment, that’s been backed off from 18 years old to about 25, just because of expectations from the economy.

Birth control obviously figures in as well. We’ve had enough generations between the advent of cheap birth control and today that it’s ingrained in our social conscious that sex does not equal children. For those people who are driven by sex, becoming an adult meant satisfying those urges, but satisfying those urges meant taking on the responsibilities of a family. Nowadays, with birth control pills and condoms readily available, you can be sexually active with no strings attached. It’d be hard to wait for adulthood to start at 25, if that meant you had to be celibate until then, but that’s simply not the case anymore.

On a positive note, there are probably fewer awful parents now for kids to escape from. Hitting your kids is not considered a reasonable parenting strategy anymore, screaming at your kids is known to be detrimental. Parents are simply better than they used to be. That removes the biggest impetus for gaining independence, getting away from the misery of life with your parents. If your kids aren’t scrabbling to get out of your house, it’s probably because you’ve succeeded in making your house a good and nurturing home for your children.

Kids of today live in an entirely different reality than previous generations, and (unsurprisingly) they’ve adapted to it.


Which is funny…have you ever read John Lyndon’s “autobiography”?

Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs

I found it great fun, but at the core it revolves around the Sex Pistols and the two bands closest to them in the scene…Generation X and Siouxsie and the Banshees.

Honestly, I’m one of those parents that likes their kid so much she can move in with me. In fact, since ever since My Big Fat Greek Wedding came out my daughter and I have had a plan for her to move in next door to me when she is an adult. So I totally get all of that!! But I still want to push her a little to not think so much about herself as an appendage to her parents, but more of her own person.

I’m vaguely interested in the generational-label thing. I call people in my narrow range (I was born in '79, and this seems to apply to anyone born between around '77 and '82 or so) “Li’l Xies” - think “Little Archies”, the “kid sisters/brothers” of the Generation Xers. We don’t consider ourselves Millennials, though others do, because we remember very well a time before the internet and all that. We were the last to write out our homework longhand, etc. When “Reality Bites” came out, it seemed way more profound and important to us than it did to the actual generation it was lampooning portraying.

Slate tried to dub us “Generation Catalano”, but I never watched that show, and when it was on, the only people I knew who DID watch it were Baby Boomers.


The definition of “baby boomer” is demographic, which you can see manifestly in population pyramids for the US after the mid 20th century. Hippies, flower children, marketing segments, etc. came after the population boom.

Obama is patently part of the baby boomer generation. Sorry you missed out on SDS, flower children and the like. :wink:

I’m sure she is her own person, she probably just doesn’t feel like she has to distance herself from you to prove it. Take that as a compliment.

The generation of men is as the generation of leaves. The wind scatters the leaves on the ground, but the live timber burgeons with leaves again when spring returns. So one generation of men will grow while another departs. (Iliad 6:146-150)

IMHO, the kids growing up now who have always had easy access to the world of information available online is going to end up distinct from the Millennials, for whatever use these labels are in the first place.

Basically: the Google generation. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens to kids when ignorance can be dispelled so easily.

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And that noise they listen to! Instead of real music, like we had!

And back when I used to have a lawn, the neighbor's kid went off to college, and I had to rake the thing myself instead of hiring him to do it!

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Pfffffft! Much better to be a general misanthrope. You don’t have to bother relating to anyone regardless of their age. This old guy has had a swell time complaining about everyone!

As a member of generation “bust” (born in the mid 70s) I think I hate the Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials about equally.

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Not exactly. The birth year is not a hard-and-fast rule on its own. It has to do with upbringing as much as anything else. Some people born in the early 1960s were born to parents who had lived through the depression and been adults during (and for some of the fathers, soldiers in) WWII. Those are Boomers. They were raised very differently than people born in those same few years to much-younger parents who were born around the time of WWII itself and thus grew up in the after-war boom. Those are the Gen-Xers.

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Notable that many of the hits that made Billy Idol famous were Generation X tunes.

Hipster statement. I like GenX before I really knew who Billy Idol was.

Oh this s#*% again.

Look, this concept of classifying a person based on demographics only makes sense if you are applying demographic concepts. Making broad generalizations on a specific demographic does not work if you don’t have anything solid to stand on. Especially on issues like culture, where there are plenty of people that experience it differently and live in different geographical areas where the population is different.

I also remember there were plenty of articles arguing how to market the generation after Generation X, calling Generation Y, Z, etc,. just before the turn of the century. This died out after the increase popularity of Web usage in the early 2000s, where it made somewhat of a sense to classified it as Millenials due to that. But for 20 years, 1980s to 2000s this demographic remained uncertained to be named or marketed.

You want to worry and gripe about demographics? Well apply demographic concepts with economic data. Look at what countries are doing with Boomer populations in comparison to countries that are facing a column or worst a reverse pyramid population. Countries that seeming have strong economic backing may not be as stable and solid as we generally think–I’m looking at you Germany, etc,.

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Speaking as an epidemiologist: it’s a hard and fast rule.

Speaking in terms of someone who appreciates that there are cultural currents and connotations that people of different ages may identify with, sure it can get fuzzy. But who on this forum has authority to speak for Obama’s brand identity?

I like cservant’s comments about this also.

Yes, I have a copy of it.

I’m not so sure this is something unique at all. It seems to me that old people have always complained about younger generations. It’s kind of their thing.

Ahhh, thank you for that. My first real computer was an 8088 XT that I hacked and hacked and screwed with until its last days, and then, oh my, THEN I upgraded to a 386 with every last penny in my pocket. I also recall the wonderful day when I discovered a bit of code on an arbitrary BBS that would let me calculate an over-21 social security number that would allow me to…ahem…peruse the adult section of my local BBS’s.