Baby Boomers vs. Generation X vs. Millennials

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Comparing generations is a very easy, very useful way to understand culture. Generations comprise vast swaths of people all similar enough to be safely lumped together and discussed as a mass, almost as if they constituted a single individual. You can speak of a generation's values and even its beliefs. Most importantly, you can blame them for things.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Generation X 27
Millennials 21
Baby Boomers 7


Treeship, Monday, 2 May 2016 12:47 (three years ago) link

Just in case you needed a refresher of who you're meant to be as a member of your generation.

Your Ass Is Grass And I Will Mow It With My Face (Old Lunch), Monday, 2 May 2016 12:55 (three years ago) link

Generation Y (1981-2000)

Confident, determined, upbeat...

if only

Treeship, Monday, 2 May 2016 12:58 (three years ago) link

i'd be more offended if i was an "old veteran" (1922-1945). "Patriotic, practical, dedicated, hierarchical, given to personal sacrifice and delayed gratification, economical." these people are not your slaves, target, sometimes they want stuff for themselves too.

Treeship, Monday, 2 May 2016 13:00 (three years ago) link

Intergenerational fairness hasn't really caught on substantively at the political level yet here in the UK, despite the Guardian and the Resolution Foundation trying to give it a good push.

But it's an issue whose time has come.

Half-baked profundities. Self-referential smirkiness (Bob Six), Monday, 2 May 2016 13:00 (three years ago) link

a rough estimation:

Baby Boomers = narcissistic
Generation X = depressed/apathetic
Millennial = anxious/fragile

ryan, Monday, 2 May 2016 13:12 (three years ago) link

i am seeing more and more pieces about how my generation's anxiousness and fragility is secretly manipulative, a way for us to get our way.

Treeship, Monday, 2 May 2016 13:22 (three years ago) link

It's interesting how quickly the narrative regarding millennials has shifted from 'hyper-confident and outgoing' to 'anxious and fragile'.

Your Ass Is Grass And I Will Mow It With My Face (Old Lunch), Monday, 2 May 2016 13:31 (three years ago) link

my favorite complaint about a generation of straight A students with tens of thousands in student debt they can't pay off with their dead end jobs was "entitled"

Treeship, Monday, 2 May 2016 13:35 (three years ago) link

Yeah, I'm much more copacetic about being called a slacker for the thousands in student debt I can't pay off with my dead end job.

Your Ass Is Grass And I Will Mow It With My Face (Old Lunch), Monday, 2 May 2016 13:42 (three years ago) link

i feel defensive about all the generations though. "baby boomer" culture has had a stranglehold on our country for too long, i guess, but still that's not the fault of the baby boomers themselves. there was some popular comment in that gawker article about how baby boomers who still work at target should be shamed because they were the most privileged generation in history and i wanted to reach into kinja and strangle that person, or at least log in and give them a good verbal dressing down

Treeship, Monday, 2 May 2016 13:43 (three years ago) link

I like my own tail-end of the boomer window (1961). (See? I'm narcissistic.) We love Highway 61 and "One Bad Apple," find Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against the Machine campy.

clemenza, Monday, 2 May 2016 13:50 (three years ago) link

It's interesting how quickly the narrative regarding millennials has shifted from 'hyper-confident and outgoing' to 'anxious and fragile'.

yeah really this is interesting, even though i dont think those personality types are necessarily opposites! i wonder if these generational traits tend to emerge as a result of the preceding generation's descriptions of them. the boomer = narcissism one is particularly interesting to me because i think the popularly of that term only emerged as way to describe boomers: see Christopher Lasch's "The Culture of Narcissism"--which is perhaps one of the first books i know of (would love to know of similar books) that adopts a kind generational framework (ie, "we are different (usually worse) than our parents"). that whole dynamic is itself pretty interesting.

ryan, Monday, 2 May 2016 14:59 (three years ago) link

like, i can't imagine (though it's certainly possible) someone in 1900 muttering "these kids today."

ryan, Monday, 2 May 2016 15:00 (three years ago) link

I wish the stock gen x descriptors didn't suit me as well as they do. But, pssh, whatever, like I even care about that authoritative, corporate bullshit anyway.

