Generation X Vs. Generation Y

1/9/14 2:35PM EST

Generation X Vs Generation Y Generation X Vs. Generation Y

Goddamn, I’m getting old.

I’m on the young side of Generation X, but that’s a pretty meaningless statement, ‘cause none of us are really young anymore. I mean, Jesus, I saw Nirvana play live and it’s been almost twenty years since Kurt Cobain killed himself. Twenty freaking years. Unreal.

Anyway, obviously things have changed a lot since my college days. We only barely had the internet back then, there sure as hell wasn’t any Facebook or Twitter or any of that bullshit, so we weren’t constantly announcing to the world where we were, what we were doing and whom we were doing it with. Hell, most of us didn’t even have cell phones. When we left our homes, we were pretty much unreachable until we got back. That probably sounds hellish to some of you, but it was actually pretty liberating in comparison. And speaking of feeling liberated, we were also free to experiment with drugs and alcohol without fear of our exploits ending up on YouTube, for which I, for one, am extremely grateful.

A lot of people my age give Generation Y a hard time, but I got nothing against you kids. If I came up when you did, I’d probably be eating spoonfuls of cinnamon and puking up Sprite and bananas right there with you. Except for the fact that Gen X-ers look up from our smartphones a little more often than you do, we’re not really all that different. For one thing, we both let the Baby Boomers tell us who we are.

When we were branded “Generation X,” it was meant as an insult. Yeah, it’s a pretty cool-sounding name, but they were basically calling us “Generation Nothing.” We were told that we had no war to fight, no cause to believe in and no frontiers to conquer. At first, it made us all a little cynical and nihilistic, as you can probably tell from the music and movies of the ‘90’s, but eventually, we called bullshit on that, embraced the label and redefined it to reflect who we really were and what we really believed in. Nowadays, I think we’re doing okay.

I’m not exactly sure what the Baby Boomers meant with “Generation Y,” except for that it comes alphabetically after X, which would piss me off if I were one of you. I mean, there are some alternative names like “Millennials,” but nobody really calls you that. Gen Y’s the name that stuck. So, according to the Boomers, your most defining characteristic is that you’re what comes after “nothing.” They say you’re narcissists who have no attention spans and need constant praise just like they said we were directionless and apathetic. And let’s be honest, as a group, you’re living up to their assessment, just like we did. They defined us with negativity and we let them. That shit ain’t right.

So, I guess what I’m saying is that we can’t let the older generations tell us who we are. It’s their way of trying to keep us down. As each generation reaches adulthood, the older ones try to tell them they’re still kids in an effort to keep themselves as the ones in charge. And since that’s still the Baby Boomers, it puts X and Y in the same boat. It’s up to us to either accept their labels, refuse to grow up and let them continue their reign, or maybe put away some of our childish things away, take charge and not only prove them wrong, but make them sorry.

You’re goin’ down, Boomers.


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