Talkin’ ‘bout Generations X, Y and Z

I started thinking about Generation X as a topic and then realized that I still had to cover Y and Z. Well, as far as the generations go, I’m an X, my three younger brothers are Ys (or on the X/Y cusp), and my son is a member of Generation Z. I read a little bit on each one, and I turned up some interesting information.

Though I don’t often rely on Wikipedia for important research, there are some good summaries here, here and here.

I like being a member of Gen-X, aka the MTV Generation. (Sadly, I’m totally disenchanted with MTV now and have been for years. Video may have killed the radio star, but stupid reality shows annihilated the music video. Do singers even make videos anymore?)

In happier news, we Gen X-ers had cool toys, music, movies and TV shows. According to Wikipedia, we also expressed a huge distrust of “monolithic institutions.”  That hasn’t really changed….Despite this, I feel like we were in some ways more innocent than the generation that came after us. Maybe I’m just romanticizing my own childhood.

Generation Y is my brothers’ generation (although the oldest of the three is on the cusp). They’re also known as the Millenials, or the ME Generation. I can totally see that! Some of their best characteristics include tolerance and confidence, along with the not-so-flattering “entitlement, narcissism, and rejection of social conventions.” Yes, it’s a sweeping generalization, but I have to agree with a lot of it. No offense to my family; they’re the exception. 😉

This generation is having an extremely hard time finding meaningful employment and making ends meet, especially after taking on enormous amounts of debt from college student loans. They feel angry and disheartened, with nothing to show for their investments of time and money into college. They can also be considered boomerangs, returning home to live with their parents after some time out in the “Real World,” which, by the way, was a phenomenal MTV show the first time around; but by the umpteenth season, not so much.

Lastly, Generation Z includes my son. This is the first generation to be born into a digital world. They will never know life before Google, DVDs and Kindles. My child is not even in elementary school yet, but he can manipulate a computer mouse or touch screen as well as I can. I’ve reserved a library book about it so that I can start learning more. It’s called Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives. I consider myself pretty well-versed in social media and other technology right now, but it’s scary to think how “out of touch” I will soon seem as a parent.

There’s just so much to think about, which is what this A to Z Challenge has done for me. In addition to encouraging me to write more (and hopefully better), it helped me discover other bloggers (you!) and just think more about different issues.

The End!
Leave a comment


  1. Congratulations on finishing! I agree–MTV was great when it started, now it’s just a waste of a cable channel. That goes for all of their other channels as well, though sometimes there’s something to see on VH-1 Classic.

  2. I agree with you 100%. I see all those characteristics in my stepkids (the Gen Y-ers) and my own kids (Gen Z-ers). I do wish they’d come up with better nicknames for the generations, though. LOL


  3. Nice job on the challenge! The geek in me is glad that this was not about the Cartesian coordinate systme…x,y,z. Bad memories…


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