I was reading the frontpage article about Generation X. I am proud to say that I am not a member of Generation X. Yes, I am a child of a baby-boomer, but I was born in 1979.
I once read something that a friend of mine wrote regarding generation titles. I think that there is just a fundamental difference between people of the one generation and the people of the next. It has to do with thought processes and ability to accept things they cannot explain. So here is my fine analysis:
Generation X: Rough Definition. These people are people born roughly between 1965 and 1978. They want to know why everything works, or if they don't (mostly because they don't have an inquisitive mind), they don't know how to program their VCR because they never learn how to use things that they don't understand. If they are Christians, it is probably not because their parents raised them in the faith so much as it is because they have had direct revelation of God, and have rationalized the heck out of it. Or if they are Christians just due to parental influence, they are a Christian-on-Easter and Christmas, and maybe on Sundays kind of phenomenon. They are eager to learn, highly cynical, and doubt everything that is not proved to them.
Generation Y: I fit in here. I know how to use things. I know how some things work. I am really not interested in how most things work. I don't have to understand everything, I don't have to know everything, and all of this stems from the knowledge that by the time I was born, there was already more stuff out there than I could possibly learn in one lifetime, and I don't want to bother myself with learning anything I don't decide is really worth learning. I am a Christian. I can't prove God to you. Or to myself, nor do I have to. All of my ducks need not line up in a row, and it doesn't bother me one bit. We Y's are able to split our thoughts, hold opposing views, information and opinions can be unreconcilable with other opinions... that's the way it's been our whole lives. Most of us are that way.
I don't know if I made any sense, but this is what I think. I think it's a fundamental difference in thought-patterns, ability to leave notions unresolved (you Xers out there will probably say that isn't a good trait though :P it's a flaw).
Those numbers are not hard held either, as far as when people are what.... Someone wrote that if you were in grades 7 through college when Cobain died, and you know who he was, and how he died, that you were a Generation Xer. I almost agree with that. That would push the boundaries around a little, but then I count as an X. And I know people younger than me that count as Xes by that standard. But then, I know people older than me by a year or two, that taught me it was all right to rebel from the upper-classmen's need to define their thoughts so rigidly, so I suppose someone has to be the innovator.
Unapologetic Stereotypes: I have been reading people's comments to this, and I am noting one thing in particular... I didn't mention enough about Generation X. I am going to remain unapologetic about stereotyping people here because this is one of the major generational differneces. Generation Xers hate stereotypes. They want to be their own person, they want to be defined as differently from all of the rest, they don't want to be lumped into a single category. There is a reason for this feeling. They saw their parents as so many cattle being herded. They don't want to be that. They also want to be conscientious of everyone. Hence they hate generalizing everyone.
Well... the generation Y response to this is "well, duh, everyone knows that everyone's different." We also know that most people know that by now (we grew up with it being a fact... thanks to you guys, we really ought to be grateful), and given that that is a fact, we aren't going to give up the stereotype, because it does one thing very efficiently, and that is categorize large groups of people into broad trends.
If you are a Gen Xer, and you are immediately thinking about all of the exceptions to these generalizations and are thus forming logical arguments based upon these exceptions to refute this loose generalization, you are proving yourself just that: a Gen Xer. They are just that, broad generalizations! I even state above that I know of exceptions to these norms.
Thanks to the Xers: We Y's think you X's are very cool. You rebelled against the standards put forth by your parents, in big ways by dressing differently, in little ways by refusing to think about stereotypes, and you guys grew up at a very cool time. You got to see Star Wars in the theaters and like it the first time you saw it. I got to see it at a slumber party when someone's older sibling insisted that I watch it when they couldn't believe that I hadn't seen it. I didn't like it, because at the time I wasn't interested in it. I wanted to do other girlie things during that timespan. You guys got to watch the technology roll out, and got to play with the next new thing. The next new things were coming out so rapidly when I was a kid, I would be caught up for a week and then behind again.
More importantly, you guys set the scene for all of the things that we take for granted today. Yes, we take them for granted. We take for granted that everyone is different. We take for granted that new things will always come out. We take for granted that people with authority shouldn't abuse it, but we don't have to go to the extent of avoiding titles and awards in order to keep everyone sitting at the round table.
A Recap: These are broad generalizations. If you are an Xer, you will likely object, because Xers don't like broad generalizations. That's ok, in fact, that's great, because if it wasn't for your tendency for that, we couldn't take your social strides for granted. And if you still don't like it, congratulate yourself.