Generation Gaps: Lost in the Middle of X and Y

Penelope Trunk's latest blog post about Generation Y led me back to the morbid, unanswerable question each one of us must face and someday answer: Where do I belong? What categories do I fit into? How do I classify myself? Am I a Generation Xer? Or do I belong to the despised Generation Y?

Wikipedia entries on the subject are clear as mud. According to the brilliant editors of Wikipedia, I could belong to four or five different generations, depending on which "expert" you ask. I feel too old to be a Y, and too young to be an X. 

What's left? I need a fraction to express my sense of misplacement and lack of belonging… Or I'll just start my own generation. I'll show them! Take that! Put that in your Twitter! 

Published by

Daniel Dessinger

Daniel is an avid people watcher and writer who shares regularly on his self-awareness site, Supposed.ly. Founder of CultureFeast.com in 2005. Co-Founder of Mommypotamus.com in 2009. He's on a mission to challenge the questions we ask and the assumptions we make.

6 thoughts on “Generation Gaps: Lost in the Middle of X and Y”

  1. Thanks for linking to Brazen Careerist.

    Maybe the generation issue wouldn’t be as big a problem if you removed the world “despised” from Generation Y. I think the people who most despise gerneation Y are the people who most despise their own life choices and feel ripped off that generation Y will make better choices.

    Penelope

  2. Ouch!!!

    Translation: Penelope thinks Daniel is a miserable, regret-filled waif who looks at the younger crowd with envy… Heehee….

    I don’t despise Generation Y, really. All in good sarcasm. I do despise teenagers, but that’s only because the ones i see most often behave in ways that will shame their future adult selves. I want to believe that as a teenager, I was more introspective, thoughtful, and human than the kids I see today.

    It pains me to think that this is how adults felt about me when I was a teenager. There… Daniel’s confessional complete.

  3. Hold it. I knew how old you were becuase you said it in your post (and it’s in your LinkedIn profile). So I knew you were being sarcastic. But I think we reveal a little of our true attitudes through the sarcasm we use. Just a thought. I fear I am becoming a humorless commeter or something…

    Penelope

  4. Now THAT was funny! “I fear that I am becoming a humorless commenter..”

    Good stuff, Penelope. We’re going to get along just fine. You’ll see. Nathan tells me that my comment humor is often mistaken for jackass-ishness. I can see it. It is an unfortunate reality with print. Until we’ve established rapport, sarcasm and humor are a bit tricky.

    Not to worry! I love commenting on other blog posts that I read, so we will have plenty of opportunity to hone our comments and attain buddha-smartass-hood.

  5. I was just about to comment when I saw Penelope already had at you!

    I hear you though Daniel. I think I’m somewhere in between too. I’m 32, so I think I’m on the cusp. My husband has the same image of GenY as you.

    It’s funny, because in the fashion and lifestyle world world, for marketing purposes, GenX is supposed the be the generation that is all about online technology, distrusts and dislikes traditional media and feels very comfortable interacting and purchasing online.

    There must be a HUGE overlap or blur. But When one says GenY, doesn’t it sound so cutting edge, like Web 2.0? When really, it could be the same thing, different name?

  6. Thanks for the comment, Sandra.

    The Wikipedia explanation is enough to confuse anyone. According to the table on the far right of the Gen Y page, Generation X covers people born from 1961-1981 and Generation Y covers people born from 1970s-1990s…

    To which I replied, “Huh? That doesn’t make any sense!” If you read through the Gen X and Y pages, you’ll read other information about different time frames. So the answer is that we created classifications for people which we failed to clearly define.

    Twenty years is a long time for a generation, in my opinion. What exactly do I have in common with a ten year old? Or a 50 year old? Seriously. Someone needs to set the bar permanently and we’ll all just agree. I don’t really care so much whether I am Gen X, Gen Y, or Gen WTF, as long as my official generation gets a cool name.

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