Your Ass Is Grass And I Will Mow It With My Face (Old Lunch), Monday, 2 May 2016 15:02 (three years ago) link

as a millenial, i think millenials are extremely good

ciderpress, Monday, 2 May 2016 15:04 (three years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wCXr_6wgns

Mordy, Monday, 2 May 2016 15:10 (three years ago) link

oh nice!

ryan, Monday, 2 May 2016 15:11 (three years ago) link

I am now embracing my millenial designation, even though pretty much every one of my peers was born a couple years before me and I was born at the beginning of '81

I mean, I got out of college when the prices were only starting to hike up, found gainful employment that I've retained since then, and generally am pretty ok

but, solidarity, my fellow millenials

μpright mammal (mh), Monday, 2 May 2016 15:11 (three years ago) link

i feel like growing up with the internet is the more definitive thing than the exact years

ciderpress, Monday, 2 May 2016 15:17 (three years ago) link

my own personal marker for Millennials is that they can't have actual, living memories of the 80s.

ryan, Monday, 2 May 2016 15:22 (three years ago) link

dang you got me

they were probably bad anyways

ciderpress, Monday, 2 May 2016 15:26 (three years ago) link

i was born in december '87 and have only vague memories of 1990-1993

ejemplo (crüt), Monday, 2 May 2016 15:32 (three years ago) link

i believe i arrived just in time for peak "bad to the bone"

ejemplo (crüt), Monday, 2 May 2016 15:33 (three years ago) link

I remember the 80s, so maybe I'm back out of the club

μpright mammal (mh), Monday, 2 May 2016 15:57 (three years ago) link

*listens to foreigner*

μpright mammal (mh), Monday, 2 May 2016 15:57 (three years ago) link

like, i can't imagine (though it's certainly possible) someone in 1900 muttering "these kids today."

― ryan, Monday, May 2, 2016 11:00 AM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

no way, this has been a constant throughout human history

flappy bird, Monday, 2 May 2016 16:07 (three years ago) link

as an actual "generational" statement or just the folly of youth in general? I imagine even the latter depends on an idea of adolescence that is itself rather new in the scheme of things?

ryan, Monday, 2 May 2016 16:13 (three years ago) link

though yeah the idea of societal degeneration and "declension" is far older (and maybe these "newer" ideas simply glom on to those older ones)

ryan, Monday, 2 May 2016 16:15 (three years ago) link

I read a really bad late novel by Edith Wharton (Twilight Sleep, 1927) which is 100% on the theme of "this younger generation of people is feckless and useless, what will a world in their incapable hands be like"

Guayaquil (eephus!), Monday, 2 May 2016 16:17 (three years ago) link

i was born in december '87 and have only vague memories of 1990-1993

― ejemplo (crüt), Monday, May 2, 2016 11:32 AM (45 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i believe i arrived just in time for peak "bad to the bone"

― ejemplo (crüt), Monday, May 2, 2016 11:33 AM (43 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I remember the 80s, so maybe I'm back out of the club

― μpright mammal (mh), Monday, May 2, 2016 11:57 AM

http://45.media.tumblr.com/a85e5d7fc85bba23a7f3e09a3f1ca1a9/tumblr_neaqitaUoJ1roul0do4_400.gif

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 2 May 2016 16:19 (three years ago) link

i'd feel pretty good about a world in the hands of my generation except for the part where it's already fucked beyond repair before we got here

ciderpress, Monday, 2 May 2016 16:19 (three years ago) link

I read a really bad late novel by Edith Wharton (Twilight Sleep, 1927) which is 100% on the theme of "this younger generation of people is feckless and useless, what will a world in their incapable hands be like"

― Guayaquil (eephus!),

ha – I read it last year and was pretty appalled.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 2 May 2016 16:19 (three years ago) link

i remember everyone remembering the 80s in 2002, fun times

yellow despackling power (Will M.), Monday, 2 May 2016 16:46 (three years ago) link

as a millennial born in the nineties, i learned a lot from VH1's I Love the 80's.

flappy bird, Monday, 2 May 2016 16:52 (three years ago) link

I first heard "Billie Jean" and "Blue Monday" as MIDI files in a freeware Pac-Man clone for Windows 95

ejemplo (crüt), Monday, 2 May 2016 17:00 (three years ago) link

This would be a whole lot easier if everybody was born in clumps. Like in 1945, someone decided: let's all fuck for a year and we'll have a generation of kids who all share a common experience. Then we'll take a breather to raise those kids so that they all have the same values, experiences, and cultural touchstones.

