What is Generation X?
Generation X, sometimes abbreviated to Gen-X, is a term used to describe the people born roughly between 1960 and 1980. It is sandwiched between the Baby Boomer and Millennial generations. Stereotyped as having characteristics such as a lack of direction and cynicism, members of this group they have been influenced by a wide range of cultural and political shifts, perhaps most notably the development of various technologies.
Year Limitations, Technical Definition and Numbers
Historians do not agree on the exact date range that should be used to define Generation X. Some individuals use a starting year as early as 1961, but others push this out to as late as 1965. The early cutoff is usually 1975, while the late end according to some sources is 1982. With these varying spans of time, estimates about the number of people included are anywhere from 46 to 51 million.
The stereotype of Generation X holds that those born during this period feel alienated and disenfranchised, with the "X" in the phrase describing the lack of identity these people seem to have. They reportedly don't know where they belong and have no real course in life, although they know for sure that they are not part of the generations that precede and follow their own. The media often portrays them as grunge-listening, coffee-drinking, flannel-donning slackers lost in apathy, who don't do their part for society as they quietly revolt against previous cultural ideals.
Generally speaking, people from this group also don't have a particularly high respect for authority, but they have a sense of decorum, wanting bosses and other leaders to look at both the good and bad and to judge fairly. They want balanced, interesting careers and family lives rather than bunches of money, and they aren't afraid to brush up their résumés and apply somewhere else to work if they aren't happy at their current job. Although they are detail oriented and will work hard if they have focus, their lack of both patience and experience can hold them back, and they don't always communicate that well with others.
Most Gen-Xers have grown up and established themselves to at least some degree through jobs, families and additional responsibilities of their own. The disaffected attitude that pervaded the 1980s and 1990s has, for the most part, generally shifted as a result, even though a few people likely still are living the stereotype. Additionally, some individuals have questioned the widely accepted characteristics usually applied, pointing out that, statistically, those in this group have high voting and volunteering rates, despite being somewhat cynical about whether their efforts ultimately will produce the positive effects they want.
Influences on Attitude
Many believe that the transition from colonialism to globalism and the relative safety many Americans enjoyed after World War II had an effect on people in this group. Their parents marched for equal rights and felt the impact of Kennedy’s assassination, possibly giving them a stronger sense of social responsibility. Skyrocketing costs in housing and education in the 1980s and 1990s, coupled with intense competition from overachieving Baby Boomers, may also have alienated Gen-Xers.
What They Experienced
One of the major advances that influenced this set of people was the increase in practical and entertaining technology. Individuals born in this range of time grew up using the first video games and computers, and developments like MTV let them share and enjoy the songs that shaped their lives. They also grew up through several American presidents — most were born during the terms of John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford or Jimmy Carter, and they typically can can recall the elections and speeches of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
People from Generation X grew up using VCRs and personal cassette players to listen to musicians and groups like Bon Jovi and Prince, and they saw the invention of the microwave, which now is a staple household appliance. They lived through the death of Princess Diana, the fall of the Berlin wall and the controversial invasion of Kuwait, as well as the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger. They also befriended pet rocks and viewed Stephen Spielberg's E.T.: The Extraterrestrial in the theater.
Origins of the Term
According to some accounts, Robert Capa, a photographer for Magnum, was the first person to use the phrase "Generation X," using it to describe people growing up after World War II. He used it as the title of a photo essay that was published in 1953. Roughly a decade later, in a study of British teenagers for Women’s Own magazine, writer Jane Deverson came across a group of young people who were living outside of acceptable conservative mores by sleeping around, rejecting religion and disobeying their parents. When the magazine decided not to use the study, she co-authored a book with Charles Hamblett called Generation X, which was published in 1965.
The term experienced a resurgence in popularity in the 1990s, when it served as part of the title for Douglas Coupland's novel, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture. The book is a series of stories told by several main characters, all of whom are young adults who would seem to represent this generation. The name caught on and became a part of popular culture in the US.
Although people normally use this label in the United States and Canada, the idea can be found in many other cultures around the world. In France, for instance, people of a similar age are labeled Génération Bof, which translates to "Generation Whatever." Such variations have slightly different cultural connotations, but the association with a generation born sometime after World War II remains the same.
That's it! That's why we were so sad when Prince died. He represented ourselves. Our feelings. He was our voice against the shaming, hypercritical, loveless parents. 'Don't let the elevator take us down'.
'They came into the world crying, and they're still crying' - all we ever wanted was to be accepted, not shamed. That's why we babysat for you. Studied what you wanted us to study in university. Then didn't know how to say 'you cheated me' when we got out of school and couldn't find a job. You can't stay in a job until you're 70 and then blame your kids for not having a job. There were no jobs, and you know it. When you were young, your parents got you a job, they got you a house, you hit the ground running. Then you run us into the ground. Give up the fallacy. You're only projecting your own guilt of selfishness and hoarding onto us. You didn't give us anything, just like we owe you nothing!
I am a Generation X'er and I was and still am quite a rebel, but not so much to make me a criminal. I think we got away with what we could without getting in trouble because we knew that if we were too negative nobody would listen. It was more like a movement.
It affected me personally because, although my baby boomer aunt and I were both employed in the insurance business, she never once helped me out or even acknowledged me. She was so ambitious she viewed me as a threat. Well, my insurance company closed its branch in my city and I was out of a job. I stayed unemployed for years until I went back to university. During that time all my the young people my age were unemployed or underemployed. It wasn't because we were slackers. It was because the recession hit and the boomers kept their jobs while the Gen Xers were let go. Talk about blaming the victim.
But, by the time I graduated, I was actually told I was too old and was passed over jobs (by baby boomers) that were then given to Gen Ys: the children of the baby boomers! We were completely overlooked, then shamed for it. I still feel that sense of shame, like I'm an underachiever or something. When I actually worked harder than the boomers in my office! Sad.
But, I was resourceful and became my own boss. Which is fine with me.
I think Gen Xers are a lot more creative and more self aware than our selfish money grubbing Boomer counterparts. Perhaps that in itself shows growth. We are finally realizing that money isn't everything, even if it was at our own expense by our own parents.
Gen X goes from 1965-1982.
One thing people forget about when it comes to defining generations is birthrates. Millennials are known as the "New Boomers", and the rise in births actually started with those born in 1983, and ended with those born in 2001.
Here are the true demographics;
1871-1889 = New Worlders
1890-1908 = Hard Timers
1909-1928 = Good Warriors
1929-1945 = Lucky Few
1946-1964 = Baby Boomers
1965-1982 = Generation X
1983-2001 = Millennials/New Boomers
It took me until my 40's to realize the impact my mother has had on my life (mother is boomer). Same as most here, I was the latchkey kid and the oldest who had lots of responsibility for my sibling early on.
I look at my retirement as impossible. It took me 10 years out of college to begin making middle class money. I'm twenty years behind the years it took to get my job as the generation before me. I'm forty with student loans because the money my mother made was held against me until after 25. Each time I applied for funding to go to school they told me SHE made too much money. I worked two jobs for years. Taco Bell and White Castle right across from each other. Then I worked my way through office jobs until I could finally attend school.
I've lived the unusual way - refusing to have children because they cost too much, refusing to get credit cards because they cost too much. I'm not in "the system" my mother is in. When I look at long-term assets they talk about credit scores and all I have on my credit score is student loan debt but guess what? I have cash in the bank and no one seems to care when my credit score is low to average. I'm expected to either be swimming in debt to prove that I'll pay interest for 50 years on time and never touch the balance or I have to pay in cash or go without.
Back to mammasan - she complains that I don't put up airs and fronts and rarely wear makeup. She complains that I don't put up xmas lights and most recently took me to the store only to dump me in the parking lot and drive off because she didn't like me talking back to her. I'm ending our "relationship" because of her final tantrum and have called her out on her narcissistic ways - to which she replied - sigh, everyone is a narcissist.
She even returned to work in her 70's and commanded her 75k pay rate in a low cost of living state simply because she had tenure. The generation before us was largely consisting of narcissists who cared more about what their yard looked like than their mental health. I've now realized this but it took awhile because I kept giving them chances to not be obsessed with QVC and consuming while their children struggle.
What you all say is true. We were given narcissists as parents. They didn't have us because they wanted us - they had us because the social norm was to have 2.5 kids and a picket fence. I don't believe they ever loved us at all. They looked at us as insurance for someone to wipe their butt but never someone to nurture because requests were denied and responsibilities packed on due to their work and church duties. I'm going to have my own duties when her butt needs wiping. I hope she saved enough for her own care because I already cared for her mother while she worked too. My time is done taking care of the generations before me while I'll have no one to care for me.
Ugh, I wish they would stop meddling with Gen X and Millennial dates. Traditional sources including Markert and Coupland originally defined Generation X as 1966-1985. Generation Y was 1986-2005.
There have been a few sources popping up as of recent that cuts the Gen X dates in half in order to beef up numbers for the millennials and the boomers. If they would stick to the original format, there wouldn't be so much confusion and arguments over the dates unlike the smooth-sailing G.I. / Silent and Boomers Generation
I'm a Gen Y'er and I am content with what I have and surround myself with positive people and enjoy the activities I do. The key to a great life is to forget who has wronged you and focus on the people that are positive and honest. I graduated from university and did not get the job I wanted right out of the gate. I had a job that was not ideal but I know that it get me closer to where I want to go. Success is a journey and you have to decide what is right for you and not live up to ideals. There are limits, trade-offs, and you cannot have everything you want.
1963 cohort, latch key, and while not a failure to launch, certainly a delayed launch. My parents were technically Silents but the heck if they did not try to be Boomers. The smell of weed wafting into my bedroom late at night when they had friends over, falling asleep to the sounds of guitars. Ran into the Grey Ceiling as a new grad, could not relate to the Boomer - Yuppie thing, ended up not getting married until the mid 90s, first home purchase late 90s on the eve of the Dot Bomb. Like any typical Xer I'll be lucky if I ever get to retire in the sense that "retirement" is understood.
@ non979760 (Post 144): Thanks for your candor regarding your life and those things which make Gen X extremely resentful of the Boomers. My story is just like yours:
When I was growing up, I was the older latch-key sibling providing free child care to my younger brother without thanks or even acknowledgment of how difficult that job was (i.e. a 10 year old shouldn't be taking care of a 5 year old). I've been working since 15 and had most of my pay during my teen years go to support my single-parent household. Again, there was no "thanks for doing your part, etc.", only the "you're not working hard enough for me" rant. Slave labor at its best, I guess.
In college, I earned two B.A.s and an M.A. with no familial financial support whatsoever, only to have my field collapse due to NCLB (another brilliant Boomer initiative – whatever!) So, what do I do? I take a job that I'm extremely overqualified for, work 50 hours a week, get rave job performance reviews, and manage to pay off my student loans (again with no familial help).
Just when I think things are going my way, I get fired in the most vile way (false allegations of child abuse) by my Boomer boss because I blew the whistle on her illegal discriminatory policies concerning double standards for male and female employees. Again, you can't tell a Boomer a thing because they are always correct. What's more is that they will find a way to make their mistakes your fault because, after all, you're nothing but their underling stooge.
My mother, whose net worth is almost $600,000, is so obsessed with money and material things that she hordes everything. Yet, she constantly complains and frets over having enough money. And here I am, unemployed for 2.5 years, having applied for 300-plus jobs (and getting nowhere due to the false allegations), saying to myself that here's another example of a Boomer who has no idea what today's world is like.
I believe Konstantin Jireček said it best, "We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing."
When there is nothing left for Gen X or Gen Y, remember to thank a Boomer! Sarcastic rant over and out.
I am gen X and I work in health care. I try so hard to help everyone I come into contact with. I do get upset sometimes because the baby boomers will say, "I pay your salary" and "why should you get paid for helping me?" I have said several times, yes, you pay my salary with the money I've earned and paid in on taxes. And I've said, "Why shouldn't I get paid to take care of you? Did you ever work for free?"
I notice that many baby boomers think gen X-ers shouldn't get paid to work and act like we don't have a right to anything including a job that pays us money. I do agree with previous postings about the older baby boomers sucking the system dry. The medical field is spending a fortune to keep people alive past what a normal life span allows. What a waste of resources. When it is truly my time, let me die!
Love this forum. I was born 1973. I'm tired of hearing from my Dad and his generation the following:
1. "I had to work hard all my life. That's just life. Working is part of life." Cough - cough. Um, going to work from 9 am-5 p.m. with an hour lunch Monday through Friday is not working hard. I've never had an "easy" job like that in my 18 years of post-college working life. Your definition of "hard work" and my definition are worlds apart.
2. On the other hand, my folks get mad that I don't drive to their house to see them enough. Double standard. Dad is retired. So come see me. I'm working 60-80 hour work weeks, Monday through Sunday. Sometimes I work longer weeks/days. I "work hard". Get off your "lazy bum" and come see me with all that extra time you have in retirement that I'm working to pay for.
3. Dad: "Why didn't you stay at your last job? It was safe, secure and you had tenure?" I didn't stay at my last job because my employer was reducing my pay, requiring longer hours than I was already working, and I was required to pay into a retirement system that was not growing at all. So I took a risk and started my own business.
4. Dad: "You should have stayed at your last job with your salary (that paid so little you qualified for food stamps), paid insurance (that I was actually paying for out of my salary) and pension (that was not growing and would likely be taken away by the time I retired, and who knows what age "retirement" would be at). You're working too much and never have time to come see me!" Of course, it's all about you. I should magically make money (Oh, yeah. I remember, your generation did magically make money). I should always have the weekend off (Oh, yeah. You always had the weekend off). I shouldn't worry about retirement (you were able to retire at age 40 yo and then enjoyed a second career with a second pension form your company). blah, blah, blah. Yes, I do think you are out of touch and self-centered. You lack empathy. And you are clueless about what it is like in today's world.
5. "What? You have student loans? How did that happen? I thought you had a scholarship." Yes, I had a scholarship. I started school at a time when scholarships were limited to covering only certain things. They would not cover living expenses. And my scholarship only lasted for two years and was for a set amount of money. I earned my scholarship, by the way. When tuition radically increased during this time (from $600/semester to $3600/semester and then $6600/semester), my scholarship did not cover the remaining tuition due. Or my books. Or my food. Or shelter.
I realize that grandma and grandpa helped you through college and paid for your education. But, you did not help me. When I turned 17 and went to college, you dropped me off at the university and let me fend for myself. When I called, saying I did not know how to pay for tuition, you told me to take out loans and that you would pay them (one of many lies to come -- you have never helped me financially). I did not understand loans, or that it would haunt me to this day. When I called and asked for help to buy food, you said you couldn't help with my expenses because you were divorcing Mom. I was on my own. So I figured it out. I learned for the first time what it was like to go hungry. I actually did walk miles in the snow during college to buy my food. At night. At age 18. By myself, as a female. I "figured" it out. You did not help me. You have also never gone hungry. Please do not tell me you've had it hard.
6. My grandparents understand what I'm going through and understand why I'm making the decisions I have made and am making. My Dad does not (my mom is deceased). My grandparents understand working six or seven days a week. Baby Boomer Dad does not. I have no patience for boomer Dad (or any boomer) lecturing me on "working hard".
