You can’t go anywhere or turn on the radio or TV without hearing something about “Gen Y”. Regardless of the chosen term, it’s all the same. Some prefer “Millennials”. Others prefer the more provocative term “The Me generation” which speaks to the entitlement mentality that is so prevalent among this generation. But who qualifies as being a part of “Gen Y”?
The generally accepted definition is people born between the early 80’s and the early 2000’s according to Wikipedia. Ever since the term “Generation X” was coined in the 80’s, it seems we will be forever plagued with these cute little monikers popping up every 10-20 years.
The worst part is the “Millennials” term. What associates this group of people with the changing of the millennium? The fact that they were born somewhere during the last 20 years of it? That’s a stretch. I suppose they are assuming that the standard for a generation is 20 years, in effect making it the last generation of the millennium. Regardless, the name is not only vague in connecting it to the reference, but it just sounds ignorant. It’s not even a word according to my spell checker underlining every instance of it in red.
So, we had Generation X, now it’s Generation Y, are we to assume that the next generation, the ones who are children and “tweens” (don’t even get me started on that word)now, are to be the last generation? Is there some sort of Biblical reference I’m missing? Is it written somewhere that baggy pants will precede Armageddon?
Common Sense tells us that every generation, since the dawn of humanity, has had it’s own unique challenges. We think the kids today have it easy, but our parents thought that about us as did their before them. Yes, the 20-somethings of today are needy and have a sense of entitlement, generally speaking, but it’s not their fault. They have been spoiled that way. But, I have to tell you, that entitlement thing isn’t new, it’s been around a while, it’s only gotten worse.
Surely you have seen an example of the kid sitting in the couch, playing Xbox, and yelling to his mom for a sandwich. They didn’t come up with that idea on their own. If I had tried that, my mother would have told me to get off my butt and go make my own sandwich. Oddly enough, it wasn’t’ the same 10 years later when my brother was that age, but that’s another story for another time.
We teach our kids that they don’t need to do anything, and we’ll do it for them. So why are we then surprised when they grow up thinking the world owes them a living?
Regardless. Maybe after we hit “Generation Z”, and there are no letters left we can finally let go of this ridiculous generation naming nonsense. I surely hope so. If Common Sense tells us anything, it’s that this is all just to promote a sense of belonging. But seriously, that’s painting with the broadest of brushes. I guess its’ okay if you stereotype everyone in such a wide age group. Is it only a problem when you get into more precise smaller groupings right?