Makes me ponder sometimes if the phenomenon happens across other generations or if the ever present nature of having everyone’s “stuff” so accessible online merely amplifies this sense of generational malaise.
Generational characterizations exist solely to sell books, write silly columns, and make older people feel justified when they dismiss and disrespect the younger people.
When I hear this Gen X etc stuff from the US, it feels a bit like horoscopes...
The early named ones were based around major social/economic issues that influenced them as they grew up - WWI, Great Depression, WWII - and then Baby Boomers created a sort of wave pattern in the population that made for easy groupings into the future.
That wave pattern has since become much flatter, if not disappeared completely, but the idea is pretty appealing so it persists. You will occasionally see it start to break down though, for example with "Millennial" being split into young and old.
So yes, I'd expect the "millenials" to be different. I agree with you though that "Gen X" etc. are just a smooth and unremarkable cultural evolution from what began with "Boomer" parents.
I think it's mostly this.
Let's not forget though that the generational dismissal sometimes happens in both directions, eg. those tie-dyed boomers cut their hair and voted for Reagan, now they sit around and complain about the young types for not affording a home, unaware of how easy they had it and their role in wrecking the system. (These are a few of the stereotypes anyway.)
For instance one of the stereotypes of millennials is extreme narcissism, but this doesn't necessarily manifest in everybody having some social media account where they endlessly post selfies of themselves. Though, at least in this case, the number engaged in that behavior alone probably justifies the stereotype. And by contrast boomers were most well known for, in general, a rejection of traditional views and values. The success of the civil rights movement alone testifies to the widespread nature of this change in the zeitgeist.
Really though you can perhaps see this even more clearly by looking how much the US changes its zeitgeist just about every 20 years:
- Roaring 20s
- Warring 40s
- Peace and Love 60s
- Corporate 80s
- Identity Politic 2000s
- ?? 2020s
Of course there are many exceptions to these sort of characterizations - but that's what stereotypes tend to be: things that hold true, for a 'sufficiently large' chunk of a population. That of course does not preclude many people not abiding the stereotypes.
You gotta be kidding. Narcissism was the defining characteristic of Boomers and still is.
They can’t stop taking about a music festival 50 years later for god sakes, there are literal museums devoted to their nostalgic youth fashion and lifestyle choices.
And don’t get me started on their “everything has to stay the way it was when I had a young family” approach to urban planning.
Um, basically all of us?
Here, have an eye roll ;-)
and get off the lawn i don’t have because the Boomers are hogging all the housing...
I was born in 1980 so I’m not sure I’m gen-X-er (I’m pretty sure I’m not a millennial) but I’d say that for my generation wearing a checkered shirt at some point in their youth/adolescence was a rite of passage.
So there is the "Xennials" micro-generation, so we can be a little bit of both :-)
Senators feel the same way when they brag about never having sent an email
I thought they hung out at burger joints and necked in large finned cars in drive-in theaters. (Think Grease, Back to the Future and Happy Days). Or is that the silent generation?
And let's edit our photos a different way — so they seem genuine. Oh, the irony.
And half the time all I want are shoes or clothing that fit, and often that criteria eliminates 95+% of the stock stores seem to keep these days.
I feel you: have wasted many hours the past two years in clothing stores to discover nothing fits (in ways that can't easily be corrected by tailors).
Haven't managed to buy much new clothing in the past few years because of it.
I thought that was just something older people say to explain why young people can't afford homes, while avoiding the fact the old are eating the young.
"oh you can't afford rent? , better stop with the avocado toast silly millennial"