7. My grandparents understand why I don't have a TV and don't pay for cable and why I drive a used car that I've owned for 13 years, shop at Goodwill, wait to replace the carpet, use the dinner plates that grandma gave me, etc. My boomer Dad thinks I'm living that "alternative" lifestyle and that I'm a "liberal". Um, actually boomer Dad, I'm just living within my means. I'm not making a political statement (what a boomer thing to think). I'm doing what's necessary to survive. Remember, I know what it's like to go hungry. I work hard every day to prevent that. I also know you have never had this experience. I believe you've had it easy. When you divorced, your parents helped pay for the divorce, helped you buy food, and later bought you your first house after the divorce. They just gave it to you. When I lost my husband to a horrible disease, neither you nor mom helped me at all. I sold our house, rented a place in scary neighborhood on my own (you told me I needed to do what I needed to do!), paid my own legal fees, and later bought my first house on my own. I had zero help from my parents or anyone else. Grandma and grandpa came to visit me and see my first house. It took you almost a year to come see it. I'm a good kid. I keep in touch, and have never done anything to cause a rift between us. The fact is, you are lazy. That's why it took you so long to visit.
8. My grandparents think it's smart that I'm growing my own food. It lowers my food bill and is another way to control expenses. My boomer Dad thinks it's "hip" -- I'm part of the "eat local -- eat slow" movement. O.K Let's get something straight. I don't label everything I do as a political statement. I'm simply doing what is needed to survive.
9. My grandparents believe that it is the Christian thing to do to accept people of all walks of life. Gays, immigrants, other races, etc. It's what Jesus would do. My boomer Dad either hates them for being a parasite on society or thinks it makes him cool for supporting their movement. After all, he's "worked hard all his life" to earn his way. Everyone else ought to also (completely ignoring circumstance -- another sign of laziness).
And regarding gay people. Boomer Dad (or Mom, we're equal opportunity here), I suspect has had some leanings, but they may or may not admit this. And if around certain people, will easily slip back into hating the gays. But never around me. Truth is, genX and genY have firmly accepted people for who they are. I feel we are waiting for boomers to go away. I secretly started having gay friends in college and kept their secret for them. It did not matter to me. Still doesn't and never will. Same with race, immigrants, and others. We are all human beings. More alike than unalike.
10. I just want the job done correctly. I do not care who gets it done. Who gets credit. I will share my ideas to help. On the other hand, when it comes to boomers, screw you! I've learned that you will steal my ideas and sell them as your own, and not for the greater good. There's a difference between sharing for a common goal, and stealing something. I'm tired of boomers feeling threatened because I'm working hard and solving problems and it's making them look bad. Start walking your talk or buzz off. Sadly, you're doing neither. And because of that, you've become a pimple on society.
11. Retirement: Boomers have had more opportunity than any generation to retire by age 50. Instead, they took out credit to buy crap, go on vacations (that I've never been on or can dream of going on), buy new cars every 24-36 months and replace items as often as I blink. All the while, they're whittling their funds away carelessly. Why? Because "they've earned it" and "they `deserve' it". Wow. How's that for an entitlement mentality?
Instead of retiring, boomers continue to work and block genX and genY out of progressing both financially and professionally. I chose to leave the corporate world and run my own business. But I watch my peers. I also watch boomer friends and family sit at their executive positions and complain about not being able to retire while they book their next trip to their vacation spot in Palm Springs. After all, they've earned it. How about this, boomers? Sell your stupid Palm Springs vacation home, invest that money and retire! Make some difficult decisions. You can also start growing your own food. Oh wait – tough to grow the caviar you're eating. Wouldn't want to miss that for retirement. I say, "stop whining, boomers!" If you need a place to stay after you sell your vacation home and downgrade your 4500 square foot home on five-plus acres in the suburbs. I'll offer you my couch. I chose not to buy a huge home with a guest room, so there's none to offer you. I bought within my means. I have self-discipline.
GenY and GenX do not have this type of entitlement mentality. I work with genYers. I have hope with genY, and I'm optimistic about genY. GenX and genY need to come together and help each other out. We are friends with a common goal of fixing this mess. GenY is watching their debt. GenY is trying to buy homes or rent places with their friends because they cannot afford to do so on their own. Boomers as a generation have not been dealt this card.
12. Boomers are bullies. When boomers say genXers whine and genY needs immediate gratification, plus the other labels that get thrown our way, that is bullying. Whether it happens at work or in the media. What's it called? Oh yeah – projection. Boomers whine that they can't retire because they have over-extended themselves financially (without helping their kids -- even though many boomers received help from their parents. Talk about spoiled!). My boomer parents received much help from their parents. I have never received a penny. Ever. I get told to "buck up", "work hard", "life's tough". I've never expected a penny. I do however, see the irony and discrepancy. And I have no sympathy for boomers. GenY and GenX need to vote boomer "entitlements" out of the system. They have had plenty of opportunity. I will help people who help me. I'm not seeing any sort of team effort here. Just a bunch of bullying by a group of wimps.
It feels good to let this out. And there's a ton more, but for another time. I also do not dwell on this, as I'm sure many on here also do not dwell on this. Onward and upward. It does help to acknowledge the situation for what it is. We have a group of spoiled brats in charge. They are a group that has never grown up and a group that has put unreasonable expectations on their children that they have never achieved themselves, and then criticizes us for missing the benchmark. It's a group that keeps moving the benchmark. It's the group that told genX they could achieve anything they put their minds to and this simply is not reality. It's the group who told us to go out their and "seize the day", yet is over-critical of every move we make.
Boomers are insulted when we fail to do what they say. Alert: Children follow orders. Adults do not. Many of us have had to be adults since a very young age. Starting to "parent" us now is too little too late. And we think you are foolish. Boomers are foolish. Funny. I see boomers as foolish, uneducated, lazy, spoiled, entitled brats. All things they are calling genX and genY. Go figure. My grandparents also think this of my parents' generation. And I receive letters of support from my grandparents and they tell me how proud they are of me for doing what I'm doing and working so hard.
One last thought. My parents expect(ed) to inherit my grandparents' wealth. I expect to inherit nothing. Zero. Zilch. While it is clear my grandparents will be passing on funds, it is my parent(s) goal to spend it all before they die. There is no loyalty to their children. It's all about them.
I was born in November 1967, my wife in April 1968, and we have three kids, Darren (born Dec. 1991), Katelyn (born Oct. 1994), and Scott (born Nov. 1997).
I find my generation interesting when it comes to technology. I was born and raised and still live in Toronto, Ontario, which is the biggest city in Canada, and we have lots of electronic companies based here.
My family got our first computer in 1984, the Commodore 64. We were actually probably the only family at my apartment who had one, I knew no one else at my high school who had it.
Commodore was founded here in Ontario, and my dad (born Nov. 1937) was working for Commodore, and he actually had met Commodore's founder, Jack Tramiel, when he started working for the company in 1976.
The Commodore 64 was only used for playing electronic video games or for printing stuff, the games on them were games that looked astonishing compared to what was on the Atari at the time, although the Commodore 64 did have some malfunctioning issues, it was our computer and game console back then. We didn't ever get a Nintendo or a Sega. We stuck with the Commodore.
But let's not forget about the monotony of the C64's printer. I remember failing a lot of assignments during my junior and senior year of high school, and having to explain "my printer broke".
This went on after I graduated in 1986 and went on to community college. It was monotonous, but that's what I had to deal with. I was dependent on the C64 for school, work, and for entertainment until 1992 when we got a DOS computer, and even that wasn't too much of an improvement.
Today, my three kids can rely on their portable devices a lot for school, work, and entertainment. They don't have to deal with the monotony that the old computers gave the people of my generation.
The technology they have now would've blown me and everyone else away 30 years ago. Makes me wonder where we'll be 30 years later. Technological advancements are not always a good thing, if we advance too far, we could end up like the people in Wall - E, and no, I'm not kidding.
We've already set that path for the human race. We actually started the path 30 years ago back in the 1980s. I actually refer to the 1980s as the first "futuristic" decade, because that's when computers, game consoles, and portable devices were all becoming mainstream (they started out in the late 1970s, became mainstream in the 1980s). That was 30 years ago, and now, we've become even further dependent on technology, and 30 years later, technology could be controlling us. We should do something about this.
Date of birth: 1970
Place of birth: North Wales
First job (summer holidays, 1982): Outwork threading a few introductory sheets on NCB military training into A5 ring binders, for a local plastics factory (£0.02/completed binder).
Last job: first computer: Sinclair ZX spectrum 16K (purchased with proceeds accrued from first job)
1st tinned food consumed : Probably Ravioli.
I think Generation X in large part born of the age of mass media, a 'middle child' between Technology & implementation.
I couldn't agree more with the last poster. I was born in 1965 and consider myself a solid Gen X'er. My wife, born in 1963, is a solid baby boomer. It's funny how just a two year difference can mean such a difference in values/beliefs.
Don't worry people. Gen X is on the way, and we'll set things right and be rid of those freakin' boomers soon. I cannot wait for my generation to get a hold of this country. Things will get better.
As a '67 baby, I agree with many of the comments on the post. My brother is 8 years older than I am, making him a boomer. A more selfish person you could not meet. He is totally obsessed with making money. On the rare occasions I see my brother he does nothing but complain about having to make all this money he wants. Endless and relentless hours he complains of. His wife spends it faster than he can make it and yet he says nothing plugging on doing 50 hours a week at over 50 years of age! He seems to have no idea that he can actually control this situation if he wanted to.
I as an X-er, on the other hand, have had to work with boomer bosses who, with the same idea of just wanting more and more money, hammered their staff relentlessly. Many years I worked hard for them until I realized it was never going to be enough (for them). Well it turned out it was more than enough for me. The lack of respect, the forcefulness and constant pushing for more was too much. I quit without warning and told them I no longer wanted to play in their games. I went out on a limb having no job to go to, but couldn't stand it anymore. My "replacement" barely lasted three months before she quit too.
I got myself a job where the money is less but so is the pressure. I get more flexible hours which to me is worth way more than money. I adapted my finances and barely noticed the difference so a happy chappy I now am. Boomers are their own (and everyone else's) worst enemies. My parents weren't fantastic - they tried their best but with my argumentative mum and my dad a heavy drinker, divorce became inevitable, a decision that affected me much more than my brother.
Despite that I am the one who has realized regardless they need a bit of assistance in their old age (albeit an arm’s length kind of assistance), my brother’s selfishness continues with him not assisting them in any way. I will spend money if I have it but like a squirrel will put some away for less prosperous times.
My impression of boomers is of their unashamed greed, and super inflated egos. They believe life should be lived a certain way and will do anything/tread on anybody to get it. I'll admit they work hard, but they wouldn't have to if they weren't so greedy in the first place and expecting everyone else to work like they do. Bragging about how prosperous they are/will be is their number one hobby. Look at all my material possessions is the cry of a boomer. I, as an X-er on the other hand treasure experiences. My home is modest but I've traveled the world and experienced all it has to offer much to the disgust and jealousy of the boomers.
The boomers are everywhere so X-ers, be sure to stay away from as many of them as you can if you want a peaceful life. Peace, tranquility, fairness, kindness, happiness, fun and love are what an X-er is all about, but be careful if you want to try and push your luck!
Whether I'm a Boomer or a Gen-Xer is subject to debate. I was born in October 1963, less than a month before JFK was assassinated. I can't relate to Boomers and was a latch-key kid as a teenager. I grew up to be fiercely independent. I'm definitely cynical and don't have much respect for or trust in government. As for the somewhat controversial Gulf War, I'm a veteran of that conflict.
It's the year 2013 and President Obama has turned out to be another stooge for the baby boomers. He raises the debt ceiling higher and higher for them while not only hurting the economy for genX but Y as well.
I am an Xer, born in 1965, and like many others in our generation, have suffered from being repressed by the baby boomers. In our youth, our music was shunned by an industry controlled by boomers. If it weren’t for organizations like Subpop, grunge would never spoken the feelings many of my generation had growing up in a society controlled by boomers.
When we graduated from college, boomers kept us out of the work force or relegated us to jobs well below our abilities. The boomers outsourced/offshored millions of jobs so they could make insane profits while doing away with pensions and profit sharing schemes while they took control of corporations in the 80s and still hold on to them late in their lives.
As a huge voting bloc, they are able to keep members of their generation in power, ever creating newer taxes as a means of making sure they entitlements are guaranteed at the expense of the much lower earning genXers. They continue to raise the debt limit -- which stands at $17 trillion -- to make sure of this while inflation begins to skyrocket. The boomers know the outcome is government economic collapse and it is unavoidable. After all, it’s all about them.
Lastly, their inability to accept they are growing old with their indulgence in plastic surgery, facelifts and erectile drugs makes them a pathetic lot which seems like they are still in a LSD fog. We thank you for the high divorce rate, deviant free love behavior which brought us AIDS and the destruction of our economy long after you're gone.
I'm confused. I've always been interested in reading about Generation X and generation Y, etc., but everywhere I look, the range on different sites seems a little strange to me.
Wikipedia cites Generation Y -- the generation I'd be a part of -- as spanning from about 1982 to the early 2000s. This would include my boyfriend's 14 year old sister, whom I wouldn't consider in the same generation as either of us (I am 25 and he's 28) but according to this Wiki info, we are.
But more to the point, my mum would be considered part of Gen X by this information, which I was led to believe included people who were teens in the early 1990s, which she was not as she was born in 1961, but others consider her to be part of a different generation if Gen Y started as late as 1965. I'm so confused.
I am a generation X, 40 year old, with a graduate degree. It is very difficult to get a job in my field as the baby boomers refuse to retire! Also, they have polluted this planet and refuse to even acknowledge that global warming could be real.
I am stuck with a baby boomer who throws temper tantrums if he doesn't get his way, and tries to tell me how to raise my kids even though he basically abandoned his to have affairs. So much of what I read in these posts are things I have thought but never quite formed into words. My solution is trying to be Zen, finding peace regardless of what surrounds me and bringing about what positive change I can.
Gen boomers did nothing to make this world better, and they made it expensive, and we have work harder so that we can never have a house. Now boomers are just fat old pigs who want us to help burp them. They won't even leave us an inheritance. They just yell and talk loud like fat mouths, but were too cowardly to make this a better world. They never cared for their children.
It is the gen x job to be courageous and make this a better world. (and try to get prices more reasonable again.)
They all think they are going to heaven, but I don't think they will make it. I'm not sure hell is their destination either. All boomers did was eat hamburgers and yell really loud. They use their money to mind rape and that's all. There will be an opportunity when they are finally gone and stop firing people over trivial matters. Boomers are sick and insane, and gen x & y are cool and insane. No worry brethren. God made death and soon we will be free from spoon feeding these pigs.
I was born in 1969. So, supposedly I'm in the middle of the X generation. But, I can't stand any of the 'generations', including my own. I don't have values that hold to most of yours or my parents or my much older siblings.
Most of you don't feel true alienation; you just love to gripe. That goes for every so-called representative of every generation here.
If you want to feel truly out of sorts and disenfranchised, you would have to know how it feels to be living in a culture that you no longer respect or recognize. At least there a few others I know of who feel like I do. You've all ruined the nation I knew.
I'm Gen X, born in 1971. My grandmother from The Silent Generation was everything I wished I had as a parent. Parents? What parents? More like irresponsible teenage brats. Now they're in their late 60's, and nothing's changed. They worked us kids hard for their dreams and kept all the money and stability and fun and travel for themselves.
