The Generations Blog will cover all things Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z. If you’ve paid any attention, we notice that certain generations are often either credited or blamed for certain societal trends, losses, changes in values, economic successes and failures. Some of these claims are true, while others are false, and some are just a matter of either opinion or a product of one’s perspective dependent upon age group or socioeconomic background. These attitudes impact the way in which Americans from different generations perceive and treat one another, and ultimately create a lot of the tension that can be felt between older and younger people alike.
But first – who’s who?
Baby Boomers are the generation mostly born following World War II. Although there are no precise cutoff dates for any generation, we will treat this time period as falling between the 1940s and mid 1960s.
Generation X, commonly shortened to Gen X, follow the Baby Boomers and encompass those born between the mid-to-late 1960s up until the early 1980s.
Millennials, sometimes also called Generation Y, who were born right behind Generation X in the eary-to-mid 1980s until the mid-to-late 1990s or the early 2000s. In truth, this age bracket is still very much up for debate, depending on who you ask.
Generation Z, who are still gaining their nicknames, include those born from the mid-to-late 1990’s in to the current 2000s.
Here’s why this matters:
All generations are being socially “charged” with massive accountability for momentous turns in politics, the economy, and societal value systems, especially on social media. In the increasingly tense and divided political climate in which we live, these claims are being thrown with more and more bitterness and resentment between groups:
Each week we will dive in to specific issues and their consequences, but for now, let’s briefly examine some of the most common claims and complaints against American age groups.
Firstly, millennials have been blamed for “killing” a ton of markets and retail business. Link yourself to a few news stories below via their headlines:
Here, Business Insider details a long and growing inventory of industries that are presently dying, supposedly at the hands of millennials. A short list includes home ownership, motorcycles, chain restaurants, department stores, diamonds, movie theaters and marriage – but more on that in a later multipart dissection of these individual “killings.” Nevertheless, one can see why the demise of multibillion dollar industries can feel economically terrifying and worth pointing a blaming finger over.
Additionally, millennials are continuously badgered for being overly “sensitive” and for preferring more “politically correct” language when speaking about a host of topics.
Likewise, Baby Boomers are often criticized for their attitudes towards younger people, and for their apparent misunderstanding of the current economic climate and their suspected role in its demise.
Above, The Washington Post examines the main criticisms against Boomers in today’s economy, including that they “chewed up resources, ran up the debt and escaped responsibility.” Click the headline to view the full story.
Moreover, there is a lot of mudslinging going on out there – and we’re going to break it all down. From millennials being perceived as lazy, broke and overeducated to Boomers supposedly being the worst restaurant customers, all the way to the concern for how much time Generation Z spends online, the Generations Blog will tackle how these criticisms and generalizations play out in the news and on social media.
While you’re waiting for future posts, take this quiz from The Washington Post titled ‘Can You Match the Generalization to the Generation’ below.