Y Gen vs. Millennials

I keep hearing the talks about Millennials.

First of all, I dislike the term. I dislike the whole generational segregation thing. I think it’s stupid and arbitrary and doesn’t really help anyone with anything. But let’s say we agree that it is, indeed… a thing.

The Millennials are one of the biggest generations on the list, some pegging it as children born between the years 1980 and 2004. But this is not 1920 when there was the recession and that’s it; or 1940 when there was a World War and that’s it. I mean, those are big things but you know what happened between 1980 and 2004? Home computers, cellular phones, the internet, smart phones. And each of those are a huge thing of itself.

I was born in 1984. I had a Commodore 64 when I was 6. It wasn’t much but it was much. Someone born in 1988 probably already started with an almost completely graphical user interface. Someone born in 1990 already had a rudimentary internet at their disposal by the time they could read and write. Someone born in 1994 could already see many people around them with a phone in their pocket and have a constantly on internet connected PC in their home. Someone born in 2000 probably had a phone from childhood and could see the encroachment of smartphones. And someone born in 2004-5 probably considered a “smartphone” as just… well, a phone, and have a constantly on internet connected phone in their pocket.

These are significant cultural changes. If I was born in 2004 and not 1984, I would have been born into a completely different world.

I remember being labeled as the Y Generation when I was growing up. And now, for some reason, the generation has been renamed to Millennials. And I am bunched up in the same group, considered to have the same tastes and mannerisms, as someone who is 20 years younger than me, someone who wasn’t even a consideration for their parent at the time when I was starting to talk to friends of mine half a world away. So, if we must use labels, I would rather split those to, let’s say, Y Generation (1980-1993) and Millennials (1994-2004). So, the Y Generation are the ones who grew up with basic electronics and rudimentary PCs and Millennials are the ones who grew up with an always connected internet world.

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