I love my parents, but having to iron their shirts and get them through the day while scraping for food and getting to school and also looking after the younger kids -- yeah I've felt lost all my life and I know I was never wanted, unless you count free child labor and a never ending supply of affirmation to their ridiculous egos.
They were utterly, repulsively selfish their entire lives. Their parents hated them, their grandkids hate them and their kids are so disgusted, we respectfully just shake our heads.
I'm smarter and I work harder. Had I been born in their time, I'd have had it so easy and I would've taken care of the other generations.
I know some boomers who are really lovely, but most are just disgustingly selfish and irrationally egotistical. It's indescribable how delusional they are. I don't bother. Let them live in lala land.
I'm a Gen X'er and tough, and know stuff only a gen x'er would know. My babies are the heroes, and yes they are. I think it's because they've seen me battle all my life and do heroic things for them. Service and humility wrapped up in warm bowl of love. Unlike my nowhere boomer parents.
I was born in 1985, so I'm not really Gen X or Gen Y. I think those born from 1976-1988 as others have said are kind of our own generation, usually called Generation MTV. I guess we're like Generation Jones of 1954-1967. I'd place the XY line at 79/80 but 76-88 is still its own cusp zone. It's because, although you have to draw the line somewhere, a line in the sand need not be treated like the grand canyon. And also because I don't see myself as the same generation as my oldest daughter born in 2000 (some Gen Y listings extend it to 2000). She's had so much stuff growing up that I couldn't even begin to comprehend when I was a kid (yeah, I know, young parent, but at least I'm raising my kids). I love her dearly but no, she's not my generation. Especially because she asks me stuff like how I survived without the internet and tells me that some of her friends have never seen a VCR.
However, as a quasi-Xer (or possibly quasi-Yer), I've got to say, the Boomers on here really don't get what Gen X (and the later alphabet generations) are going through. Sure, I've got myself a job, but it's not a cushy one, I often have to work double shifts and my wife sometimes has to work long hours, too. I wouldn't want a 9-5 job anyway, because my friends keep telling me about places throwing resumes in the trash for no reason, even if they have a degree simply because they didn't get it from a place like Princeton. It's like a Master's in 2012 is what a high school diploma was in 1965. And even if they get hired, they get fired in two weeks for using the wrong body language.
So in short, the only reason I have a job is because I had to start working at 14 (my oldest daughter was born two months before I turned 15) and I didn't find a job I could stay at until I was 17. Had I not been in this situation, I probably would have gone for a physics degree at a major university (I've always been great with math and science), but I'm just glad I finished high school, but by the time I'd have been done with college, the recession would have started and I'd probably still be living with my parents like a lot of my friends are.
So, ironically, the best thing that could have ever happened for my future was becoming a teenage parent. Simply because I had to get a job to raise my family. Because a blue collar job still pays better than no job.
Let me weigh in with a different perspective. My parents are baby boomers who joined the hippie movement. They raised me - actively took the time to raise me - with respect and affection and have worked their whole adult lives just to make ends meet.
They took the time as young adults to examine what they did and did not like about their childhoods and their parents' lives and made a conscious decision to leave behind what didn't work for them. I promise you, those decisions had nothing to do with vacation homes and high-priced cars. They chose to live a life of kindness, tolerance and mindfulness and raised me to be the same. More, they taught me that happiness is not necessarily defined by how much money you make.
It is commonly said that members of Gen X have no direction and no motivation. I would amend that to say that we are waiting until later in life to find direction put our ambitions to use. I am in my late 30s now (gulp) and after working for years at so-so jobs just to pay the bills, I have found a career that I enjoy and am proud to pursue. And one that, thankfully, pays the bills. I see a lot of people around me who are my age or older who are just starting to figure out what they want to do when they grow up.
When boomers and their parents criticize the laxness of my generation, they fail to realize that we are looking at an average life span that is nearly 20 years longer than theirs. Even if it isn't strictly true, it feels like we have more time to figure things out. And yes, we lack the starry-eyed belief in authority figures that turns them into instant heroes.
But I don't think our generation or those who come after us are better or worse than the Baby Boomers. We are living in a different world and trying to make it our own.
I'm an American Gen X'er but I disagree with Jane Deverson's description about disobeying parents and rejecting religion. That is just not true.
Yes I know how you generation xers feel. I was born in 1974. I'm old fashioned though, and am looking for a nice guy to marry. It seems like I can't find a guy who has a decent job, because of the economy, so I'm stuck still living with my parents.
I'm a nurse's aide, and work part time in life insurance, but it's tough. The boomers make me mad. I get so tired of them going on their vacations, and traveling everywhere. I don't even have a pot to pee in. I owe over 10,000 dollars on college debt. I was fed a lie: go to college, they said. Now I can't find a job in my field, so I became a nursing aide, and sell life insurance for a living.
Maybe we women boxers should marry a baby boomer man and take him to the cleaners with their money. I love generation "x" because we don't give a damn, we tell it as it is, and don't trust authority, or government. We question everything. Who is John Galt, by the way? The baby boomers are bankrupting America!
I am a Gen Y'er (21 years old) and I must say that I'm a little disappointed in those who are complaining about my generation. There are many Gen Y'ers who are not these entitled, selfish narcissistic brats who have had it made.
Do you really think that the ones coddled and "spoiled" by their boomer parents will be forever grateful to their parents? Think again! It's not our fault the boomers are trying to buy their kids' love and then demonize them through the media by portraying us as the narcissistic, spoiled, entitled brats some of you perceive us to be in the first place (Think Jersey Shore, My Super Sweet 16, etc.)!
The boomer-run media is trying to portray us as these awful kids to guilt trip us into bending over backward for their greedy needs. Believe me, many will despise their parents for their coddling parenting and the excessive praise they were given once they hit the real world and find the business world is not as cookie cutter as the boomers make it seem! They are telling us the same crap you were told.
We grew up with 9/11, the Enron scandal of 2001, Occupy Wall Street, the 2008 recession, the war on terror, the uprisings in the middle east, politicians constantly lying, etc. We also are witnessing our parents getting laid off in big numbers, are also paying into Social Security (basically paying for the boomers to live like kings in their retirement) that we'll never see a dime of again -- you get the picture. Not to mention it seems like there is constant war with our country against the middle east!
Point being, Gen X, we are just as screwed up as you are! The older members of my generation are starting to learn this as they graduate school to find the jobs they were promised no longer exist or are taken by guess who? The boomers!
I have seen several Gen Y'ers get messed up by their boomer parents already. Trust me, they'll get just as flim-flammed as you did, if not worse. The boomers have been trying to buy their kids' love (they may seem grateful now but they won't be later on, trust me!).
Fortunately, I was given the pleasure of being raised by early Gen X'ers (I am 21 years young, by the way, if that matters at all) and had somewhat hands-off parenting, much different than my fellow Gen Y'ers. Trust me when I say this: we are starting to learn from the mistakes of the boomers and we will be learning from you instead, Gen X if that makes you feel any better!
So please, stop thinking we Gen Y'ers basically stink at life (some of us do I'll give you that) when it's the boomers making us look that way so we're alienated and we run to them, only to bend over backward for their greedy, selfish needs and wants!
Many of us are still young and those who really are that way will be learning and they will learn quickly!
There should be a different name for the generation born between 1976 - 1985 (as I don't really see them as "Generation Y", which is the next named generation, and the name that most articles I have read give to the generation which I was born in).
I was born in 1982 and I am very different from my cousin who was born in 1995. I remember many things from the 80s, which are certainly a far cry from the mid 90s. For example: no internet, black and green screen computers, record players instead of CD players, Beta instead of VHS, Atari instead of Nintendo. The list goes on.
No, the researchers who defined Gen X saw it started in 1961 - this was defined by looking at the birth statistics, i.e. the lull after the boom, and also the personal/psychological characteristics of that smaller group as they labored in the shadow of the larger group of boomers.
Here are some simple tips for the non wealthy x and y generations.
1. Do not pay rent (live with parents/in van/buy a house).
2. Do not make real money by working. Boomers profit from your hard work.
3. Receive food stamps if available.
4. Collect unemployment if available.
5. Pursue your dreams until they are attained.
6. Do not buy anything you don't need until you have a good amount of money.
7. Realize that our world (X and Y) is not good because of the baby boom generation
8. Realize X and Y will not be in a good position to have good lives until around around 2025 when they are leaving (dead).
9. Enjoy your life as best you can!
Born in 1962, I was a latchkey kid. My parents did not believe in a post secondary education and scoffed at me as I took out student loans. My parents "spent" the money they had put away for my education on a boat and a lake property and one-month vacations every year. Neither of my parents graduated from high school. They both worked basic, low level jobs and were never, ever out of work. They always had dental and a pension plan at their basic jobs. They now have over $1 million in real estate assets just by way of inflation and the real estate boom.
I came out of a two-year college degree to no jobs and a 19 percent interest rate on my student loans. When I did get a job for two years making $40K a year, my parents were jealous I made more money than them. It only lasted two years. I have never had a job last more than two years. I have been constantly laid off. After ten years of "contract" jobs, I declared bankruptcy. The only debt I had accumulated was that student loan and it had doubled with the 19 percent interest rate. I watched uneducated baby boomers take my ideas and then lay me off or worse, just give me a short term contract job.
My parents refused to even co-sign for a mortgage for me. My grandmother was the one to sign for me. Thank you Granny! I was single and 40. I lucked out and made $100K in real estate on my condo in a drug and prostitute infested neighbourhood. I left the province and built a small, but well appointed house by the ocean in Atlantic Canada with the money. I work a seasonal job in the summer and oil paint all winter. I expect to do this until I die. My home is paid for and I drive a beater vehicle. I only have about a thousand dollars in debt on my credit card and when I sell a painting, I pay it off. I have never taken a vacation. I have some nice things that I bought on super bargains. I did without a sofa for two years. I don't own a TV. I just watch everything on the internet. Luckily in college, they gave us an education in computer basics.
I was terribly abused as a child and there were no social services or anyone intervening on my behalf. I could never afford therapy on contract short term jobs. I developed a spiritual connection that saved me.
I would love to work hard, but when I do get a job, my Baby Boomer bosses are so threatened by my talent and enthusiasm, I have learned to just keep my ideas to myself. Although at times I have had to save them with an idea so I could keep a job for a few months longer.
I don't count on inheriting any of that real estate money as my parents are now getting reverse mortgages so they can spend six months of the year improving other countries' economies vacationing. I am a smarter, better educated, kinder and more tolerant person than many of the baby boomers I know. They feel they deserve what they have and have no idea that my generation, when we do work, does at least three times the amount of work they did in their jobs. Jobs were all contracted out so the boomers did not have to pay into our pensions or dental or extended health care.
I am learning to live more like my grandparents did. At least my generation learned a thing or two about growing your own garden and doing physical things in the world -- before the boomer greed took over and they made their money selling a lot of disposable crap. I use technology but I refuse to sit around playing video games all day like the generation behind me. I keep the "virtual" world at bay and live in the real world, by creating beauty with my painting and a flower and vegetable garden.
I hope to save up enough to go to Europe one day. I don't want anything to do with fancy hotels in Cancun or Hawaii, or god forbid, Las Vegas.
I have more appreciation for culture, finer food and I am open and loving to people different than me – unlike many boomers who want to live in their cookie cutter neighbourhoods and wear the same clothes, drive the same cars, etc. as their peers.
Somehow, being an early Gen-Xer forced me to figure out what I really valued in the world. When you have very little, you learn the value of things and money. The majority of Baby Boomers seem drugged up on a lot of crappy, valueless, disposable things – and big boring houses and cars and hotel vacations that look like their own houses.
I worry about the Y Generation. They seem lost. They're lost in a virtual world, with reality tv stars as their role models, where shame gets you fame. Sex, drugs and a cheap tacky world of electronic things. I worry about generation Y.
Generation X, my friends, most of us do not have children. Many could never create a stable enough environment because of the lack of a stable income. With examples of greed and divorce from the baby boomers, we became the generation that decided not to have children, and if we did, it was much later on in life when some of them did find some kind of financial security. If we did have children, it was just one child.
My neighbours' children do not know how to cook from scratch; they only eat prepared food. They are fascinated when I show them how to grow things. I try to show them that the "real" world is far more interesting and satisfying than the virtual world. They are babysat by computers, games and televisions, while their parents work, have breakdowns over another divorce, drink, use drugs and have other children out of wedlock. How many 20 something and 30 something adults have two to three children, all with different parents? Plus, these kids are then fed drugs when they can't cope. I wonder if there will come a time when the Gen-Xers will have to "save" this world.
I have lived a half century in this world. I value beauty, and being able to provide for myself, by living off the land as much as I can and sharing with my neighbours. I use technology and I don't let it use me. I don't believe in debt. I value things that are quality made and I expect to only buy it once. I'm not a throwaway consumer like the baby boomers.
In my mind, my sort of generation X lifestyle may end up being the ideal. I have learned to not do what the generation did before me. I refuse to get into debut for anything. Learned that lesson. I can only afford to buy something once so I hold out for quality. I don't need a big house to be happy. I have a small, well-appointed home. I use my own land to help sustain my lifestyle. I don't let technology take me away from the real world. I am grateful to baby boomers for teaching me to value peace, to love people of all types. I will go one step beyond and realize all those people deserve to participate in a peaceful global society by utilizing their skills and talents and ensuring they all have access to health care before I take another six month vacation.
Many baby boomers have blinders on. How can they take those vacations and watch children scrabble in the dirt for a few pennies? No wonder they live and vacation in gated communities.
It's okay, Generation Y. When the majority of the baby boomers are gone, you can learn from
Gen X. We know what to do. Start learning from us now.
I'm really tired of the arrogance and condescension fed to me by the Boomers. It's ceaseless.
I grew up at the tail end of Gen-X, in a mostly analog world, where computers were too slow and crappy to be used for much. I didn't know they would change the world when I was in high school, or even college. I worked hard to get a robust traditional college education, which, I was told, would provide me with job skills. I worked during school some semesters, got almost a 3.8 grade point average and acquired tons of relevant job skills. No one cared. Upon graduating, I couldn't even get hired as a secretary!
Over the years, I worked and worked – three, four, five jobs at a time. I took constant training and developed a ton of computer and programming skills. I also learned UI design, first for the Web, then for mobile. I became a project manager, then a team manager, then a departmental manager. I went without health insurance for most of my 20s, and was told I didn't "deserve" it. My health isn't the best, and that's partially due to going uninsured for so long.
I left a not-great job for a new offer. It was revoked. I've been on the unemployment line three months now, and it's hell. No one wants to hire me. Now, at only the middle-management level of my career, I'm "too old, and too expensive." I watch as kids right out of college get hired over me because they'll work for 25K. I was brought in to interview for two entry level jobs, and grilled about why I wanted them. They didn't hire me.
The arrogant older people lecture those of us without jobs that it's our fault, and we could get jobs if we really wanted to. That's nice, but when you've worked with every recruiter in town, taken the time to cold-call and e-mail every company that might have use for you – hiring or not – applied to every open position, attended job fairs, networked with your frankly useless business network, and heard nothing, you do like I do and give up.
My job search, since I've tapped out every possible source of a job in this city, has officially ended this week. Now, all I do is sleep. No one cares about me. I gave all I had to a country that only sees me as a "human resource" and a "profit margin," but wants me dead once I stop making money for them. To hell with that. I'm sick of this game. I was born into the wrong generation, and I'll always be on the losing team.
