SHIFTING WINDSThe Lost Generation to Baby Boomersto Digital Natives
Hmmm, is our destiny defined by the era in which we are born?The gurus of social science have declared the emergence of another generational subset withdistinct characteristics.
, aka the
, is characterized as strivingfor expression and fueling the world with photos, videos, memes and mash-ups.
I’m finding it hard to keep pace with these subsets of subsets and what they mean to the world I
emerge into each day. I felt the need to trace the major
generational arcs (perhaps it’s my
mentality at work) to get some sense of perspective.It seems to begin with the
those born between 1883 and 1900
who came of age during and shortly after Word War I and were shaped by that momentous event.
, asbest as I can decipher, originates in the huge loss of life during that war and the loss to societyof what those individuals would have contributed.Next comes
The Greatest Generation
born between 1901 and 1924
who fought in or livedthrough World War II and came of age during the Great Depression.
seems to refer to thefact they fought in WW2, not for fame and recognition,
but because it was “the right thing to do”.
Those born between 1925 and 1945 are tagged as the
born during theGreat Depression and World War II. Many of these people had fathers who fought in WWII.
encapsulates how these experiences made them withdrawn, cautious and indifferent.Now we come to the
born between 1946 and 1964
which saw a significantrise in the birth rate. Baby Boomers grew up in a time of relative affluence, are associated with aredefining of traditional values and tend to think of themselves as a special generation that isvery different than any had come before.
covers those born in the
early 1960’s to early 1980’
were influenced byintroduction of digital technologies (computers, the Internet, cable TV) and the world events thatthese technologies brought to their screens
the Chernobyl Disaster, Black Monday, the 1990seconomic boom, AIDs etc. These experiences bred a worldview based on change and the needfor stability, love and tolerance.
, spans those
born from the early 1980’s to the early 2000’
s.Influenced by the divisive war on Iraq, they are civic minded with a strong sense of community
both global and national. On the other side of the coin, they are said to possess a sense of entitlement and to reject social conventions.
And finally, those born from the early 2000’s to the present day carry the somewhat ominous
. They are “digital natives” who have had lifelong use of communications
and media technology like the World Wide Web, instant messaging, text messaging and mobilephones.
They’re also the most ethnically diverse generation and have the misfortune of growing
up in an era of economic decline.