Wikipedia, not me, defines Millennials (also known as Generation Y, Generation Me, Echo Boomers and Peter Pan Generation) as the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates for when this cohort (they used that word twice) starts or ends; demographers and researchers typically use the early1980s as starting birth years and ending birth years ranging from the late-1990s. This puts the average Millennial in the age range of 20 to 36 years old. The term was apparently coined in 1987, by authors William Strauss and Neil Howe, likely as a way to identify a subculture of soon to be tech savvy, coffee consuming, battery car driving, designer label wearing, EDM festival raging, hair product jellying, no body fat trending, self absorbed narcissists. Don’t get me wrong, I have alot of friends and business associates who identify as Millennials. For gosh sakes, my niece and nephews are the “M” word, but if you want to know the truth, as a whole, Millennials can be really annoying.
Personally, I’m a hybrid of two intersecting generations, the tail end of the Baby Boomers and the beginning of Generation X. “Boomers” described again by the people at Wikipedia, are the demographic group born during the post–World War II baby boom, approximately between the years 1946 and 1962. As a group, Baby Boomers were the wealthiest, most active, and most physically fit generation up to the era in which they arrived, and were amongst the first to grow up genuinely expecting the world to improve with time. Whereby, Gen X, are Wiki-defined as children who were raised during a time of shifting societal values and as children were sometimes called the “latchkey generation,” due to reduced adult supervision compared to previous generations, a result of increasing divorce rates and increased maternal participation in the workforce, prior to widespread availability of childcare options outside of the home.
Research describes Gen X adults (1963 – 1982) as active, happy, and as achieving a work-life balance. The cohort has been credited with entrepreneurial tendencies. I’m not saying that both the “Boomers” and “Gen Xers” don’t have their share of losers, but as a whole, our Gen-blend has accomplished some cool stuff. Perhaps you’ve heard of Jon Stewart, Garth Brooks, Paula Abdul, Jerry Rice, Kate Spade, Steve Carell, Bo Jackson, Tom Cruise, John Bon Jovi, MC Hammer, Jodie Foster, Bobcat Goldthwait and Chris Christie. Like me, all were born in 1962.
Getting back to the Millennial generation, I’ve made a few observations about this demographic and come to the conclusion that;
You’re Not a Millennial if …..
You work in an industry other than tech, international finance, sports entertainment, craft brewing or “growing.”
You aren’t on a first name basis with your barista.
Your coffee order has less than three words.
You’ve ever made a pot of coffee.
Your preferred mode of transportation doesn’t involve a Clipper Card.
You wear glasses because they help you see.
You don’t consider playing X Box participating a sport.
You go home from the club before last call.
You’ve ever washed your own car.
You’ve actually “popped the hood” of a car.
You mow your own lawn.
You have a lawn.
Your definition of being a “Gamer” involves a bowling league.
Your favorite vacation destination involves an RV.
Hydrating your body means something other than upping your “shots” count on
a Friday night.
Your music collection consists of anything besides obscure European EDM DJs.
Your hope of a new car is something other than an Uber XL Max.
You prefer to be at home as opposed to the office.
You don’t consider your smart phone a physical appendage to your body.
You use your smart phone mostly for phone calls.
You spend more than the three major holidays (Thanksgiving,
Christmas/Hanukah and Easter/Passover) and a few birthdays with your immediate family.
You can easily go to bed without one last look at your inbox.
You don’t suffer withdrawals if you haven’t downloaded anything in more than
You haven’t taken a Selfie at a wedding, funeral or during a medical procedure.
My father was part of The Greatest Generation (The Greatest Generation is the title of a 1998 book by American journalist Tom Brokaw, which popularized the term “Greatest Generation” to describe those who grew up in the United States during the deprivation of the Great Depression, and then went on to fight in World War II). USN Chief Petty Officer Steven Copeland would roll over in his grave if he saw how millennials seem to lack common everyday life skills because most are so driven to create the next (totally unnecessary) mobile app designed for gamers that will appeal to a VC with aspirations of taking it public, that they’re too busy to learn how to change a tire.
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate them Millennial generation for the advancements they will likely bring to our future. It will probably be a Millennial who invents the affordable flying car, recreational time travel and a cure for cancer. It might also be a Millennial who organizes a Friends reunion show featuring the entire cast. If David Schwimmer doesn’t attend, it’s not a full cast!
Each generation in our country has offered something different to our cultural landscape, our American fabric or the structure of our lives. How we define their contributions is immaterial. If the Millennial generation ends up kicking-ass on The Greatest Generation, Baby Boomers and Gen X, then good for them because as a country we win. That said, I wish they would try to be a little less annoying in the process.