I have to agree with my peer Xers. Born in 1966, I was a latch key child. My grandparents had a great place to go for holidays and the boomers went their way when they died. They fought over what little they had. Family reunions went from 300 people to none.
I saw the boomers take lavish vacations, but not attend my school functions. I got freezer food to eat when I got home. I made dinner for my parents and it needed to be good or else.
My father owned a gas station at one time but would not help me with a car. It was my grandfather who helped me. He said I do not remember anything. No, he was self centered.
They built their sun cities and kept us out. They made rules for their housing developments. They had no down mortgages, no personal mortgage insurance, credit card deductions on income tax and free college.
I was put out on my own at 18. Then when I went to college over 1,000 miles away, they wanted to count me on their income. I said I was estranged from them and they said it did not matter. I went to college and then was told I had no experience. Then when I had it, I was told I was not pliable enough. I could not win.
I lived on my own and had debt from college and never was able to get a job to save. My vacation was a trip in Mexico on the bus. I stayed in a cheap hotel on the beach with cockroaches but at least it was the beach. I could not afford to go to Yellowstone, gas was too high for my salary. Youth hostels were too much at times. I remember I got to Sequoia and having to sleep in the car because I could not afford the campsite.
I was promised a good life if I worked hard but never found it. I got a string of big company layoffs and companies closing to go offshore. Every time I had a dollar in the bank, I got laid off and had to look for another job. I never was able to save for retirement. I had no pensions -- just bad 401ks that ended with each job.
I can only hope I will be able to own a cheap used motor home to live in for my retirement. I will have to go to slab city. Oh, the boomers will close that so I will not be able to go there for free. I will need to find a nice warehouse area to put my camper day to day. Yes, I will not be welcomed at wall-mart because they will do away with that as well.
If I had half what they did I would be rich. I did not buy cheap trinkets. I got the basics at goodwill or made it. I made furniture out of blocks and boards because I could never afford good stuff and the goodwill book shelves were all used up.
I followed the rules and got nothing in return. They would say invest in the stock market. I never had any money to do so. I have bought $500 to $1500 cars and fixed them myself. I have had to be self-taught. Thank goodness for the library. I am sure they will close them soon as well.
I remember them saying I got this house for $8,000 as a fixer in 1975 and I think I was still in school. I never had that chance. Houses were $100,000 for a dump when I got out of high school. My dream was just to make the rent. I never had children because I could barely afford myself.
I saw them move their companies off shore to make bigger profits, and 10 percent was a great return. Today companies have record profits and they get mad when their profit goes from 75 to 70 percent. They did not make their money in a vacuum; it was off the sweat of our backs!
Yes, I resent the baby boomers and more each day. My back is getting weaker and weaker from what they pile on it. It is like a crowd of locusts; one or two is OK but a swarm will eat all your crops. Oh, but the baby boomers will offer you the lettuce root to eat, even though they will not. Yes, a new product for us, canned lettuce root to eat! I can eat it in my camper.
I still find it funny how they protested then sold out for good jobs, second homes and vacations!
I don't care who you are, but I worked for 35 years. So, if you're not living at home with mommy and daddy at age 35, yay. If so, get out, get a job and stop blaming anybody else for your situation. It's called responsibility and I am fed up with the whole bunch of whiners in their 20s and 30s. It wasn't easy for us, either, who are still taking care of your grandparents and you.
Whoever wrote this article should really do a little research. I don't really get why they kept making comments about the "overachieving baby boomers". Yeah the baby boomers were rebellious, but we are seeing now that their terrible decisions and lack of responsibility make them the most common generation to have to live with and be supported by their kids, so I'd say that would be the opposite of overachieving.
How can you talk about generation x without talking about douglas coupland? Oh and by the way, generation X-ers started in 1962, not 64, and baby boomers ended in 1961. You think we X-ers aren't fighting for our lives way more than baby boomers had to! Is there no cause? Yes there is, and it's not free love.
This article is all wrong. Generation X are people born from 1970 to 1980.
"The biggest impact that Generation X has had on popular culture probably began in the 1980s and peaked in the 1990s."
Erm, that's not how things work. Generation X culture *entered* the mainstream in the very late '80s when they first started graduating from university in large numbers. As far as peaking, I genuinely cannot imagine how anyone could definitively know; X and Y culture are way too similar. And calling grunge a defining characteristic of the generation is equivalent to calling sagging pants or school shootings the defining characteristics of Gen Y.
Also, "Reality Bites?" Seriously? I kind of think this article needs to be rewritten.
Born in 1970, my earliest memories of the adult (Baby Boomer) world consisted of: serial killers running rampant in California, a war in Vietnam (and a later betrayal of the returning war vets), a corrupt president Nixon, a murdered president Kennedy, dirty streets, corrupt corporate America, crappy American cars, and the waning quality of American goods and services. Apathy is really just a nice way of saying that we were disgusted with what the 'grown ups' had done to our world, and wanted very little to do with them.
Personally, given the start we were given, I tend to think we've done rather well, and there's no question that we've had an enormous impact on the shape of modern America. Members of Generation X are highly educated, we embraced the fledgling computer industry (Linux, PHP, Mosaic), embraced and developed the early Internet (Google, Ebay, Amazon, Myspace, Yahoo, Digg, Flickr, Youtube, etc.), and valued self-sacrifice in the name of quality. We also loved our science fiction, our surreal humor, pencil and paper RPGs, video games, our music, skateboards, bikes, and books.
As far as I'm concerned (and I say this without a drop of hyperbole), we are the kids who carried society out of the dark, disturbing mess of the '60s, '70s, and early '80s... and we never once asked anyone to thank us or even give us credit.
By the way: grunge is *not* a defining characteristic of our generation; it is just a style of music and clothing that existed for a few years in the early '90s. A better defining characteristic would be our strange embrace of sub-culture rather than one over-arching culture (something that's sadly disappeared in recent years).
@anon209805: Excellent post mate, so true.
The greedy selfishness of the me me me generation is outstanding.
Love how the boomers keep telling us to work harder. What they don't mention is how they like to keep moving the goalposts!
Interesting. I was born in 1971 and consider myself a very strong and proud Gen Xer and it had nothing to do with my boomer parents. Simply put, because they didn't do their jobs raising me, I had to do their jobs and raise myself and I turned out pretty well. I am not a complainer. I am a realist (an ironic and sarcastic person, too) and I'll tell it like it is.
Just because I don't constantly self promote and pat myself on the back does not a complainer make, and I refuse to digest the pie in the sky, oprahistic mentality this society swallows daily.
And I don't idolize the past of any generation; we all had good parts and bad parts. I think my generation decided to stop being the "me generation" because we didn't sell it as well as the boomers did. They're damn good salespeople. Hey, I give credit where it is due.
For those who are still confused about the differences: if you have to look for an illustrative example of people who demonstrate both generations: Steve Jobs - Boomer. Steve Wozniak - Gen Xer. Not putting down Jobs because iGrieve.
I'm a 45 year old early gen-x model. You wonder why gen-xers are so mad, baby boomers? Let me list some of the true facts.
No. 1: As children you told us it would be all right to come home to an empty house with a T.V. and some cans of ravioli. #
No. 2: You told us about working long hours. We know you worked long hours; you didn't come to many school events, etc.
No. 3: Yeah, we loved the holidays because out of respect, we went to grandmother's house, and here were all the uncles and aunts, cousins that were your peers, along with the divorced as well as new husbands and wives and friends of all types. It was nice to meet some kids in the same situation as we were in, but we played and got along great compared to the so called adults. Little did we know that after the grandparents died, you would be greedy and fight over inheritance with your siblings and never again would there be a meeting place for an extended family. Or if one grandparent lived, you sent them to a nursing home and took over their checkbook like it was your own. But you cry now in your old age about how nice it would be to get home care and be taken care of by your children.
No. 4: I was good in school but was always told to get a high paying job -- the more the better. Reality check: get a job you like and you will come home happier. Maybe not the richest, but happy.
No. 5: It truly felt like a competition you had with your baby boomer siblings for a bigger house and more cars, etc. for yourselves. Then, as we got into the work place, you competed against your own children. Well here's a little fact: your accumulated stuff and large homes will not make you a profit from your own children so that you may have more money piled up and take comfort in, baby boomers. We can't afford your excess stuff so here is $1.00 for the $20,000 you spent for that terrible gas mileage car. Get ready because we do not want the 3,000 knickknacks to come to our small house to memorialize you or your life that has comforted you on spending your life saving on the most important person, yourself.
No, you can't keep hanging around with my gen x friends, still trying to be young anymore go talk about how great you are to your friends if you have any left. Don't worry. We have compassion for you, though. We will home care for you in old age after seeing our grandparents in that terrible nursing home. Yeah, you're lazy. Slacking two jobs working kids will feed you and take care of you just like you did us. Enjoy that can a ravioli and watching TV in that empty home. You'll need a key to get in, though, and don't worry; I will be at a holiday party with my children talking about how young you once were and make fun of all that money wasted plastic surgery you had so you can attract another 90 year old.
Moral and golden rule is treat everyone like you want to be treated as so you shall be. Oh, another thing to add: stop asking me to fix your damn computer because you are just too lazy to empty out or get rid of all that junk you downloaded and don't know how it gets on your computer.
Good luck Baby Boomers, good luck. Ahhhh -- a great time venting.
Here's one difference between the Boomers and Genx. When the Boomers were kids they had a child's place in the nuclear family: supervised by housewife Moms, cousins, neighbors (who had the "right" to intervene in kid affairs), the Milkman; Anyway, you get the point. Gen X kids, me included (born 1970), were raised fending for ourselves, a.k.a. Latchkey Kids.
Look how the Baby Boomers are dealing with getting old. They're terrified of old age. Many Boomers speak of their youths with reverence and nostalgia of old neighborhoods; I'm talking about smelling cookies after school and neighborhood stickball! All the Moms in my 1980's hood were stressed out after a long day proving themselves at the office. I ate saltine crackers after school and watched re-runs of Hawaii Five-0. Remember that crap? Anyway, many Generation X were born old and abandoned. We're not whiny old farts; on the contrary, we're wise and not afraid of getting old and being alone because alone is how we came into this world. So, whiny Gen-x? Boomers can complain all they want and it's defined as a "protest", but we mention a few things and it's a silly rant. I'm glad some of us have found this thread because we're just getting started.
Line from the film The Breakfast Club (not exact): Baby Boomer teacher says something like, "These are the kids that are going to take care of me when I'm old and this thought wakes me up in the middle of the night!" The janitor says, "I wouldn't count on it." Just beautiful.
Look up Chicago 1970 NBC online and realize that you can learn so much from the generation before ours, instead of blaming it on someone else. I'm a gen xer, and I believe that our generation has gone to crap.
the truth: born in 1970. I used to blame the boomers for our miserable existence. That's changed.
If you want to know the truth, the boomer generation was rich and full of unique ideas. I'll prove it.
1. Music. If you were a boomer or in your teens in 1968-70, you could look forward to an awesome gig. How good do you have it when you got to go to Woodstock, Atlantic City Pop Fest, a Chicago concert? Any boomer knows that Chicago was our band. Britain had their monster bands, and we finally got ours, straight from the music conservatories.
I saw a documentary about Chicago"the band" filmed in 1970 on nbc online. what talented musicians they were, and our music has been crap for the last 20 years. Whatever happened to that big sound, the Terry Kaths, the Peter Ceteras, the Robert Lamms, and of course, Loughnane, Parazaider... What happened to the big concerts?
We have no style like the boomers did. They had it all: Leslie West, Felix Pappalardi, all the good music. Watch "Chicago on NBC 1970" online. Then come back here so that you won't badmouth a generation that you can learn a great deal from.
I spoke to a guy on facebook the other day who knew Michael Shrieve from Santana, and also helped me with some tips on my trumpet playing and composition, and it worked out.
THE GEN Xers are making big fools out of themselves by wasting away on facebook, lying about their miserable existence and listening to crap music. Try appreciating something that is better than you are for a change. The world will change as a result. It all starts with closing that stupid facebook account. Cheers.
I'm a proud Gen.X (b. 1971) and I do believe that every generation has its own unique brand of challenges: Boomers and Vietnam-Xers with dope dealers. Education was a premium with the generations before but, not so with ours. Employers had to "doctor up another must have" for you to get the job.
As an American GenX no matter how you tally it (b. '70), I can relate to the central tenants of the creed, but enough with the boogieman mantra that was cute when we were young and now makes us come across as a bunch of whiny old farts, especially when we gripe and groan about both older and younger generations. Do you realize how hard it is for kids finishing college to get jobs now and you think we had it bad?
I'm another one born in 1979 and I feel almost exactly as the rest of those who posted being born in 1979. I feel the reference to "dynamite" and know that capitalism sucks.
I'm glad I got in on the end of the old way before digital came to rule. I believe every 79er saw a need for rebellion and somewhat looked up to those in the 60s who got a movement started. anon54394 talks about a "hidden story to tell." I have one also. It's called "Gang Stalking / Organized Stalking." Look it up. Organized stalking is usually corporate, federal, state, and local government issued for the rebels / hippies and out of the box thinkers. You other Xers might want to research it.
I was born right smack in the middle of the Gen-X range. The whole grunge flannel thing is just a superficial MTV label. Most all of my contemporaries have worked their asses off.
Most of us Gen-Xers are watching the Boomers take this country down the drain. Entitlement to everything from everyone. In a few years the Xers will be bankrupted by the obese Social Security / Medicare boomers who will tax us at 90 percent just to pay the interest on the debt they passed down to us. Who is John Galt?
What a bunch of whiners. As a boomer, I resent the ignorant ramblings of people who complain about working toward a better future. We had to listen to our parents generation about how they suffered through the depression; having nothing to eat but dirt and walking 12 miles through deep snow with no shoes.
We work hard and Xrs complain. There is no one to blame but us for giving you everything but it will never being enough. Good luck with the dumbing down of America, the increasing poverty and lower standard of living coming to you. Have fun supporting more and more deadbeats that suck away your income while lying around watching TV and playing video games while you struggle to make ends meet working 12 hour days.
We and our ancestors made this country great but are watching now as it declines due to apathy, big government and uncontrolled immigration. Welcome to the third world America! I am glad I'll be dead before it gets to the horror you will have to live with.
Strauss and Howe are very inaccurate with their faulty research on Generations. First of all, how do you define a generation based on one graduating class? Not every person born in 1981 graduated in 1999, and not every person born in 1982 graduated in 2000. There are Kindergarten cutoff dates in place around the U.S. If a child does not turn 5 years old on or before that date, then they cannot begin Kindergarten until the next academic year. Therefore there are several persons born in 1981 who graduated in 2000.
Strauss and Howe know absolutely nothing about our generation, and are using 1982 as a year to promote a generation based on inaccuracies and false information. If you read their book "Millennials Rising," it states their research participants were students in the class of 2000, from four high schools in fairfax county virginia. It does not state if these students were born in 1982.
So therefore, their participants could have been born in 1980 if they flunked a grade, or 1981 as well. Generation X should end in the early 1980s -- no later than 1983. These are the last people to remember (and be influenced) by events such as the Cold War, Challenger, fall of the Berlin Wall, Kurt Cobain etc. However, Strauss and Howe are trying to reconstruct the memories of a person born in 1982 to validate their faulty research.
Just to add to the blaming. As an x'er, I don't recall blaming anyone. Our government does enough of that for us, as do the other generations.