Okay, that went great. Now it's 1965, let's make another bunch. These ones will be totally tubular.

Hmmm. 1985. Where were we? Oh yeah, reproduction. Quick, everybody make some babies.

Instead, what we have is a continuous stream of births. Alas.

to bae or not to bae (Ye Mad Puffin), Monday, 2 May 2016 17:01 (three years ago) link

I don't really know any teenagers atm but I follow a few on twitter as an anthropological experiment, and I think I like this gen of highschoolers. they remind me much more of my gen than do the millennials.

always be charging (rip van wanko), Monday, 2 May 2016 17:08 (three years ago) link

I just bought two Wharton collections from Library of America and I think that book is included in the second one - can't wait!

Don Van Gorp, midwest regional VP, marketing (誤訳侮辱), Monday, 2 May 2016 17:13 (three years ago) link

dang there are kids in high school who weren't alive on 9/11

ciderpress, Monday, 2 May 2016 17:20 (three years ago) link

I just bought two Wharton collections from Library of America and I think that book is included in the second one - can't wait!

― Don Van Gorp, midwest regional VP, marketing (誤訳侮辱),

that's where I read it. The Mother's Recompense is better.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 2 May 2016 17:27 (three years ago) link

I just bought two Wharton collections from Library of America and I think that book is included in the second one - can't wait!

If The Bunner Sisters is in there, go straight to that one, wow.

Twilight Sleep not just bad but really different from the good stuff; to the point it was literally hard for me to get my head around the fact that the same person wrote it.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Monday, 2 May 2016 18:54 (three years ago) link

In good Wharton, by the way, generational differences are certainly an issue but I think the view from middle age is less "kids today are terrible let us explain to them how they should be" than "our time is done, we shall now graciously and regretfully fade into the expensive wallpaper"

Guayaquil (eephus!), Monday, 2 May 2016 18:55 (three years ago) link

Wharton's heroine in Summer is a teenage unwed mother

Brad C., Monday, 2 May 2016 19:03 (three years ago) link

i am totally Generation Wharton

Guayaquil (eephus!), Monday, 2 May 2016 20:45 (three years ago) link

Boy, Gen X's stock couldn't be much lower these days (b. 1968)...we truly are the Jan Brady of this bunch

Iago Galdston, Monday, 2 May 2016 20:49 (three years ago) link

i am seeing more and more pieces about how my generation's anxiousness and fragility is secretly manipulative, a way for us to get our way.

― Treeship, Monday, 2 May 2016 13:22 (7 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Starting to believe this btw

Daithi Bowsie (darraghmac), Monday, 2 May 2016 20:49 (three years ago) link

lol

μpright mammal (mh), Monday, 2 May 2016 21:10 (three years ago) link

I have 28 teeth in my pocket right now.

Yerac, Monday, 24 June 2019 15:16 (two months ago) link

The entire Kirsti 31 photoseries feels unresolved.

https://www.sunshynepix.com/Blog/Kirstis-Golden-Birthday-Cake-A

Yerac, Monday, 24 June 2019 15:19 (two months ago) link

there's probably a german word for the existential discomfort i'm feeling after clicking on that

mh, Monday, 24 June 2019 15:21 (two months ago) link

Norwegian iirc.

pomenitul, Monday, 24 June 2019 15:23 (two months ago) link

28 teeth on my dresser, yessir

old cloud yells at man (voodoo chili), Monday, 24 June 2019 15:30 (two months ago) link

it's so weird how it looks like she is having a party but she is the only one there
why photograph such a lame party that abundantly?

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 24 June 2019 15:43 (two months ago) link

To prove that you can have a kickass birthday party all on your own.

pomenitul, Monday, 24 June 2019 15:44 (two months ago) link

but it is not kickass and not a party if there is no one at the party, it's just a photoshoot

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 24 June 2019 15:45 (two months ago) link

Didn't say the proof was convincing.

pomenitul, Monday, 24 June 2019 15:47 (two months ago) link

can i stage a photoshoot of myself standing on a stage pretending to sing/play an instrument and call it a photograph of a performance? even if there is no audience (beyond the photographer) and no one asked me to perform and i didn't actually perform i just posed for a picture?

that is definitively not a party if you're just eating cake alone in the woods w a sign & your photographer

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 24 June 2019 15:47 (two months ago) link

hey, she never called it a party

i'm not a kristi 31 defender here, but this is definitely a photoshoot with all the signifiers of celebrating a birthday with no actual celebration

mh, Monday, 24 June 2019 15:51 (two months ago) link

so many questions about this beguiling woman. what are her squad goals? how many Fs does she give?

