The labeling of a generation

The greatest generation. Baby boomers. Generation X. Millennials.

I was born in 1978, during a span of years other authors have noted is a strange middle ground that doesn’t quite fit either label of Gen X or Gen Y (millennial). The precise years vary, but it’s generally agreed as being from ’75 or ’77 to ’81 or ’82. Doree Shafrir wrote for Slate that we’re a micro-generation of those in high school when My So-Called Life aired on ABC. If you watched Saved By The Bell during its first run, you’re a contender.

Despite being told I was a member of Generation X growing up, I always felt more like a Gen Xer’s kid brother. When the term Millennial came into common usage, it felt clear they were talking about people younger than me.

Maybe it’s because I fit with both and neither that this vlogbrothers video spoke to me. Millennials have been thoroughly trashed in mainstream media as lazy, entitled narcissists, but it’s just not true. At least, not any more true than it was for Baby Boomers, who “were the first generation to take a breather between childhood and adulthood and explore being young. They got married later, had kids later…” [1]

I have to say, though, that the older I get the more I identify with Millennials. The more time I spend with them, chief example being my wife’s brother, the more I see the pragmatism and idealism coexisting. The more I see headlines about Millennials as being full of crap.

Enjoy the video, and consider reading the article that inspired it here.

  1. David Neilson, Baby Boomers: All You Ever Needed to Know

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