Legit I know some of you darlings on here are young, but if you ever refer to my 30 year old ass as “baby boomer” again I will not be held responsible for my actions.
Y’all think it’s shit not having financial stability at 20, well I’m afraid we got some bad news for you.
Okay, kids, generation lesson, if we’re going to keep using these divisions. Baby Boomers are technically those born between 1946 (after the end of WW2, when the soldiers came home – thus, a “baby boom,” as husbands and wives were reunited after several years apart) and 1964. That makes Baby Boomers between 53-71 in 2017. And there are a variety of theories on where this generation ends – depending on what definition you’re working under, 50-53 year olds could be the beginning of Gen X.
Gen X is between 36-50 this year, give or take a couple of years. We’re a smaller generation, defined mostly by coming of age between 1980-ish and the early to mid 90s – after cable TV, but before the internet, the “latchkey kid” generation.The oldest Millennials are 35-ish this year. So a 30 year old is most definitely not a Boomer, by any stretch of the imagination. (There’s a school of thought that puts the older members of this age range in their own small generation, “Generation Y,” but most have just decided to define Millennials as people born between approximately 1982-2004.)So there. Know your generations, so you’re sure you’re hating on the right people, y’all.
The best/worst part of being Gen X at the moment* is that the gutting of unions and the social safety net means the Boomers are failing to retire while the Millennials are coming up and we’re basically in one hell of an awkward mid-career pinch while our bodies are starting to fall apart and our children are growing up.(Also, I swear when I was a younger Gen Xer the cutoff was more like 1977.)*Previous best/worsts include hitting puberty in the early days of the AIDS epidemic, growing up at the end of the Cold War while our media was producing story after story about nuclear annihilation, the aforementioned critical moments recessions, and thinking acid-washed denim was a great idea.
Gen X is defined as starting in 1961 when “the pill” came into being, and ends in 1991. When it was named, this was the range. Therefore, Gen Xers are between 35 (turning 36 this year) and 56.Our experience is that Recession is the norm, world politics is constant upheaval, that the government will NEVER care about us, that the only way to survive was to work multiple jobs, and that our turn will never come.And make NO mistake – we ARE angry. we DO NOT like anything about this.We took the tools that our progenitors left us with and turned the internet into a real-time conversation worldwide that happens between people instead of governments or news agencies. We took the idea of escapism and pushed it to 11 (MMOs began in the 80s with MUDDs, kids). We very subtly subverted the paradigm of “this is how we do things because this is how we have always done things” to make things more efficient for everyone. AND WE DID ALL OF THESE THINGS WHILE BEING TOLD WE WERE LAZY AND UNMOTIVATED AND WOULD NEVER MAKE A MARK ON HISTORY.Baby Boomers are not only still fucking shit up for us, they are still blaming us for them doing so.
I’m in Gen Y, or Old Millennials (born in 1982, literally the first year of it), and I favor the viewpoint that our micro-generation is unlike both Gen X that came before us and the Millennials that came after us. We’re the transition kids. Our older siblings – literally, sometimes, figuratively for others – are Gen X. We grew up with them telling us to trust no one, but to fight for what we believe in. We grew up with Gen X feeding us angry punk pop and the knowledge that adults will never, ever have our best interests at heart. (It’s why even though I’m turning 35 this summer I still can’t see myself as an “adult” and I don’t view a lot of people older than me as “adults”. They’re still in this weird… wombly stage of older angry sibling. Adults are corporate. Adults are white-haired men who make anti-union laws and anti-choice legislation. Adults are 80s/90s movie villains.)
Gen X gave me a healthy dose of cynicism but not hopelessness. They gave me a knife and said “Defend yourself if you have to. The adults won’t do it for you.”
So we took the “us against the world” Gen X lessons, and then…transitioned into this weird world of being connected all the time. The internet happened when we were pre-teens. Some of us brokered our very first romantic relationships over instant messaging. (What? Yeah, I did it.) We suddenly developed very real, very deep emotional connections with people in wildly different time zones and cultures. We had “best friends” whose legal names were a complete mystery to us. And we trusted each other, but we still remember a world before we were capable of this kind of connection. We still remember the insular nature of life before the internet. We remember when we couldn’t obtain news for ourselves, and we still don’t trust adults who try to tell us what’s “really” going on.
Life in the transition generation is kinda weird. This constant liminal space. Nothing ever feels very real. Nothing is ever certain. But damn I love my Gen X mentors and I hope I’m passing on the knowledge of “protect yourself, defend yourself, fight for what you believe in” to the kids younger than me. We’re all in this together.
1984 and I love this. This captures so much off what it’s like to be in your 30s right now.
1981 and the “lost generation” here and this has absolutely been my experience.