We tend to sit back and watch the tennis match of blame going on between everyone, everywhere, over everything -- and people wonder why nothing gets done. Go figure!
I am also an X'r. It's hard to respect a previous generation that has literally beat it into you to work, work, work and everything will work out fine -- and we have seen what work, work, work has gotten them.
My mom was born in the 40's and she is still work, work, working, and for what? The government is now promising her she may have to work, work some more. Sheesh. You are correct. We don't trust the government. Hmm. i wonder why?
I tend to think it is a bit crazy to think you would belong to a different generation if you were born in 1964 to someone who was born in 1965, or 1982 and 1983. If you want to identify your generation I would say it is between five and seven years on both sides of your own age. If you were born in 1970, your generation was born between 1963/5 to 1975/7.
I am very uncomfortable with putting blanket blame onto one generation also. Greed is common among every age group and wealth tends to be concentrated in families -- not generations.
I am an early GenX (1965) but don't believe my life experiences have much in common with someone born in 1982 and I was 17 when they were born.
What a bunch of big babies. Blaming everyone and every generation for your awful life. Waaa waaa waa. Suck it up people, take responsibility for your life, go out and make something of yourself.
Don't count on anyone giving you anything unless you're willing to do the same. We all must make our own way through this thing called life. I believe that most of us feel like the other guy always gets the lucky break, gets all the glory and the goodies while the rest of us have to pay for that in some strange way, like working demeanor jobs or not getting the job of our dreams, etc.
I've personally struggled all of my life to achieve or earn what I have, and my children have struggled all of their lives to take from me what they have. They honestly believe they are entitled to everything they want without having to earn it in some way. I'm certain that from the beginning of time, every generation wants their children to have a better life than they did.
Perhaps we neglected to teach them the hard facts of living with one another in this world. Love, respect, understanding, good intentions along with good deeds and a little elbow grease are just a few skills that are needed to achieve their wants.
They don't know how to cope so they turn to blaming others for their misfortune and then go about taking away from others because that's what they know. What a shame. When will we learn to help one another? What an incredible world this could be if only...
I was born in 1964, a year that can be "Boomer" or can be "Gen X" depending on the individual's life experiences. I was the youngest of a spread-out group of kids (my siblings were born in the 1940's and 1950's). I had a whole slew of Baby Boomers in my family but they were moved out by the time I entered high school.
Since I had several friends younger than me (still do), I tipped the scale in the direction of Generation X rather than Baby Boomer. To this day, I totally relate to Gen X, and see the Baby Boomers as the ones before me. I still seem to stand apart from my three siblings, who are now in their 50s and 60s.
What a great forum to vent. I was born in late '65. Grew up with black and white TV and three channels on the tube, until about 1980. Then cable Tv and MTV blew things out.
I'm 45 today and the generation before me isn't even considering retiring now because of the economy that their Gen screwed up. We've been training for those jobs for the last ten years, getting the experience, and skills to takeover. Not anymore. They'll be working for another 10 years to make up what they lost in retirement.
When they do retire, do you think the powers that be will be interested in the experienced group in their 50's now? Why would they, they'll be retiring soon, time to hire the boomers kids instead, they'll be around longer, except they won't. Those self absorbed beasts will move to greener pastures ASAP.
The American dream we were promised if we worked hard is gone. It was used up by the generation before us. We make less today by comparison to our parents, we harder and longer. How many of us are doing two or three people's jobs at work now compared to when you started? Who has had a raise in the last three years? Those of us lucky enough to have made it through the last three years with jobs, are now doing our friends' jobs too, since they got laid off.
The Gen before us invented the internet, and we made it what it is. They gave us a Model T and we turned it into a rocket, and they took credit for it.
We show off what we do and the Gen we follow says wow, cool, lets market that this way and sell it to these guys over here and blah blah blah, while we are thinking, whatever, just use it.
We are the Gen that watched the Gen before us in the 80's show off their $900 jacket, that we picked up at Value Village for $9 a little later.
I guess I view the Boomers as the Hogs and their kids as the piglets.
I've noticed that not a lot of people in my Gen are salespeople. The boomers and their kids are, though. They'll market and try to sell you anything you don't require. Hey boomers, how many of your kids' cars have a big DG in the window? Hey boomers, how many of you bought cars for your first set of kids? Not many, I bet. How many of you bought cars for your second set of kids? That's what I thought.
The Boomers keep trying to prove that they have a soul, and their kids prove that they don't.
Is it any wonder that the wife and I never had any kids? The money I would have spent on my kids is going to be a little house near a beach in some other country. If only I can figure out the health care costs, we are gone in 10 years or so. Is that too much to ask for after working for almost 40 years straight? Because if I'm lucky, that's all I will get. By the way, boomers, thanks for the housing market as it exists today. Fine job.
The Beatles were cool, but Led Zeppelin rocked. Nirvana and Pearl Jam are my age and said a lot of what we were up to. There are some talented folks out there today, but most of it seems like a lot of posturing and look at me crap.
After 30 plus years nothing has "Trickled down" That has been an utter failure. Thanks for nothing, literally.
Our generation has never picked a fight with another nation, but the peace and love boomers can't seem to live in peace and love. Is it any wonder that your kids think you are full of it, and we know you are.
The best thing about you guys is this. You will be forgotten in history. We will ignore you, and your kids will be too busy talking about themselves. Goodbye.
@anon133908: You hit the nail on the head. I would not resent being called a "Boomer" were I given all the advantages of a "boomer." Like GenX, the late Boomers are still in our 40's but are essentially "retired." By that I mean, we graduated into a lousy economy (1983) and were forced to do menial work, meaning that "career" was never an option. Once in that path, you never truly get out. And if you attempt to reinvent yourself in your 30's, it means you are the first one let go in a downturn.
Now that we are in a Global Depression, we are expected to suck it up and do more menial work. However, when you try to do this, they tell you you are overqualified. "You have a Library Degree! Why aren't you working in libraries?”
Hiring managers better get a clue. And when people blame it on Gen Y, I find that more often than not it is still those older boomers who are refusing to hire anyone with a gap in their resume.
In other words, they had it dead easy, and they think anyone else who was a victim of bad luck is stupid, lazy or dishonest. I cannot tell you how many times they tell you to "hone your skills and get training." Why? Why would I do that when there are no jobs?
Not only that, but you have to take a personality test, a drug test and a criminal background check just to do some crummy floor sweeping job. I truly believe this is an excuse to send more jobs to India because I doubt very much that they would have to undergo the same rigorous screening that we do. So yeah, I guess I am pig biting mad.
The 1964 book Generation X was conceived and written by my late father Charles Hamblett who also gave the book its title. Not only did he write the extensive commentary, a revealing chronicle of the social landscape of the early '60's, but he gleaned interviews with young people across the spectrum.
It just so happened that another journalist, Jane Deverson had been asked to do a series of interviews with young people by a women's magazine and when they decided not to use these interviews. Instead, they became incorporated in my father's book.
The cover of the book, with my father's agreement, was used by Billy Idol for his '70's punk band of the same name. Douglas Coupland has yet to acknowledge his use of the title. I am planning a TV series exploring the concept of Generation X.
I have been told I am a gen x or a baby boomer. I was born late 1960, and my sisters are baby boomers. they bought the houses from the earlier generation for nothing and were the privileged.
I was in the market 10 years later, paying double for my house, they were already selling and earning doubled digit profits on the backs of their younger brothers or sisters entering into the market. All the jobs gone and taxes raised. No hope for this generation.
The end of the X received RSP breaks on their first house, me I cashed in my RSP and paid a large tax, no help no breaks the screwed generation,
The generation who is now told to retire at age 40 something, but how can we, we are not baby boomers we are the lost and forgotten generation.
I am 49 which makes me a Boomer, but I can sympathize with Generation X as I did not get to attend the big huge 60's party, nor was I alive when all jobs could be filled by just any warm body.
I will probably find that there is nothing left in Social Security when I get there. Plus, most employers consider me too old to work ever again, even though I look younger than a lot of Xers (not that there is any reason for age discrimination anywhere except a modeling agency or professional athletes).
Call center jobs used to be the one place you could be employed, but those jobs have gone to India.
However, there were those in my demographic who were probably the greediest people ever to walk the planet. These are the same people who, in their 20's, loved Reagan and worshipped authors like Brett Easton Ellis. Yeah, I hated those people then, and I have a feeling they are the ones responsible for our misery. They are the ones who believed wholeheartedly in the trickle down theory. I don't think Corporate America was quite so greedy before this.
I also don't think they were quite so evangelical about all the corporate buzz words which they think makes them seem smart, even though they aren't very creative. (They throw around words like multi-tasking, deal breaker, steep learning curve, leveraged, value added... the list goes on).
Point is, I do not like to generalize based on Gen X, Gen Y or Boomers too much because I think all these behavioral studies are crap.
1976 - Our generation was sold a dream, but it is never going to come true. We need to wake up, and speak up about the things we see wrong. Start voting and get informed. If we allow these sell out baby boomers keep running things, there will nothing left for us or our children. Capitalism is bad for you and your family. It's a baby boomer dream that turned into a nightmare. Good luck.
As a Gen-X (B. 70), we respect our elders. In my 20s and younger, I have never showed anything but respect to older fellows. Something I do not see much of.
I am fascinated by 'Gen X' and how people roughly in my age range view the world.
I am a Dec 19 1967 born Canadian. Being in Canada is different than being in the U.S. We have been handed a whole different plate of propaganda by our 'head up it's butt' government. Do I sound anti government? Yes, I have a strong rebel instinct but I'm not really anti government. I see a need for establishing order to the masses but don't think true success has every been achieved in this regard.
The fact is, Gen Xers are a minority by leaps and bounds so are voice is small and weak in the global population. Most of the Gen Xers in my location simply don't own their plight resisting all responsibility to our generation.
Also, it is the gen xers who are parenting the gen xers, the baby boomers are parenting two generations - think about that. Most of the gen xers are the second batch of kids the baby boomers spewed out into the world after they felt they screwed up the first family.
My parents were divorced by the time I was five. I was the only child of that delusional attraction. My mother is parenting two kids with another man, ages 20 and 17, and my dad is parenting two kids with another woman, ages 24 and 22. I don't have much to do with any of them.
So anyway, I'm going to do some more reading here because like I said, I am finding this fascinating. I have always related to the idea of being an Xer despite the fact that I am generally detached from social issues, politics and pop culture. In my world, tradition, culture and all that goes with that is meaningless without integrity.
I have to ask though, Gen X women - What? Really, what are you doing? Too many of you are still dropping the ball when it comes to owning your own. I love men, I do, men are awesome but I've never lost myself for a single one. I know you think you're all independent and stuff, but wow, I'm not seeing it. I don't think you're getting it.
Generation X only had a fair chance when Clinton was in office, but that was short-lived, because the media became focused on Generation Y. I think gen x became too complacent with everything; however, we were lucky to see any of our accomplishments be acknowledged. My hope is that it isn't too late. We're not lost. We're meant to be here.
Oh wait! I got some revelation and i think many boomers don't know that anybody else could know this (unless you are one). The true fact is that i know that boomers from their very beginning of their youth had come to realize through their resistance of the government policy during that time, that they are the only capable ones fit to take care of themselves for their own survival, and that not even their children or siblings are fit to do that. This is their psychological make-up, deliberately or not.
You see, actually, mostly all of them who fought in the civil rights movement, which identified them as a generation really fought not for a humanitarian purpose, but more on a personal level and only for their present survival away from the usually expected and required sacrifice for the nation which they have now deceitfully called for from the current generations!
But i do understand refusal for an unjust war. i just can't understand and approve the extensive distrust and overt self-aggrandizement and justification. Whatever. The balances of justice have to be set in place for the rightful outcome. God is great!
Gen-X from 1972 here. Unfortunately the crash that we've been preparing ourselves since high school is here. Blaming people (or blogging) ain't going to make it go away.
Boomers: Help us or get out of our way.
Gen-X: Get off-line and go fix our country. It's our time.
Gen-Y: Do what you're going to do, find yourselves.
Time's a wastin'!
There have been many eras and many heroes but there will and only be one legend. God willing, we are the x'ers. We are it!
Many of the stereotypes about us Xers (67 model here) are quite true, both the positives and the negatives. On the negative side, we do tend to be distrustful of the government, fickle with careers and a bit pessimistic in our worldview. On the positive, we tend to be the ones trying to make a difference, both in our immediate circles and in the world at large.
I am disgusted at both of our (American) political parties, highly doubt that social security will be available 22 years from now when I am (perhaps) eligible, and think airline screening will continue to get more and more annoying.
On the other hand, I've lived in three countries, speak five languages and have BA, MA and JD degrees, which I hope to supplement. I am doing well financially, own my own small law firm, and will probably give it all up in a few years and move somewhere in Asia where I can eat fresh food and teach for almost no money.
I am materialistic and love fancy cars and designer shoes, but find more pleasure in an ice cream cone than a chocolate souffle. In short, I am representative of generation X, like a statistically significant percentage of my cohorts.
I was born in 1968. That was a very pivotal year in our great nation. The next year America landed on the moon. The capitalistic venture and population control machine called the Vietnam Conflict was in full swing. By the time most of the early Xers were 10 we got to experience various incarnations of a new world where business trends and communication became more diverse, specialized and global. Yet America was in limbo, culturally and otherwise.
The Xers are the first truly accepting generation of all cultures, religions, nationalities, "races" and technology. "Tolerance" has always been the Boomers' key word. We found that word very limiting. Punk, New Wave, Hip Hop, Electronica and the ideas of gender equality and "unisex" fashion changed our temperament and our perceptions. These ideas were very integral to shaping the world with a possibility of electing a woman or a "minority" to the highest office in the land.
We helped initiate and propel the new computer-centric world, and created the Internet which forever changed global information, communication and knowledge sharing. Commercial cell phones took it a step further.
The Greatest Generation which preceded our Boomer parents created such a tidal wave of progress and positive momentum that their own offspring had to do little but squander it all in many creative ways.
When the X-types came into their own they found that the Boomers' short-sightedness and cannibalistic competitiveness had halted that post-World War II momentum. Many pine for the 1970's but the fact remains that the 1980's were a direct challenge to the languidness and lack of creativity which defined the 70's.
The Xers took control of the stagnant, latency of a wanna-be "Leave It to Beaver" Boomer nostalgia, to us being able to communicate right now in this medium with all these diverse ideas being displayed. Forget that Ozzie and Harriet excrement!
The Xers' parents loved uniformity and plainness. They knew that their world of middle class jobs, pensions and other benefits would disappear when their years faded into black. They understood that most jobs would involve the service industry.
The Boomers marketed selfishness and fear attempting to dumb down America. This is odd because the Xers are the most highly educated age group in America. The Boomers succeeded with the Millennials where they failed with us. I guess the sins of the grandparents are passed to their grandchildren. As a result there haven't been any truly revolutionary ideas to come from the Millennials. I am sure there will be.
Just understand that the tendency to dismiss the newer generation as incapable, lazy or uninspired is as old as civilization. Isn't it a bit odd (albeit justified) for the younger generation to totally pan their "mentors?"
The biggest lessons learned from the Boomers by the Xers were what not to do and how not to treat one another.
The Boomers are getting old. Their importance in the real world will diminish with their age. It's the Y'ers time to take it a step further and help facilitate a world where fairness, smarts, hard work, creativity, diversity, originality, kindness, charity and teamwork foster the as of yet unrealized vision of what America has always professed to be.
