In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Generation XYZ.”
The Daily Prompt today asks us to look at the generation immediately before or after our own, and say what we don’t like about, as well as what we can learn from, that generation. Honestly, I thought about it for half a second, concluded I had no opinion that would not sound trite and blasé, and moved on.
Fast forward a few hours and I am browsing through blogs that I follow. I saw where The Gad About Town had responded to the generational prompt and was curious to see his take on it. After reading his post, and taking the suggested How Millennial Are You? test, as developed by Pew Research group, I decided while still don’t have anything relevant to offer about the generations preceding or succeeding me, I do have what I feel to be a pretty pertinent question. What generation do I belong in?
i was born in 1980. Depending on the poller, I can fall under the GenX label or the Millennial label, but there is no question about the fact that I’m right on the cusp of both.
On the Millennial test, I scored a 95. That sounds like it pretty much answers the question for me, right? And I admit, I do have some serious millennial qualities to me. I’m motivated and put additional pressure on myself to achieve big, I believe innovation and new ways of looking at obstacles provides the best possibility for solutions, I’m tech savvy and do not tolerate technology that doesn’t work quite right. I also prefer texting to talking, and to embrace some of the critique’s of millennials, I love me a good nap.
However, I grew up in the 80s to a middle income family. As a child, I played with slinkies, TinkerToys, Etch-a-Sketch and Simon Says. I watched Michael Jackson’s Thriller slideshow through my Viewmaster. I could go anywhere in the neighbor hood as long as I was home by dark (and I found out the hard way I had no chance of escaping the neighborhood unnoticed). I was a latchkey kid who snuck watching MTV until Mom got home because technically I was forbidden to watch it (parental controls were years away, thank god!).
Typing lessons were mandatory in fourth and fifth grade. These lessons were taught on a typewriter, and we were only allowed to visit one of five computer stations in the entire school after we had satisfactorily demonstrated use of said type writer. The only computer in my home until my senior year of high school was a Tandy with DOS, on which I was only allowed to use WordPerfect, and under no circumstances was I to mess with the modem, that was for Mom to send transcripts to her boss only.
When I got to high school and was first introduced to Windows and Netscape, I was in heaven. We could look things up without an encyclopedia? The computer screens could show pictures, with 32 different colors? The computers could create moving fractals, in varying shaded colors no less! I cannot express my love enough for a screensaver in the nineties…
Note: The irony of being in love with Windows does not escape me, as just today I could’ve been quoted as saying, “I fucking hate Windows, who the hell thought it was a good idea to randomly change everything based on a touch screen application that this laptop doesn’t support? 10 had better work a helluva lot better then 8! I run an office, I am not IT, when I pay good money for something why the hell do I have to turn around and fix it every week? It should just goddamn work!” Yum, yeah, Can we say flip flop?
My bottom line is, I really don’t feel like a Millennial or a GenXer. More like some hybrid that saw the transition, and can appreciate the cause and effect, but doesn’t truly belong to either group. Am I the only one?