Sunday, November 9, 2008

What's in a generation?

A comment in my previous post led me to think, once again, about generations. Generations have traditionally been about 30 years in length, which for me is far too long. Why would someone born in 1925 have the same values and experiences as someone born in 1942?

According to Wikipedia's chart, if you were born in 1977, you could be in Generation X (1964-1979) or Generation Y (1976-1990). Generation X overlaps with Generation Jones (1954-1969), and Generation Jones overlaps with Baby Boomers (1946-1964). In fact, Jones is the bridge.

Generation Y has a few sub-generations, including Cold Y Generation. Defining Cold Y is difficult. At Wikipedia, I find the dates range from 1981-1985, 1981-1982, and 1977-1985. Cold Y is essentially supposed to be the first wave of Generation Y that still remembers the cold war and life before the popularity of computers. The definition of Cold Y all depends on when you begin your definition of Generation Y. There is also an MTV Generation (1975-1985), but I find that term somewhat offensive, or actually stupid. I think it is weak to associate sociological terms to products and corporations.

My own opinion, for whatever that's worth, is that you're always going to have that overlap, and it's good. People born in 1980 can find much in common with those born in '75 and '85, but people born in '85 will find they have large amounts in common with those born in '90. That's why, as goofy as it may appear, I think you need those subgenerational groups. It's good to divide Generation Y into Cold Y and Post-Echo. It's good to bridge the young Boomers and old Gen Xers into Generation Jones, which is where Obama falls. Just keep the businesses out of it.


Gorilla Bananas said...

There was a song about generations. It went:

Is the name of the game,
And I want to play the game with you.

I bet you're sad you never heard it.

scarlet-blue said...

I am all things to all generations.... A timeless classic....

ConnectingTheDots said...

The correct birth years for Generation Jones are 1954-1965. You may find this page interesting: it has, among other things, excerpts from publications like Newsweek and the New York Times, and videos with over 25 top pundits, all talking specifically about Obama’s identity as a GenJoneser:

ChrisV82 said...

GB - I feel like I've been cheated out of an important life experience.

Scarlet - Well said. Myself, I'm more like a crusted over boil.

ConnectingTheDots - I think you shared that link with me last time, which I did appreciate. Are you getting paid by the GeneratioN Jones Organization by any chance?