I enjoyed being a baby boomer, because I am able to embrace my generation, as well as well as this current generation.
Real baby boomers are free-spirited and we can understand the times now, because we were the products of revolutionary changes.
Therefore, we can adapt to the cultural changes. As my mother used to say, "If you live long enough, you might have the opportunity to walk in my shoes". --Baby Boomer50
This site is awesome! Every day I deal with the Boomers in management who received their positions in leadership in their early thirties and will not leave!
All of their ideas are old, but they don't want you to have the control of projects, money or the recognition when you kick their butt at something.
They keep bragging about their accomplishments (which were really nil, compared to the numbers they had to really make changes.) It's like wearing your high school letterman's jacket at the age of fifty. It's too small and doesn't keep you warm.
Boomers quit thinking you get to keep your huge houses, Corvettes and those Harleys. And don't think that you won't pay for your medical costs that are just around the corner. Sell your toys to us at 1/3 of the cost and get ready for the guy in the black robe to come for your greedy souls.
Don't go away mad because this is what you created for yourselves. Just go away!
I am an Xer, born in 1968. We grew up with three black and white tv stations, we drank from the hose and played outside. We walked to school and got the belt when we needed it.
We were latchkey kids because both of our parents worked. We were taught to respect our elders and others. In raising my own children today I realize how lucky I was to grow up in the 70s and 80s, before road rage, drive by, carjackings and the like. The real problem is the crime that robs today's children of their childhood.
X'ers stop complaining about the boomers and get over it. We have to work just like the generations before us. Be grateful you were able to be a kid then and not now.
I was born in 1970 and the messiness of the Cold War had its biggest effect on my psyche when reaching into my pocket and not finding another quarter to stick in the Missile Command arcade game.
Reading the posts, I see that the triple cloacae of Washington DC, NYC, and Los Angeles has done a bang- up job of creating an artificial reality for people. If you ask me, something that defined or made Generation X, would be in our going into the military in droves (seemed like it to me when I found myself in RTC San Diego at age 17 with a bunch of kids around my age). We weren't there to defend the country from the Russians but for job skills, work experience and college money instead. And so it was with my Dad before me, and the same crap going on with the young today for the same reasons. I guess there isn't any real difference in generations.
Get this: America wasn't the first to fly. A couple of individuals last named Wright did that. The collective never does anything cool but always screws everything up. It's individuals who do that awesome thing, and they're sprinkled throughout all the generations of time.
I think every generation has some type of grudge against the generation before. Baby boomers were mad at their parents for making them fight the vietnam war in which 60,000 of them died for a cause most people did not believe in. Since the draft has not been implemented since, gen x and y have not experienced that pain.
It is understandable that gen x's should be upset with baby boomers. However, the main reason baby boomers suck up our country's resources is because there are so many of us. More people use more resources -- simple economics. It is not because of greed. If you want to talk about greed, each successive generation wants more. While a 1200 square foot house used to be enough, now people want 2000-2500 or more. We have to have internet, cable, cell phones, two cars, gym memberships and more. These are things I did not grow up with.
When I was a kid, three channels on a black and white tv was all that we had, and we considered ourselves lucky. I did have a mom who was home and did not have to work, so in that respect I was lucky.
Maybe it is more about lacking those long term, permanent and stable relationships that makes Gen xers feel left out. Divorce, being a latchkey kid and the uncertainty of relationships in the future would make one feel lonely and insecure. In that respect the baby boomers shortchanged their kids. However, speaking for myself, I have been married to one man for 25 years and have two great kids. We both work but try to work different schedules to be home with the kids.
I was born in 1959, which was the end of the baby boomers but could still experience some of the gen xers angst. I see both generations viewpoints. However, I think we were somewhat a product of our circumstance, not an intentional drive to be greedy for baby boomers or apathetic or lazy for gen xers.
I am born in 1975. I realize categories help to classify things but not everyone is the same in a generation.
I have been employed and working hard for over 11 years.
I personally think for myself or anyone no matter what has happened or resulted in past generations, that complaining or blaming the government or boomers (as a generalisation), does not solve things. It is sort of a victim mentality.
I personally believe for myself, if I've been wronged to bring it to light and to get over it. I deal with injustices in a solution-based way instead of sitting around complaining about it.
If I am at work and need to work with somebody to get a job done, I need to know how to work with them and get over anything personal instead of refusing and complaining.
It's great to be categorized into something but we are not defined by it. It's just a category.
Canadian X-er here (1970), who has also lived and worked in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia. I consider myself a citizen of the world. Not that anyone cares, anon74267 (fellow Canuck), but you need to get your facts straight.
The CPP is not at all insolvent; in fact, quite the opposite. It was restructured years ago and now is the envy of the world. We have the lowest rate of elder poverty in the developed world, which is something to be proud of. The health care system has its challenges, but it is not yet buckling. I agree with you, somewhat, about social housing.
Also, by the way, our (outgoing) Governor General is from Haiti (which is nowhere near Africa - consult an atlas).
I don't know. I had the divorced parents, the irresponsible mother, the "lost" (and then deceased father). I've been nomadic. I also have four university degrees, have worked in diplomacy, speak three languages (learned them myself, through travel and work abroad), and paid my own way from the time I was 17.
I could complain. I've certainly held my share of "McJobs," have a now affluent mother (housing boom and big, secure pension after less than twenty years of paid work) who is much less educated than I am and who is far wealthier than I will ever be.
I feel, however, as though being a Gen X is a terrific thing. I learned a great deal from my grandparents, who were raised during the Great Depression. What I learned from them is the key ingredient to a happy life: work hard and share what you have. I was also fortunate enough to know my great-grandparents, raised these families through the Great Depression.
At the same time, I attended university at a time at which one could still submit handwritten essays, and it was expected that a person could take out a pen or pencil on demand and solve problems in geometry, calculus, trigonometry, etc., etc., and maybe even spout a little bit of Latin. These are great things!
We were able to harness the power of computers because we had developed the necessary cognitive skills through doing things the hard way. I taught myself to program statistical software, because it interested me, and now I work professionally in a data-driven field.
I don't know. To me it's great. I will never be rich, but I will always have the curiosity and intellectual adventurousness that I believe characterizes people born just before the millennials. I wouldn't trade my (interesting, culturally aware, well-travelled and thoughtful life for the more secure but also less adventuring life of my mother and her cohort).
I care about leaving a soft footprint on the earth and have a sense of perspective earned through (relative) economic hardship. You can't buy those things.
When was this written? Most Gen Xers are now in their mid-thirties to late forties. We have jobs. We have families. We are productive members of society. Not selfish and frequently the ones to step up and volunteer for community projects and organizations.
I don't know what Gen I am. I was born in 1980 (whatever that means). I agree that it's asinine how much of the older generation revel in their accomplishments while criticizing the under 50 crowd for not adding up. They forget that they grew up in a world where you could be something with a high school education and if you did want to go to college, tuition was reasonable.
They grew up in a world where each generation could expect to have it better than the next. That's not true of people my age. Yeah, maybe people today in their 20's 30's and 40's can be called slackers but that's only because society failed to motivate us to get involved. We can't expect pensions, the banks you left us are predators and our government is inept because it only knows how to operate in either the left or right extremes.
I can't feel bad for not giving a damn as I'm only exercising what little I do have control over; enjoying the little things in life as that's all I am left with. I hear older people say that my culture is one of entitlement. Whatever. Many of those idiots have the privilege of collecting not one, but two pensions that are a drain on the institutions they collect from. If it wasn't a drain people today could still expect to someday collect a pension.
This is a big one in why many states are about to go belly up financially. You've got to love those that create the monster then call it one. --Dana
Get over it. I'm a Gen-X (b.76), but instead of downing and hating the previous generation I am actually grateful for them.
To say that all baby boomers are nothing more than greed-filled old people is the same as them calling Xers a bunch whining slackers (by the way most of you actually are just whining about them).
It's one thing to vent frustration, but it's another thing entirely to engage in the actions you are trying to prevent others from doing. My father taught me this and he was a boomer.
Without the wisdom he and my mother passed to me, without me partially raising myself as a latchkey kid, and without the actual discipline they provided when they were there, I would not and could not have become the man I am today. I run two separate businesses and have done very well for myself even in this horrible economic decline.
I was only able to do this by mixing the work ethic of my grandparents with the free thinking spirit of my parents. Perseverance/adaptability.
Next time instead of crying about what some of the boomers have done to this country, thank god that the others gave us Xers the tools to not only survive this crisis, but to thrive afterwards.
I was born in 1966. I am not broke. I am not rich. I have a good job even though I did not go to college. I am making my way through life and I blame nobody for what I do not have. If I want more I will focus and go for it. 'Nuff said.
@Anon87299: I'm Gen X and I think the other movie you need to see is "Logan's Run." It's a look at what happens when people decide when other people get to die.
What will *you* do when you're 70, assuming you live that long? Will you have the grace to "go quietly" as you put it, or will you also want to live?
If you're serious about your feelings, you really need to get some counseling to find out why you are so furiously angry and bitter.
My mother is 81 and I'm rather attached to her. My grandparents never had a chance to "spend their grandkids' inheritance." They died before I was seven.
And one more thing: *no one* owes their children or grandchildren an inheritance. That's just getting something for nothing, too.
Well first and foremost it is time for the "traditional" generational to keel over, die and get out of the way. The majority of these people never had to make any real sacrifices yet still somehow they delude themselves into thinking about how times were tough and men were men back then, and that no latter generation measures up.
The reality is these people missed the great depression, were too young to serve in World War II, and most of them dodged Korea. Yet they still think they had it rougher then all of us.
Now these aged and decrepit Methuselahs are spending billions of dollars annually to stave off death until they are raptured. Billions of dollars wasted on their medical care, nursing homes, billions of dollars that could be going to make this country a better place for the younger proceeding generations. The children they raised aren't much better, being so narcissistic that they will probably end up taking the whole world down them before they check out.
All you blue haired geezers out there, your time has come and gone. Have some dignity and honor. Quit sucking up your grandkids' inheritance. It's time for you go to the great gig in the sky. Since very few of you have the good sense and honor to go quietly, go out and rent the movie, "The Bad Lieutenant". Cage's greatest scene of all time is in there. In the scene he pulls out his gun and tells an old Blue Haired woman what he thinks about her sucking up all the resources that should be going to the young. You should check it out. it's an instant classic.
I loved this read. It basically sums up everything. My parents live very well. My father often complains that he began working making on 0.65 per hour. I know in 1990 he made 120k per year.
I went to college did electrical made $8 per hour when I finished. The company downsized. I then went to Geophysics, made 665k per year, market crashed. Now I cannot find a job that pays $12 per hour and currently working in home care making $11 per hour.
My house cost me 250k, my car 27k not to include utilities or food. Xers are paying for the baby boomers' cushy jobs that we will never see, wages we will never get and commitment from companies that no longer exist.
We have no retirement hopes and will be lucky if we own our own homes before we die. We face all this while the boomers whine that they deserve a company matched 50/50 pension as they contributed to it. Amazing, that's all I can say.
The boomers are the ones who sacrificed their children's futures when they started outsourcing. The Xers and soon to be Y'ers will never have the opportunities of the boomers as the jobs are no longer there.
When will we ever see 25 million dollar bonuses and then lay off employees only to hire there retired buddies at 1/2 the wage cause they don't need to make the larger monies as they have no mortgages or young children.
Boomers are selfish and take pride in their achievements with little or no regard for the fact that they are gaining everything at the cost of there children and grandchildren.
As soon as we label ourselves we limit ourselves.
I have resisted being called right/left, Rep/Dem, Gen anything, liberal/conservative, etc. all my 67 years. (Born in the pre-boomer war years - 1942.) Why can't we think for ourselves and be principle-based instead of letting the media define us? This puts you outside a lot of boxes at a social and financial cost, but its worth it. Just my opinion.
This thread of conversations is frightening. I am a 31-year old teacher. I am either a young Gen Xer or an old Gen Yer, depending on how you slice the pie. I own my own business and have a graduate degree and learned three languages.
My parents are still married. I have a girlfriend who is a PhD student. My three brothers and I were alone sometimes and other times we took family trips or played with friends.
Once, my mother smacked me upside the head in a store for behaving like an animal and yelling rudely at someone. No one called social services.
There was no news special. The police did not come to our house. She did not lose her job. I did not complain at school.
You know what occurs to me as pathologically insane in our country? I mean, aside from political correctness, the entitlement of my own generation, the complete obtuseness to the reality of many Baby Boomers, is this constant need to categorize one another into generations, racial groups, etc. etc. Live and let live, America!
You are not a certain way in your life because your parents made you that way or because of what the government does. You are how you are because of you. And that is not a statement of blame.
That is a statement that, if considered long enough, may help you understand what responsibility and integrity actually mean. You are how you are because of you. Once you get what I wrote here, you will realize that you are not at the mercy of your parents, the circumstances of your life, or the community that you live in, or any of your employers. You will be free.
What would that be like for you?
Have a beautiful day, whatever generation or category or race or whatever you are.
First off I am assuming that everyone else is a American. I am a Canadian. Just so you know.(1974)
Now, osmosis I thought you boomers were anti-government? So, why is that sad?
No. 2: You are right. The boomers all had good paying jobs they had their wages multiplied by 16 times during their prime earning years (1965-85) regardless of profession. Wonder why they have a comfortable retirement?
I would agree many of us got shafted by the education system -- well read and skilled but no paper. Viva apathetic!
No. 6-If you're truthful, sounds like you have selfish kids, not X-ers.
No. 7-Boomers=Intellectual Blowhards! 'nuff said.
No. 10- I truly hope you are right,sadly I have my doubts.
Right on X-girl,"partying" and sit-ins/college protests= goofing cof!cof! here" off.
No. 13- I think you mean contempt. Anyway, houses for $30,000 now worth $480,000 minimum that alone would finance a decent retirement, not to mention the wages previously mentioned.
No. 14- Good for you guys. Our Governor General is from Africa and represents the Queen of England. That's why she gets the big chair in Parliament.
No. 18- I like pot but it's not illegal down here. I hate pointless make work (most jobs today) that don't pay liveable wages. Three jobs? Where are we – China?
No. -27- Yes, there needs to be a subdivision between the ones with education, tech-skills and or were born into a stable cohesive family and the rest of us. The situation for blue collar/skilled trades is not what it was 30 years ago.
No. 5-11-16-23-27-33-38-45-and any other X or Y ers out there who are right and truly angry: You are all welcome to come join me and No. 41 I think we have enough dynamite!
Well, phew! So, here's my story. First I failed the first grade and in grade five I was told I had learning disabilities so I was given a tutor twice a week for two hours a day. After a year the Conservatives (republicans) came to power and now I got a tutor a month for two hours – 75 percent cut. then in grade seven and eight (high school 8-12 together) I was placed in a segregated class with no more than 15 students. I was abandoned by age two, was an only child until age six and was raised by my mother only from age 12.
Somehow, I never fit in and am now like another poster. I have been independent all my life and have love to give, but after 35 years I can survive alone.
Here in Canada our health system is buckling, our infrastructure is crumbling, we haven't built affordable housing in 30 years and what there is is falling apart and full of old people, immigrants and refugees – often the first two apply together.
