The Conflict of Generations

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Generations: a group of people born around the same time and raised around the same place. People in this said group exhibit similar characteristics, preferences, and values over their lifetime; indeed, it’s because they experienced similar trends at approximately the same life stage and through similar channels such as TVs, social media, or mobile. Although everyone is different on an individual level, we can’t help but compare those who happened to be born around a similar period in life resulting in a lot of generalizations and stereotypes. That being said, it’s only natural for generations to be clashing with one another due to their set of beliefs. For example, we have the biggest ongoing psychological warfare between Millennials and Baby Boomers. The latter, generally speaking, believed it was a good idea to hold the former accountable for all the troubles in the economy but the former, despite getting blamed for nearly everything that is taking place, strategically came up with a good comeback to all those naysayers. By saying ‘ok boomer,’ the whole BB (baby boomer) generation is in an uproar and, for some odd reason, find it completely offensive. As of right now, they have not come up with a strategy to counteract the millenials’. Call it an overstatement but I’ll say it anyway: This may be the beginning of a second civil war— one where financially unstable adults in their twenties and thirties go against haughty adults in hospital beds in the name of freedom and independence from the terrors of responsibility.

Before I go any further, I should provide some background information on each and every one of the current generations. The oldest generation that is active would be the traditionalists or silent generation. One would have to be born before 1945 to be apart of this group. Not much is said about this generation; the name speaks for itself. Next we have the infamous baby boomers— born between 1946 and 1964. They have a strong work ethic, are self-assured, and have a competitive spirit. After BB we have generation X, born between 1965 and 1976. Generation X is known to be independent, resourceful, and self-sufficient. Generation Y, better known as millennials, were born between 1977 and 1995. Millennials have been characterized in a number of different ways. On the negative side, they’ve been described as lazy, narcissistic and prone to jump from job to job. No generation has been as publicly criticized, praised, misunderstood, and analyzed as the millennials. The latest generation that entered the game is generation Z, or Igeneration, or centennials, or those kids you always see on tiktok. The oldest was born in 1996 and they’re still being produced. This generation is known to have a smartphone everywhere they go and will often pull it out to use whenever they’re bored or want to escape an uncomfortable situation and believe that a small gadget will protect them almost as if it was an invisible barrier. A portion of their childhood is centered on the utilization of technology. 

It is not clear to me how this will play out. We currently have a conflict between baby boomers and millennials though there is always a possibility that other generations can join in on either sides— perhaps the silent generation is intentionally being silent so that they would surprise their enemies. The battlefield for BB and millennials happens to be on social media, especially twitter. A tweet from a brave soldier on the BB side claimed that “‘Boomer’ is the n-word of ageism.” I’m not sure if Bob survived his encounter with millennials but this tweet alone initiated a new battle between BB and African-Americans. Let’s hope this war will end peacefully.