Are you the Tom Brokaw coined Greatest Generation? Are you a Baby Boomer? Gen Xer? Or are you Gen Y? Gen Z?
You may have noticed that generations, these days, happen every 5 years.
What used to be defined as the length of time it takes to grow up and have children, is now the length of time between you and your older siblings. If by the time you were a senior in high school, another person was still in the 7th grade – different generation. That’s right, America – we’re living longer and aging in dog years.
For me there’s nothing better than a 20-year-old telling me that I’m the older generation while I’m still too young to run for the senate (30). That’s right, the New Generation of Pepsi drinkers – those of us that chose, fought and persevered in the Cola Wars of the 1980’s – no longer new. Our ‘enjoy by’ date has long expired.
It’s all about fast food, fast cars and rapid generation gaps.
We have so many generations there is no time to define them. Once they are named – that’s the best definition we can come up with. We don’t even have a word (that has stuck) for this decade yet. The Zeros? The Thousands? The Aught-ies? But there is a phrase for the current batch of teens, tweens and pre-tweens. What will define them? They will be defined by the fact that they are the quickest generation in the history of the word.
The upside to this is that it is now possible to be a voice of your generation with ALL of your 15-minutes. Of course, that voice is a sound bite with the lingering effect of a mosquito bite and twice the life span. I can’t wait for the American Idol: Where Are They Now? special. Actually, I probably won’t have to wait. It’s a show that has a new season every four months. The first episode aired summer 2002 – that’s almost a GENERATION ago. Producers – you better get on that.
Who cares that you can be considered perennial in less than ten years? No tween I’ve talked to.
It’s not that our attention spans have decreased. It’s not a national lack of focus. It’s not the collective unconsciousness being comatose. No. It’s that we’ve gotten used to watching generations after generations of young people ‘come of age’ before we turn 210 (in dog years). We’re too busy agreeing on names to note anything else.
So because of this new generation time frame and elective surgery we can all look younger and AGE quicker – at the same time. This is why this country has produced – close to a half a dozen generations of confused young people in the past 20 years. Scratch that. Our country has just produced half a dozen generations in the past 20 years and THAT is confusing.
But I happen to be part of the older generation, so what do I know.