One Eye Open, Monday, 24 June 2019 15:51 (two months ago) link

I want to know about the traumatic dog licking themselves incidents.

Yerac, Monday, 24 June 2019 15:53 (two months ago) link

But she also hates cleaning so maybe the answer is right there.

Yerac, Monday, 24 June 2019 15:54 (two months ago) link

I did some rEaSeArCh and it turns out she's an instagram mommy with 1,028 followers, 80% of whom are other instagram mommies and 20% of whom are lonely single men who love booty. she celebrated father's day by wearing a one-piece leopard print swimsuit with her husband's face printed on it (not this exact one, but the concept is similar):

https://i.imgur.com/l7eptPm.jpg

tandoor vittles (unregistered), Monday, 24 June 2019 15:55 (two months ago) link

Apologies if this is already known to you all, but it has come to my attention that the 'adult cake smash' is a Pinterest subgenre unto itself.

pomenitul, Monday, 24 June 2019 15:59 (two months ago) link

maybe if the draft is reinstated for next gulf war selective service can fast track a new conscription category?

d'ILM for Murder (Hadrian VIII), Monday, 24 June 2019 16:28 (two months ago) link

One of my questions got answered! Why it was turning 31 that merited the big celebration.

I hate it when the dog licks himself too!

pplains, Monday, 24 June 2019 16:45 (two months ago) link

there are tons of these things, adult cake smash. someone on my insta feed aggregated them in his stories one day. it's disturbing. it's like next level, gender-reveal-level normie inanity bordering on insanity.

findom haddie (jim in vancouver), Monday, 24 June 2019 16:50 (two months ago) link

At least Kirsti isn't a boomer. Our reputation has been tarnished enough as it is.

A is for (Aimless), Monday, 24 June 2019 17:24 (two months ago) link

xxp I think something said golden birthday which is some invented holiday where your current age matches the day of month? so turning 31 on may 31st or whatever

I don't even know

mh, Monday, 24 June 2019 19:04 (two months ago) link

been halfheartedly pondering the overlap between instagram moms and the pre-existing milieu of suburban wine moms this afternoon and, while not a perfect circle, there's a definite early millennial/mid-millennial overlap

i've definitely gone on dates with suburban wine moms, and perhaps with aspiring instagram influencers, but never someone who has been both

mh, Monday, 24 June 2019 21:38 (two months ago) link

instagram seems bad

mookieproof, Monday, 24 June 2019 21:51 (two months ago) link

I really hate the term cougar juice, but they don't make it easy.

Yerac, Monday, 24 June 2019 21:53 (two months ago) link

Are they going to keep complaining/complimenting themselves in regard to "adulting" until they die?

Something about "being a kid at heart" that tolls throughout the Millennials and the Boomers. So many 40somethings in 80s commercials, can't believe they're wearing a SUIT and TIE, hearing the distant call of the Spencer Davis Group's "Gimme Some Lovin'" echoing from somewhere past the conference room windows...

I don't see a whole lot of that from my generation. Except from Beto, who's got some trip going on that I'd wish he'd keep to himself.

pplains, Monday, 24 June 2019 22:00 (two months ago) link

I don't care much about instagram, it seems mostly spon cons and people doing yoga in inappropriate places. But I hate that a lot of places/tourist destinations have become unbearable just because people go there to get a shot for their social media.

Yerac, Monday, 24 June 2019 22:06 (two months ago) link

The worst is when people ask you to move in a museum so they can take a picture of a picture.

Yerac, Monday, 24 June 2019 22:07 (two months ago) link

my dad’s boomer version of “adulting” jokes was probably his insistence that he’s still working on figuring out what he wants to be when he grows up

now that he’s transitioning into retirement, he’ll perhaps have the time to work on that

mh, Monday, 24 June 2019 22:08 (two months ago) link

DId boomer dad's have adulting jokes? I always thought they were more on the Al Bundy, giving up on life at age 40 angle.

