Saturday, February 28, 2009

Talking 'Bout My Generation?

The last few days I've been talking about generations with people, and I've found a problem. My generation really has no concrete name or set dates. In my family, my generation goes from my oldest cousin Joe (who was born in 1975, if I remember right, he's 13 years younger than my Mom) to my youngest cousin, Cameron (who at this point...I don't even know when he was born. He's younger than Corinne, so mid to late 1990s). So the generation really spans about 25 years, which is kind of nuts and is atributed to the fact that my Aunt Linda is 11 years older than my Mom. The age gap on my Dad's side is less obvious (and helped exponentially by everyone being on Facebook): My oldest cousin was born in the early 1980s (Nathan) and my youngest was in the late 90s/early 2000s (Nathan's brother, Sean). The thing is, a ton of the generations before us had real identifiers. Our grandparents were The Greatest Generation (1901-1930). Our parents were either Baby Boomers (1946-1955) or Generation Jones (1955-1964, and named for "Keeping Up With The Joneses"). My oldest cousins, despite the fact that we're all the same generation of our family, would be considered Generation X (1965-1980), and the rest would be lumped in with me. The names in the running for our generation (1981-2000)? There are a few.

There's Generation Y, which stems from the previous kids being called Generation X (and the classifyers having no sense of originality). But there's also the option of being called "Millenials," or those who came of age during the new Millenium. Some consider us "Echo Boomers," because our birth rate was similar to that of the Baby Boom, and we echo that generation (many of our parents). Ron Alsop termed us "Trophy Kids," relating to our unending quest to succeed and live up to parental expectations. And still more lump us with the generation following us (more on that in a minute) to form Generation "We," for our self-centeredness and connection to technology—like this blog.

"We are the Epic Generation," says Allie. And I'm inclined to agree with her.

I don't personally know what I would like to be called as a generation. The term "trophy kids" really resonated with me because of my high school (if it manages to keep its reputation up...). And the Millenials makes sense, because the new technology and the new century were kind of a big deal in our adolescence. I think Generation Y is kind of lame; it's only called that because it followed Generation X (and after us it would be Generation Z, or my perosnal favorite, Gen @). So what do you prefer?

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