So, you want to know why Generation Z has stopped caring and why Millenials are suddenly in their thirties? Glad you didn’t ask, but I’m going to explain it to you anyway because you seem to not realize that I am a Millenial and I am in my 30s. Those kids in high school now? Generation Z. My cousin? Generation Alpha.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with the generations before the Baby Boomers and explain how generations actually work, then apply that to Generation X to today.
First off, what’s a generational gap? Well, that’s defined as “a difference of opinions between one generation and another regarding beliefs, politics, or values.” You know, like you have different values from your parents.
For example, my parents are capitalists. I am a democratic socialist. I don’t like capitalism and I think that if the government took care of the people, maybe the United States would actually be the greatest country on Earth unlike Sweden who gives paternal leave and takes care of its citizens.
So what are the generations? We have the Lost Generation which is the generation who came of age during World War I. This generation includes Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, T. S. Eliot, and Gertrude Stein among others.
Then we have the Greatest Generation. They were the main participants of World War II. People like Roger Corman, Bob Barker, Dick Van Dyke, Henry Kissinger, Harry Belfonte, David Oreck, Prince Philip, and Carl Reiner.
The Silent Generation is defined as the generation born during the Great Depression and World War II. They faced economic hardship in their youth and struggled to provide for themselves after the Second World War. They lost their fathers and older siblings in the war. They earned their moniker by not making waves and not taking risks.
Then we come to you, dear Boomer. Baby boomers were born after World War II and through 1964. You were the first generation to grow up with television. You’re associated with the counterculture of the 1960s, the second wave of feminism, and Woodstock. But you became more conservative in the 1980s, despite being an economic powerhouse and being able to make the world a better place for us now.
Generation X was born between 1966 and 1980. They saw more declining birth rates because of Roe v. Wade. They came of age during the crack epidemic and the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. They were also the first to be able to have access to computers in their homes. They are also the major heroes of 9/11 as the first responders entered the Twin Towers while us Millenials were still children.
Millenials, which is people my age (30s), are defined as having been born between 1981 and 1996. We are the ones who have 9/11 etched in our brains as children and let me tell you, seeing those towers smoking while a friend tells you they’ll never see their dad again is as chilling as it sounds. Our unemployment rate was 19% in 2010 when we were just leaving college. We are angry because you dear Boomer, decided to embrace trickle down economics and now we are struggling with life. I’m 33 and still don’t own a house yet. My dad has owned several houses in his lifetime as a Boomer.
We grew up with Internet in the house. We watched our world transform post 9/11 and saw the Great Recession of 2008. Now we live through the COVID-19 crisis and before anyone says anything, we are not the ones ignoring the order. We are the young professionals staying at home and sharing articles to keep our loved ones informed. We are the ones checking on our friends and relatives asking if they need things and if so, we drop them on the porch. We know how to deal with crisis because we have had so many before we reached 35.
And that’s not to say others have not suffered similar travesties. I’m saying that I’m tired of Millenials being lumped in with Generation Z and Generation Alpha. That’s all.
Generation Z was born between 1996 and 2010. They have better prospects such as credit unlike my generation. Gen Zers have also never known a life without the Internet or a computer. I remember what it was like before a computer entered my house. My Gen Zer friends don’t. But they do remember dial up. They don’t remember the 9/11 attacks like us Millenials. They are also more risk adverse than the previous generation.
And while Millenials and Gen Zers both are Internet and social media savvy, Gen Zers have more cyberbullying instances and use Snapchat to socialize (though more social media platforms pop up every so often).
And Generation Alpha are currently children. Born from 2011 onwards, they will reach adulthood by the early 2030s.
Obviously, I have over-generalized here, but now hopefully, you know the difference between the generations that come after you, Boomer. And when we use “Okay, Boomer” as a dismissal, it’s most probably because you are lumping us into a generation we are not a part of.