As far as our Canada Pension (Social Security), it is in huge debt and likely to tank before my retirement. We also have a homelessness problem especially in the big cities, there are said to be over 500,000 homeless, or 1.5 percent of the total population. --Elricker the Viking
I am so glad that I found this article. I was born in 1968 and can totally relate to what a lot of people posted. It really scares me to think that in the future if I ever get to retire that there won't be anything in the way of a pension or social security.
I work my butt off- probably a good 60 hours a week. Financially my husband and I are doing okay, but the main reason for that may be that we don't have any children. I look at my friends who do have children and they are barely making it. It just isn't right!
My parents divorced when I was young and my sister and I pretty much fended for ourselves with many babysitters, etc. (At least we had a babysitter I suppose!)
My parents were of the pre-baby boom generation- "The Silent Generation" I suppose, but they embraced much of the Baby Boomer ideals. To this day my father is consumed with his active hobbies, and is in a constant fight to not get old. I think that my parents' style of parenting has influenced me to not want my own, which is kind of sad.
It really does look like we got the short end of the stick on many things. For example, looking for a job during the early nineties was a joke. I actually went back to school at that time to get my Master's degree, because the outlook was so bleak.
After college, I had a tremendous amount of student debt that was just paid off two years ago. (yahoo!) I remember my parents saying that they had multiple job offers after they graduated. It must have been nice to have a choice!
I really don't want to be an "angry x-er," but sometimes it is hard to not be when I compare how much we have to work with how much boomers work.
That bit about boomers being workaholics is a bunch of crap. Many American companies have gone under because of the boomer work ethic of living off of the fat.
And just because you are at a workplace for multiple hours talking to your coworkers, does not mean that you are actually working. I could do double the amount of work from home on my laptop than many boomers who sit around talking or "networking."
Generation X -- Noun -- The generation of children born between 1965-1975 who were largely raised by pre-baby-boomer parents. Core attributes are cynicism, pragmatism and expectation that they will be given the shaft by the larger baby boomer cohort that precedes them.
They believe in the rule of law, fairness and abhor corruption that has marked nearly every aspect of American life over the past 40 years. They will pay back what was stolen by the baby-boomers.
It will not be the sacrifice anywhere near that of the boys who stormed the beaches of Normandy, but my generation will make sacrifices that previous generations were unwilling to make. Shame on you all.
I was born in 1964 and have worked my tail off my whole life and I am successful.
Finding this website is like a cool breeze on a hot day.
I am feeling very bitter. Sure I love my father and my mother and all those in and around my family that helped raised me but I feel like there was never any guidance, not offered or rescinded. it's that good solid advice didn't exist at all.
I talk to my friends and we have the same story. It is not until now that we finally figure out what we want to do, it is not until now that I find 14 years of my life apparently wasted. It is not until now that I find if I had followed my current career earlier on that I would have been so much better off.
When I graduated high school the advice was, well, there was no advice, didn't have a clue. I went into the transportation industry only because I had heard stories that grandparents, uncles and others had done so.
I worked hard but it was a complete dead end. The only advice received was to get a good job with a good company and stick with it. Ended up getting stuck by the company as they downsized, withheld bonuses and lowball paid employees.
A few years back I realized that over all those years I was always asked about computers, about networks and about the web and I always managed those projects.
I quit my company, blew through the meager 401k, retrained and now, enjoy every working day, making double what I had.
But, what are you going to do? I don't think I'll ever get over the loss of 14 years, doing something that has absolutely no benefit to what I do now but at the same time, being a part of GenX. I finally figured it out, and when I did, I had the courage to make a change, and that counts for something.
I see this same thing happening with eight out of my 10 friends that I graduated from high school with, each one belatedly discovering that the path they were on was not the path for them.
To our credit, at least we made a stand and made a change. Hey - thanks for the vent forum.
Wow! Blame all the problems on everyone else but ourselves!
Who is to blame for the inflated housing market bubble that started around 2000 and finally burst? That is one of the major factors in today's economy! It would be interesting to see which generation(s) contributed most to it.
And what about the generation that had to deal with the Great Depression? It got fixed! Let's stop complaining and fix things!
I suppose 1989 would qualify me as Y. To be honest, I think the whole idea behind this is retarded. Everyone is different. To try and identify an entire generation by a group of traits is certainly an interesting exercise but one that's surely doomed to failure.
I identify far more with the discontent and rebellious stereotype of this generation than my own and there are many like me my age and younger. Someone commented on my generation's obedience to the system and acceptance of capitalism. Don't worry, many of us recognize how much crap it really is. I'd say more but at least this much should do for now.
This is great to see that Gen Xers are still complaining about the Boomers.
My buddies and I were all born in 68, work hard for our families, and are just waiting for the Boomers to hurry up and retire. Most of them at work have these old ideas on how to run things, but always come to us when things need to get done in a creative way.
It's like we are stuck behind the glass that reads, "Break only in case of fire".
It will be our time soon enough. Just remember, Xers: Google and Myspace were created by Xers. Boomers like to talk about how they changed the world, but we are quietly doing that right now.
For now I just refer them to a sticker I have on my desk that reads, "Hippies use the side door." That sums it up for me.
I'm a Generation X born in 1968 and I agree with a lot of my fellow Gen Xers that the Baby boomers left us to fend for ourselves at a young age.
My mother couldn't care less if I graduated high school as she had done before me. Granted my mother was a single mom and my dad was absent but, really, not a one of her three kids graduated high school. Fortunately we all took and passed our GED test.
All three of us are college graduates. We made that happen, not our Baby boomer parents. We realized on our own, before turning 19, that we needed to get our GED and eventually get a college degree to make a good living ourselves. I think that the Baby boomers wanted to see Generation Xers fall flat on their faces.
Well baby boomers guess what? Generation X is on the rise and you better get out of the way or get run over! In all fairness my mother does whatever she can to help any one of her children. When I was deployed two different times my mom watched and took care of my dog for me both times.
I guess as one generation knows that they're time is getting ready to pass they'll do what they can to help the next generation. I really hope that's the case with the Baby boomers and not that they are trying to save themselves before they meet their maker.
I am a bored Generation Xer. Gone are the days of working your way up from the mailroom. I feel set up to fail in the corporate/financial world. Yet boomers turn to me in the workplace when they are stumped.
I love this thread!
There is so much here, that people want to vent!
How wonderful it is that we are all pissed. Maybe this energy can be made into something?
I am an X-er. I was born 1979. I am a total failure, although my skills range from an accurate knowledge of history to welding to carpentry to electrical/electronics.
I have never had any kind of a chance at a career with fair compensation.
I want to admit here that I am a failure, but never was I a slacker. Never. And I know more like me.
When I sit back and wonder what went wrong, it is easy to blame the times. It is a true wonder, how the hippie boomers elected so many right-wing idiots.
When I look back I think people my age should have really rebelled harder than we did. See, we stuck it out, expressing through the new medias and believing in music and art, and that it would all work out. We should have just got hold of dynamite, like the Weather Underground. Were they boomers?
There were cool boomers. Hippies, radicals. But it's true, those of you who think gen-x or gen-y are just lazy, you've got another think coming. We ain't had our chance.
And yeah, growing up in the 90's made me soft, but don't worry. The last eight or so years has really started to make up for that. Soon I will be able to get boomers without even blinking.
Lots of love. Lots of dynamite! I've got your rest home right here! --Greg79x.
God I love listening to my generation gripe about the boomers.
I personally am dead tired of the boomers. Could they take the Beatles, Haight-Ashbury, hippie stories and stick them up their butts already? I was born in 71 and can't take the fact that the boomers won't seem to retire anytime soon. Like really. Their parents retired when they were the age the boomers are now.
As for civil rights and such changes, boomers did not make those changes. Their parents did. Was it not Kennedy and Johnson who signed such laws and bills? Not boomers.
The boomers were out having it all during the time I was growing up. They had to sock money away, own everything. (so much for those hippie ideals, huh?) They pretty much left us home alone to do as we wanted. Was it not the boomers who elected the likes of Nixon and Reagan? What a grand choice of people to run the show. Should I mention the first George Bush?
I see the earlier part of the boomers retired. They are the people driving around the country in large house-size motor homes. (there are those hippie ideals creeping in again) The boomers have got to be the greediest generation I can think of.
As for me having that same motor home and cash stashed away like boomers, doubtful. I suspect as I always have,when I get to retire, I will have but a few years left because I will have to keep working past 65. I also think old age pensions will be empty from the boomers.
The summer of love! Yeah I heard in school all about AIDS. Crack was the drug of the day, not marijuana. I came home alone as I left the same in the morning. I did not have one parent at home as my boomer parents did.
I want to thank 'X girl' for putting it so perfectly for the rest of us.
I am sure I will have more to say on this later. Right now I just found some hidden anger that I had no idea I could vent, until I came here.
Edit: (1987 girl here)....gun-shy? Oh '87 must definitely be a gen-x sub-group.
I honestly feel like a Gen-Xer, though I was born in '87 so everyone has this notion that I'm a spoiled, bratty college student that knows everything about technology and works her tail off. Totally not true.
In fact, divorce rates were extremely high with my parents being an example, I hate cell phones, and most people born after 1990 are starting to have children, barely graduating high school (Gen-Y is the echo boom, correct?).
Sometimes I wonder if, up until 1987 or '88, there was a Generation X sub-group.
Generation X-perience. According to the description of the Gen-X period I am an older X-er, darn near the oldest.
Other articles have a few more years preceding me. One thing I do notice about the period of time in which I have been living is the amount of social,
technological, and medical transition that has occurred. I have read a mix of this in these posts.
My generation has X-perienced the transition of the whole human existence from being separated by time and space to highly communicative. We've seen what the excesses of our own generation can cause to our own future financial, physical, emotional, and environmental health. We became our own guinea pigs and I believe we are feeling every decision of our lives and the decisions of our peers.
Unfortunately the younger Gen-Xers are feeling the repercussions of what their elder peers have done.
Generation X-perience. Being an older gen-Xer I have noticed we are the generation of social, technological, medical and cultural transformation. Not only have we lived through and assisted the changes we have also experienced first-hand the moral, physical, mental, emotional, and environmental repercussions of our actions.
Unfortunately the younger Gen-Xers have more than felt the result of our decisions and may have led to the gun-shy Generation Y that has been spoken of in this post.
Born in 63, where does that put me? Maybe a tweener. I'm proud of my accomplishments, my children's and my grandchildren. Is it not more in the way we raise our children than to allow them to follow others to define themselves. There are those in every generation that have learned how to say no to themselves and more importantly to their children.
@anon58889: Your post shows how self-absorbed most boomers are. You just had your generation take credit for pretty much everything that ever happened.
Not so fast, Chico.
The generation that came before yours - the Silent Generation - led to the boomers, and the generation before that, led to them, and on and on and on. Each generation gives rise to the next. Get your facts straight. And Gen X is taking the results of boomers' efforts and augmenting it, making it better, and actually implementing it.
And Gen Y will do the same for Gen X. It's the propagation of the species, the culture, the tech, etc. Everyone has something to contribute.
Boomers are not single handedly responsible for changing the world in every facet. They may be responsible for screwing it up so badly (rampant consumerism and the inability to accept climate change as real) that subsequent generations will pay dearly for centuries, but that's also just a matter of opinion and debate.
Baby boomers sucked this country dry. Xers have no choice but to rent when their boomer counterparts lived in homes at the same age. I think for us it's a good lesson in greed reduction, however unfair it may appear. Boomers talk way to much, saying too little, and love celebrating themselves. Retire already!
I think we boomers were the very first generation to respect our kids. No really. And to view our kids as peers (talking 'sense' to our kids instead of beating it into them ... as my parents did to me).
However, we may have been wrong. There is something to be said for good old-fashioned discipline. Certainly children are not peers to their parents. There is a need for hierarchy; child-rearing is not a democracy!
As you Gen-Xers and Gen-Yers will soon find out with your own kids. Lolol.
I also agree with about how children used to be viewed as the property of their parents. This goes back thousands of years.
In ancient China parents actually used children to pay off a debt. I'm a boomer and my own parents viewed me and my brothers that way. It comes from a time when people had kids for economic purposes; more hands meant more work, more profits.
There's a funny line from an old Bill Cosby album (yes, vinyl, '33'!), where he talks about his tough Dad, who growled angrily to Bill: "I brought you into this world, Son, and I can take you out of it" --- that really says it all.
It is a good point in trying to view generations from your given point on a time-line, looking ahead or looking back. I never thought of how someone born in 1900 would have viewed their own children, who went to war in 1940; yes you are probably right: they would have thought of them as a bunch of lazy hooligans.
Until, of course, they started dying in Germany.
Sad how that happens. Respect only coming out of sacrifice. Why can't we just respect our younger generations for who they are, as they are? I don't know, I guess we boomers are just as guilty.
I'll give you an example of how wrong you are. You state that our younger siblings: "inherited a world from them dominated by selfishness, drugs, AIDS and" A-ha, caught you -- AIDS? That was the 80s, not the 60s! Right there you've proved you don't even know the facts. And if you don't know those facts, you likely don't know a lot of other facts. And if you don't know other facts, all your arguments against boomers are false and can be dismissed.
One other point: MLK not a boomer? So what, who do you think brought about his change? Us boomers! MLK needed us boomers to convince the "Establishment" (who were MLK's peers) of the need for the civil rights movement, and its subsequent impacts. And in exactly the same way, we boomers pressured our government to end the Vietnam war, not our parents.
You are so wrong to give credit to our parents; they could've care less about ending the war. After all, they made money from it.
It was us boomers who were tired of having our brothers and friends die overseas, while our parents watched it on the TV news.
People like that expect every task to be precisely laid out for them, nice and easy to follow.
Unless life can be compartmentalized like C++ code, Gen-Xers either get completely confused, or just give up and go back to their video games.
And, they are an entitled, selfish generation of lackeys. It is we boomers who invented everything you see surrounding you, everything you take for granted. You did zilch; we did everything.
Thank you and have a very nice day.
Gen x will have a tremendous advantage pretty soon. As the boomers die off, because x is so small in numbers and, because x are the people who really do all the hard work, there is going to be a labor shortage at a time when tons of work needs to be done.
The days of overbloated middle management and the Peter principle are over and x will be writing their own tickets. X is harder working, more efficient, and more independent and talented than the Boomers ever were and they know that.
That is why they started the slacker stereotype and kicked us down all those years. We were a major threat to their monopoly on the system and so they kept us down. We couldn't change anything because we didn't have the votes due to our small size.
The revenge of gen X is on the way and the election of Obama marks the start of it.
Still an interesting thread. I'm the 79 born x-er that posted #23.
Just checked back and surprised to see more comments along the same lines.
I was wondering if Generation X needs to be subdivided. Even among the successful youngest X-ers, I detect an anger that something has gone unacknowledged.
And I see it seconded that the Y's in general are lacking the rebellious spirit that was the hallmark of all gen x.
I wonder if there is something that sets apart the end of gen x from older x-ers?
I mean, we were too young to be part of real punk rebellion. And, I do believe that our age of rebellion, basically the Bush years, was doomed to failure. And now we watch the world waking up to what we maybe have felt for a long while.
We were whiners that couldn't pick careers or something, so they say, but did we know something?
Maybe it's just me, now 30, and feeling like crap, my whole life has been a midlife crisis and mass confusion, and now this is what the terrain looks like?
Any advice on other sites I should visit, would be appreciated. Greg79x
- anon54394: I was born in 1979 also and i notice the same things you do. there is definitely a huge difference between me and people born just a couple years later. i think gen y are all really bright kids but they are too obedient and ready to accept authority and too willing to compromise all the time.
