There’s always discussions about generations, what generation are you (take the test), but increasingly when people talk about Generation Y, the main point is technology. Any generation embraces the technology of their era (radio, vinyl records, boom boxes, CDs, the internet), but it by no means is the only thing that defines them.
Many Boomers remember advertising with fondness, not many members of Gen X or Y would say the same. Many members of Gen X & Y want more work/life balance, as they’ve seen the costs paid by their parents. The survivors of the World War II Generation appreciate the simple things in life, like bombs not falling from the sky on a regular basis.
The first thing that defines any Generation is their perception of other Generations. As a member of Generation Y, I quote the Simpsons: I used to be with it, but then they changed what “it” was. Now, what I’m with isn’t it, and what’s “it” seems weird and scary to me. All Generations think the other Generations are weird and scary (even if it’s just a little bit), but they’re all just born of a different social environment.
Generations different to yours aren’t weird and scary, they’re just different. Hopefully all the generations can learn to collaborate (instead of wanting others to “fade away”), combining the collective wisdom of all generations, to solve problems that we all face together. How many friends do you have outside your own generation? Is that number really enough?
I’ll leave you with the generation-mashup, the Zimmers, talkin’ bout their g-generation.