Who are The Generations?: Generation X, Y and Z

April 6, 2018 | R’chelle Cyrus-Hughes

Part 1

In launching The Generational Bridge Club, Lake Gibson Village’s new program that bridges the gap between the younger and the older generations, we thought it would be fun to explore the unique attitudes and beliefs of our ever-evolving generations starting with the youngest, Generation Z and graduating to the wisest, the Silent Generation. Enjoy and learn who you are in the generations!

Generation Z

Those born from 1995 and later make up the generation called Generation Z, also known as iGen, the Centennials, and the Founders. The oldest members of this emerging generation are 20 years old and are considered the most influential group of technology trendsetters. They are also the fastest growing group of employees, customers and voters. To understand this generation is to get a glimpse into the future of our business, finances, education and market place.

Some interesting attitudes, behaviors and beliefs of Generation Z:

• Generation Z began receiving their first Smartphone at age 13.
• Generation Z chose Vine, Instagram and Twitter as their favorite social media sites. Although Facebook didn’t make the top five on their list, 44% still believe Facebook is good for any age.
• Generation Z isn’t concerned about online privacy and is more comfortable than other generation about using technology like mobile apps and social media.
• Generation Z do not think very highly of our political leaders. Only 26% say they trust our elected officials and only 24% feel the economy and the U.S. is moving in the right direction.
• Generation Z do not want to be like their predecessors. Having been raised in the aftermath of the recession and after seeing the struggle of their parents and older siblings, Generation Z tend to think more highly of their parents’ generation (Generation X) than they do their naïve older siblings (the Millennial generation).
• Generation Z tend to be more tolerant of differences among people, more cautious and take less risks. This is reflected in this generation experimenting less with alcohol and drugs in high school as well as having less teen pregnancies.
• Generation Z is more likely to think for themselves, socialize less, not believe authority figures, or attend church. This generation also tends to delay marriage until later years.
• Generation Z tend to spend less time reading, working, shopping and attending movies, and more time spent on smart phones, gaming, Instagram. Loneliness, depression and suicide is a common complaint in this group.

Generation Y (The Millennials)

Those born between 1980 and 1994 make up Generation Y, also known as the Millennials. This age group ranging from 20 to 35 years has humorously been dubbed the Peter Pan or Boomerang Generation because so many of them have moved back in with their parents. They are also commonly known as the Me, Me, Me Generation who have been rewarded by their parents for minimal accomplishments and have unrealistic expectations of life in the real world. They have also been described as being more open-minded, confident, expressive, liberal, upbeat and receptive to new ideas.

Some interesting attitudes, behaviors and beliefs of Generation Y aka the Millennials:

• The Millennials grew up during the time when just about everyone had internet and computers, when the largest economic decline since the great depression took place and felt the effects of the 911 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
• The Millennials felt the effects of 20 plus years of off-shoring American jobs, the Enron energy scams and global warming.
• The Millennials saw corporate fraud on a national level, President G. W. Bush and Dick Cheney deceive the nation about weapons of mass destruction and the invasion of Iraq.
• The Millennials embraced the explosive growth of online companies, i. e. Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Ebay and Paypal.
• The Millennials took part in the revolutionary change in the way we work that included flex-time, work from home and freelancing.
• The Millennials witnessed mass shootings of their neighboring Americans, the dysfunction of Congress and the cost of housing rising beyond what most of them can afford.

Generation X

Those born between 1965 and 1979 make up the post-Boomers known as Generation X. Many refer to this generation as the “middle child” of the generations as they range in age from 35 to 49. Generation X’ers tend to be more ethnically diverse and better educated than the Baby Boomers. Relationships are important to this group as many grew up as children of divorce and saw the family unit deteriorate in our society.

Some interesting attitudes, behaviors and beliefs of Generation X.

• Generation X came of age in an era of two-income families, rising divorce rates and a faltering economy.
• Generation X gave rise to the age of the “latch-key kids” as they saw women join the workforce in large numbers.
• Generation X is independent, resourceful and self-sufficient. They value freedom and responsibility in the workplace, dislike micro-management and prefers a hands-off management style.
• Generation X is very comfortable with technology used in the workplace which includes smartphones, email, laptops, tablets and other technology.
• Generation X tends to be less committed to a single employer as the result of living through the tough economic times of the 1980’s.
• Generation X adapt well to change and are tolerant of alternative lifestyles.
• Generation X is ambitious and eager to learn new things but would rather learn on their own terms.
• Generation X was the first to experience the 1976 gas shortages in the US.
• Generation X saw the Berlin wall fall and the Soviet Union split.
• Generation X embraced MTV and enjoyed the popularity of Disco.
• Generation X watched as China flirted with personal freedom and was horrified at the tragedy of Tiananmen Square.
• Generation X fought in the first Gulf War.

“With all the trees and the lake, it’s like living in the country.”

Lillie B

“I don’t have to cook, clean or wash my clothes. That’s the best!”

Margaret N

“The people are friendly; I love them all!”

Margaret B

“I’m just overjoyed to be here.”

Matt G

“You have to come and visit us, because it is beautiful.”

Lillie B