What kills me is that Gen X many of my friends and family who were left alone to fend for our self, and made into little adults before we could drive, did not get anything in return.
We Xers are taking care of the boomers and trying to talk some sense into Gen Y. I call this generation the spoiled, get everything generation. Where the hell was the sympathy for us? where was all the love and child protection services?
Many people say we Xers are ungrateful whiners. How? when we did not cry when we were left alone. we sucked it up and went with the punches. We Xers are quite and independent we don't need a high position to define us.
The boomers say we are unemotional to human needs. Well guess what? I was independent all my life and yes I don't need anyone. How can you trust the older generation that constantly lies to us all the time! --Taylor
I am Gen X and I was a latchkey kid strictly because my parents worked. I learned just about everything on my own. I am assertive, technology literate, independent and overly educated in a way no one could understand.
I do get bored at jobs easily and I like to be in control of my life in every way. An award does not get me excited, I don't agree with everyone, I don't trust the government, I have excelled in numerous organizations, I am distant from the baby boomers because they preach religion too much.
I think people should be held accountable for all of their actions, no one should get off scot- free, I have the "if I can do it so can you" attitude. I am proud to be an Xer. I grew up during the birth of technology, thank goodness.
Interesting thread here.
I am an x-er, and I've thought a lot about it because I was born in 1979, at the tail end. But I held off going to college for a few years, and then went and was surrounded by kids just a few years younger than me, and they actually were very different. The Y's as you call them.
I came to think the most major difference at that time, which was 99 to 03, was that these kids didn't get a big dose of the cold war. They were too young. they didn't grow up with any of that anxiety. Like playing video games where you had to shoot down soviet ICBMs when they were just like 11 years old. They don't remember Reagan, or the wall coming down, or Mikhail Gorbachev(sp?).
The Y's also are totally digital. Like I was just old enough to have learned to develop film and video edit on vcr decks. A few years later that was all passe. It was generation Y kids who had e-mail before me as well. They showed me how at college in 99.
It's strange to think that these kids just a couple years younger than me could have such a different world view. Maybe anybody else has noticed?
As for the Boomers, I think the real rebels of the 60's were cool. That was always what the xers were trying to contend with. How to rebel in a way that could match that -- it was impossible.
The thing is the Boomers were a huge generation, and most of them that really kicked down in the late 60's became burnouts. And all the ones that never got hip and held a grudge against the hippies just slowly came to power over the years. Like W. Bush, he was a boomer who was totally not a hippie.
Anyway I think that Generation Y is too brainwashed about the positivity of capitalism and that things will be all right without rebellion. although the majority of Iraq veterans will be Y's.
I think older Gen. X-ers did their part and lived it up in the 90's.
But this tail end of Gen. X and the first years of Gen. Y is the generation that maybe really lost out because there should have been more of a rebellion during the Bush years, but it was squashed.
Gen. X-ers like me who protested and went out on a limb have a hidden story to tell. And it's becoming clear that we are continuing to live in a split nation that needed a mass youth rebellion during the Bush years to scare the country back onto the right path.
@anon52842 : Keep in mind that a 'generation' is a demographic term, not a mathematical one. As such, there's no set rule about how many years are in a generation, nor is there any rule that says different generations must have the same number of years. It is just a tool used by demographers to group people that they think have similar characteristics.
I'd also like to say that it usually seems to be the case that we regard generations further back with more reverence and the generations following us with disdain. Example, Tom Brokaw once called the generation of young men who fought WWII as "The Greatest" generation. But can you imagine what someone born in 1900 would have said about them around 1940?
Just a bunch of lazy, unmotivated, undisciplined bunch of hooligans! The more things change the more they stay the same.
I am a Gen X'er and son of the Silent Generation (1925 - 1945). I wonder if part of our disaffection can be attributed to the way children are raised.
In our time, children were the virtual property of parents, and it was accepted that you could discipline your child however you saw fit. No one would question you if you hit your child in public.
Now, you can bet 10 people will call child welfare services on you. Yes, now the boomers' children (Gen Y) and our children (Gen Z) are just entitled to everything, aren't they?
I'd like to set the record straight for everyone - If the Baby Boomers were born from 1955-1964, wouldn't Generation Xer's be born between 1965 and 1984? That would mean that Generation Y people were born between 1985 and 2004.
Since when would generations "shrink"? Some people say Gen Xer's are from 1965- mid 70's. That doesn't make sense to me. I don't give a crap what one generation says about the other - I just want the math straight.
Yes, I am a proud Gen Xer who works his tail off and makes lots of money.
I just happened to stumble on this sight, and is refreshing that so many people feel what I have always felt: Generation X is the "bridge" between traditional families with stay at home moms, and a younger generation of kids growing up in a more "modern" world. We were the latch key kids, the kids home before there was "daycare," the kids who learned to fend for themselves.
Over the years I have mentioned to my parents that I do love them, but it is the Baby Boomers that have messed up everything. They were born into the safest, most prosperous time in world history, and have allowed our economy, our dollar, our standing in the world to crumble. When history looks back on America in a 100 years or so, they will see the decline of our country and society started and progressed with the boomers.
Boomers are by far in away the most selfish generation in the history of the world. And to say our generation is lost, I am very in tune with everything that is happening, has happened and have a good idea of what will be happening, as in all my life. I will continue to take care of my own, work hard and always hold content against the boomers.
As soon as that greedy, selfish generation dies off, we can become an economically strong country again. And for you boomers, your parents hold you in contempt, and so do your children, you selfish, take take take losers.
Im a Gen X er. I like pot and I hate work. A baby boomer once said to me he had three jobs at the same time. Yeah. Okay.
Generation Y starts with 1982, those graduating high school in 2000. Generation X with 1981. Read the books by researchers Howe and Strauss, including The 13th Generation. Books written by those born in the middle of Generation X are a bit biased. They love to not include those at the end of Generation X. The MTV generation overlaps with the end of Gen. X (1981) and early Gen. Yers, up to 1984 I think.
Generation Y are called The Millennials. I was born in 1981 and graduated high school in 1999. I was always called the last of Generation X. I have a best friend who was born in 1982, and her high school class was called The Millennials.
Well if Gen X was screwed over can you people imagine what it's like for *my* gen? Gen Y that is! My generation will be completely screwed.
Give me a break people! The only reason why baby boomers are complaining about my generation is because their generation made it difficult to get decent health care, social security, and retirement. True, we all have "McJobs", but you also gave us Bernie Madoff! And as far as your standing up for "civil rights"; the baby boomers were nothing more than poor little rich kids that were bored with mommy and daddies money they gave for college. Be afraid of a Berkely protester -- they might slap us with a lawsuit now. Instead of slapping us with a "toke or two". Oh, and the last Woodstock concert? Well, let's just say it was *our* generation, Gen X that gave your money grubbing hand a one finger-salute. You turned your own concert into Profitstock. So I think we got the last laugh. Thanks for nothing babies.
Gen Xers Elected the first minority president, not Gen Yers. We really need to recognized for more than being the lost generation!
Wow, there have been a lot of insightful things people had to say on here. Honestly, and I think I am *very* tuned in, to whats happening, as a Gen Xer (b.1973) I really never realized the depth of content "we" had for the boomers. Although you guys are correct, it is no wonder we get left holding the &*#% end of the stick. Many older "wise" boomers tell me they are sorry for our Generation because the dollar goes nowhere. They bought houses for 30,000 real houses, I understand the money equation and all, but this "wise" boomers are loaded! And we really have nothing. The Generation after us The "Y" generation, who I refer to unaffectionatly as the "I" generation for there constant need for everything has to be instant are lost souls cause of the contempt of the Boomers in not caring for what happens to us and it is evident to the I generation where they have no respect. They do need everything in an instant and then throw it away seconds later. Boy...we are the last of the true thinkers and dreamers of change. These "I" gens don't even care enough about social change unless it is posted on youtube. We are the last generation to be brought up without the internet. Think about it. That is huge! We actually played outside and had "real" friends, didn't have cable tv and actually could field enough kids to play pick up baseball. Its all gone to hell. Down with Boomers, you guys are right, the greed I see everyday is directly from them, and it transposed itself on the I generation, and where are we, right in the middle with a damn conscience. G*D Bless Gen Xers!
I am in heaven reading this discussion about Generation X'ers. To the person who wrote that X'ers are a generation born crying and still crying... go suck your leftover LSD tabs in that bureau you picked up antiquing. If you're going to cut down the original latchkey generation - the kids left home alone to fend for themselves - then I can stereotype you too.
And to the person who pointed out that MLK was *not*a boomer, *thank you*! Boomers used their size advantage to do lots of things that basically amounted to "partying" - riots, sit-ins, communes, disrupting college campuses everywhere to basically goof off. Let's just say it! Boomers challenged authority with their tantrums and then turned around and - whoops - got old themselves and became exactly what they supposedly "worked hard" to dispel - authority.
When their little brothers and sisters (X'ers) came along in college and the workforce, they *complained* about our own attempts to defy authority - by pragmatically becoming the most highly-educated generation alive and resenting their big mouths by shutting up ourselves. They fed us a steady diet of arguing, one-uppedness, abandoning us while they enjoyed the "meeee" generation of the 70s, swinging and divorcing like it was the champagne and drugs they were slinging - all expendable. And they expected us to *like it*. meanwhile... they took every job out there and had their peers in the unions negotiate the best wages and as they got older, paid the X'ers on temp agency fees with no benefits and wondered why we were sullen and resentful. They are a generation unable and unwilling to look at themselves in anything other than rose-colored glasses. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. I will look for your book, Andrew!
I feel like a part of generation X, that is trapped in a present teenager's body.
We Gen X-ers contributed to society by questioning authority and tradition (so as to confirm or deny the value of such)and balancing out the excesses of the Boomers. Discouragement was formed in us by less opportunities, but we can still capitalize on the needs and wants of the Boomers and choose to control these offerings (thus controlling them for a change)according to our individual situations.
We also need to lead Boomers and young Gen Ys through using newer technologies more wisely to create abundant opportunities to make real and lasting differences in our world. Generation X could be the ultimate bridging or cross-over(X) generation, to a near perfectly balanced world, focused on what really matters in life (closer to paradise that we all are evolving towards).
I just turned 40 - the middle of Gen X. I hope the generation that comes into positions of power will be motivated by something more than self-interest and greed. Is it unfortunate that Gen X lived through two recessions and now faces another economic crash, or is the issue that our leaders don't care what their children face, or is it that human nature is what it is and we all need to evolve emotionally?
I have seen and heard enough in my life. I've read about the 'slackers'. Knowing what I know now, I should have been a slacker and proud of it. What I consider a drain on the economy is the manipulation and greed by those that have more than most. If I have run out of patience as a Gen Xer, I am sure that I am not the only one. Finally, I will say that any trust or respect I had for the parents of my generation is gone and couldn't be earned in a lifetime. I will say the same for big business and politics run by what can only be considered leaders with psychopathic qualities.
We Generation X'ers are tired of the scraps left behind from the Baby Boomers. They will bleed the United States dry; they have had *many* years of working and will still work until they are forced to retire. Then the Boomers will nurse Social Security and Medicare bankrupt. When I graduated as a secondary teacher in 1990 there were no public school teaching jobs in Michigan or Ohio; women aged 45 held tight onto their "golden" school teacher job with all the perks and benefits. I am happy to hear about the employees who are now being forced to retire at age 55 plus because they are too old and make too much money. Welcome to the world of Generation X when we graduated from universities. I am 42 years old and am confident I will never see a dime that I have paid into Social Security. Generation X had so very little to look forward to when we got our degrees and first real jobs and have no future at retirement age. The Boomers have Busted this nation. It doesn't matter which president was/is in office (Clinton, Bush or Obama); Gen X members are expected to *pay* and will inherit the deficit.
I just have to say that boomers seem to be about the most self involved bunch of folks I've ever seen. They criticized their parents who fought and won WWII, then they criticized their younger siblings who inherited a world from them dominated by selfishness, drugs, AIDS and a sense of malaise. Contrary to their own assertions, the civil rights movement was driven by their predecessors (MLK was not a boomer, for example), and the Vietnam war ended not because of a bunch of protesting hippies, but rather because the middle class got tired of having their sons die overseas while they watched it on the TV news. As a Gen Xer I have no doubt that boomers are a group of ineffectual blowhards. Hopefully the departure of W signals the beginning of their exit from public life. Then maybe we can actually get some stuff done without constant battles over lifestyle issues that have no bearing on anything important, or questions about whether someone inhaled or not.
I think the article is "right on." We raised two young men who are part of Generation X, and instead of displaying gratitude for providing them with an education, both graduated from a major university, all we hear is "what can you do for me today." They submit lame excuses for their lack of identity and truly believe that Generation X has an attitude that speaks to the "we want what you have and we want it now" mentality. They were crying when the X'ers came into the world and they're still crying.
This looks like an interesting read, Andrew. Of course, people our age can't really fathom "retirement". :) I will probably have to work until I die! I have witnessed first hand the greed when it comes to entitlements (like social security) and the "active adult" population. Working little enough to squeeze every dollar they can out of the system until they can make as much money as they can and get 100% benefits. If you can work, WORK. If you can't, draw your social security and create a job opening for someone who isn't qualified to get those benefits. That's my fifty cent and soapbox.
Fellow Gen Xers,
I just wanted to make sure you were aware of my new book, Leisureville, because I think you may find the topic of interest. Leisureville is about the proliferation of age-segregated ("active adult") retirement communities for people in their 50s and 60s. Children may visit, but their guest passes time out much like international visas, after which time they are basically reduced to the status of human contraband. In the book, I trace the history of this phenomenon to the Arizona desert of the 1950s, as well as profile the world's largest gated retirement community in Florida. It's called The Villages and it is nearly twice the size of Manhattan, will have a population of more than 110,000, and no children are allowed.
The growth of leisurevilles represents nothing less than a revolution in our societal living arrangements as well as the intersection of many themes that define us today: manufactured leisure and convenience, segregation, escapism, sprawl, fortressing, government by contract, and more. Twelve million Americans are expected to move to leisurevilles in the coming decade or so, and that's a very conservative estimate. This is not a sunbelt phenomenon -- the majority of leisurevilles are now being built in the North, outside major cities like San Francisco, Chicago and Philadelphia. Leisurevilles typically form large voting blocks that vote down school budgets, and age-segregation is often used as a tool to keep out minorities.
Look for reviews in the New York Times Sunday Book Review, and The Washington Post Book World.
we gen xers have seen the baby boomers get everything from life they had and have the good jobs they have the good retirements not some 401 k that you get a few thousand dollars for a lifetime of work we are also left holding the bag as they now give away the rest of our future to other countries like china or trying to give illegal aliens what is left for us i cannot tell you how many times i have had a baby boomer ask me well what will you do if something happens to you they don't seem to get that they have gotten all the good out of this country and there's not much left for us and yes compared to baby boomers we got a lousy education so no wonder we are apathetic
Also, many people of Generation X didn't have to fight for their rights in the same kind of way as their parents and grandparents. They didn't see "honorable" wars like World War II, but lived with the aftermath of Vietnam and the messiness of the Cold War. I think that Gen Xers really never had the chance to have a lot of respect for and trust in their government, which, if you think abut it, is a sad thing and explains a lot about them...
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