Thursday, March 13, 2008

Talkin Bout My G G Generation

I am a part of the Boomer Generation. After that era, children were known as "Gen X’ers." This generation was born and for the most part may have at best known only a grand parent or a great grand parent of the depression era.

Shortly after the last X’er was released from the maternity ward Gen Y started. Y was and is a more conservative and traditional group that questions everything. If Gen X kids were Goth on a hole, Gen Y is back to taking shop classes and joining the scouts. There is little face value with them. Everything gets questioned and re-ordered in to logic.

I’ve since learned that the new kids on the block are called Generation Z. They have a logic attitude about them that they reinforce with technology. They are fearless and inquisitive.

The strange thing I see about this is that the “Generations” are like oil and water. Each generation has their own work styles and ethics. Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. X’ers were born between 1965 and 1982. Gen Y’ers were born between 1983 and 2000. Gen Z is also known as Generation 911. They were born from 2001 and will continue being born until 2021.

If one thinks the generation gap effects the parent/child relationship, consider it in the work place. It's a wonder anything ever gets done. It is a skillful employee that can cross over and understand the generation before or after them and know how not to ruffle feathers. Every once in a while Jaggy writes about her frustration of being the youngest employee in her working environment.

I come across it often as well when I'm working with old school agriculture organizations who hire me to come out to speak to a group or do a class for them. Somehow the person in charge usually has the technological limit that stops at the FAX machine. They don't use e-mail and they are too impatient for snail mail, so everything needs to be faxed to them. This is when I have to consider the generational thing and hope that those who are younger than I are as understanding when I eventually allow my technological rationale to slip away from me.


Blogger Hahn at Home said...

While some of those Gen Y'ers are okay, I get pretty tired of the constant questioning. I'd prefer more of a "because I provide your paycheck" kind of reply, but I can't.

Actually, I need to put some space between me and the the job I'm leaving tomorrow to do this one justice.

6:06 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

I don't think anyone ever gave a name to my generation (1944 and preceding years).

7:10 AM  
Blogger Jaggy said...

I've also heard my generation referred to as Gen XL due to our inflating size. Thankfully, I don't worry about that. But you're right: generation gaps are difficult. My generation is all about logic. We want to explain the world into rows and columns. When we want something, we want it now, not in two weeks. We don't know how to save or manage our money. And we're not into politics.

I think there's a little Gen Boomer in me, too. I like old people. It's the 30-to-60yo's that make me mad sometimes.

7:25 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

As an observer of human nature with some pretty strong opinions about how children react to their upbringing, here's my theory:

Gen X kids were Goth on a hole... because their parents, the generation before them, were wild and crazy and doing drugs and not really doing a whole lot of paying attention to their offspring.

Gen Y is back to taking shop classes and joining the scouts... largely because their parents are Gen Xers, who are reacting against their own parents' parenting styles and bringing it back to a more traditional style, ethos, and morality.

Generation Z [...] have a logic attitude about them that they reinforce with technology. They are fearless and inquisitive... for largely the same reasons as mentioned above fir Gen Y, except that they have much more exposure to technology in the popular culture of their group - IMs, e-mail, social networking sites, blogs, Internet gossip sites... you name it.

What do you think? I have given that particular phenomenon a lot of thought, and that's the best I can come up with.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Mike S said...

Donna, I just barely made it in on the ground floor of the boomers and you just beat me here. The ranks at our end of the age curve are already thinning too fast for comfort. And what the hell is a FAX?

12:53 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Lori, time to take a deep breath and move on. Congratulations on your new job. Too bad it's not in Oregon.

Donna, they are called the Greatest Generation. Wear that with pride.

Jaggy, you're talking about my G G Generation. I'm 52.

Mel, great assessment. Looks like you've got some good thinking time in since you left your job, Darlin.

Mike, a FAX is a mimio-graph machine that hooks up to a telephone, but the smell won't get you high.

2:06 PM  
Anonymous denise said...

"Mike, a FAX is a mimio-graph machine that hooks up to a telephone, but the smell won't get you high."

that's some hot funny right there.

3:18 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Thanks, D ; )

4:59 PM  
Blogger Mom of Three said...

Now that they've reached Z, what is the generation after that supposed to be named????

9:49 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I say Gen Mo3.

5:39 AM  
Blogger weese said...

I think I am already letting my 'technological rationale' slip away. Tho, admittedly it may be somewhat purposefully.
I am in a tech field - but for me... if it doesn't make good sense I can't see the point. I don't 'need' my cell phone to do anything other than make calls. And I don't need my ipod to have a calendar or alarm clock. I believe one device to do EVERYTHING would be truly helpful - but this needless overlap is nonesense. (oops... did I go off topic :)

10:02 AM  
Blogger Mike S said...

It's probably volunteering to use the new-fangled mimeo thing in school so often that accounts for at least some of the 'missing/mixed' memories. Luv dem fumes!!:)

11:59 AM  

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