Yerac, Monday, 24 June 2019 22:16 (two months ago) link

I never see any of this on Instagram bc I don’t follow these people. It’s pretty easy to avoid!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 24 June 2019 22:16 (two months ago) link

I don't have an instagram account but every so often I like to watch the short vids of pasta being made.

Yerac, Monday, 24 June 2019 22:17 (two months ago) link

I never see influencers or spon con or famous ppl bc that’s not why I’m there. It makes me sad to see people sorted into slots like wine mommy and insta mommy and any unnecessarily pigeonholed group. I guess that’s what they’re putting out there. Glad I don’t have to see it, with the exception of Kristi’s bday photo shoot.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 24 June 2019 22:25 (two months ago) link

afaict "adulting" jokes/comments at least among my peers are m/l a sort of ironic comment on the distance between what adult life looked like when we were kids versus what's attainable and/or desirable to us now. since so few mid-30s ppl in my circles have kids, own homes, or have job security, very little of their lives look like their parents' lives in the 1980s. so when something does, like getting a car or buying a durable large appliance, it sorta stands out. but i might be misreading it or coming from a very narrow area.

Good morning, how are you, I'm (Doctor Casino), Monday, 24 June 2019 22:28 (two months ago) link

since so few mid-30s ppl in my circles have kids, own homes, or have job security, very little of their lives look like their parents' lives in the 1980s

this was the case w me in my mid-30s too. It hasn't been like the 80s since the uh 90s

Οὖτις, Monday, 24 June 2019 22:40 (two months ago) link

That’s not much different from my experience as a person at the tail end of gen x except there were a few marrieds w kids. Not that many.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 24 June 2019 22:41 (two months ago) link

Everyone has been more or less screwed since the boomers. Might as well all stick together instead of subcategorizing each other to death.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 24 June 2019 22:42 (two months ago) link

gen xers are junior baby boomers stop playing

VAR me to the end of yawn (jim in vancouver), Monday, 24 June 2019 22:42 (two months ago) link

always confused about where our lines would split, catholics vs tiger cubs vs furious tattoo artists maybe

uk? thatcherites vs blairites vs corbynites? seems neat enough.

godfellaz (darraghmac), Monday, 24 June 2019 22:45 (two months ago) link

Douglas Coupland designed some very mediocre furniture. Although I liked his mod table.

Yerac, Monday, 24 June 2019 23:23 (two months ago) link

much of silicon valley can probably be blamed on gen x, but zuck's a millennial

mookieproof, Monday, 24 June 2019 23:26 (two months ago) link

yeah sorry I normally frown on dumb hair-splitting / narcissism of small differences between microgenerations. anyway i imagine that as a pre-hashtag cohort, gen x would have gotten this kind of sentiment across in a different way. maybe like a really wordy, snarky t-shirt with distressed typewriter font or something? i was a kid, idk.

Good morning, how are you, I'm (Doctor Casino), Monday, 24 June 2019 23:31 (two months ago) link

all of you will be baby boomers when your time comes

Dan S, Monday, 24 June 2019 23:49 (two months ago) link

Something about "being a kid at heart" that tolls throughout the Millennials and the Boomers. So many 40somethings in 80s commercials, can't believe they're wearing a SUIT and TIE, hearing the distant call of the Spencer Davis Group's "Gimme Some Lovin'" echoing from somewhere past the conference room windows...

― pplains

i'm a kid at heart because my crippling childhood trauma prevented me from ever reaching emotional maturity

Flood-Resistant Mirror-Drilling Machine (rushomancy), Monday, 24 June 2019 23:51 (two months ago) link

"Rose bud..."

https://i.imgur.com/CvHnx7Y.gif

https://i.imgur.com/2jKqZX3.jpg

pplains, Tuesday, 25 June 2019 00:06 (two months ago) link

Lol

If I were a POLL I’d be Zinging (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 25 June 2019 00:10 (two months ago) link

feel like a lot of the people living in a house with their spouse and 2.5 kids aren’t the ilx posting type

except pplains — i see you there!!

mh, Tuesday, 25 June 2019 00:37 (two months ago) link

haha xp

d'ILM for Murder (Hadrian VIII), Tuesday, 25 June 2019 00:42 (two months ago) link

one month passes...

“all the gen x people were there”

calstars, Friday, 2 August 2019 01:11 (three weeks ago) link

aka the olds

calstars, Friday, 2 August 2019 01:12 (three weeks ago) link


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