So who exactly is a Millennial? Well, let me tell you. Google’s definition of a “Millennial” is “a person born between 1981 and 1996”. Also known as Generation Y (Gen Y), Millennials are currently between 25 and 40 years old, and there are approximately 72.1 million living in the U.S right now. Millennials can be characterized as the current “adult” generation. They now make up most of the workforce, have student debt, and are wanting to buy homes and get married. This generation witnessed amazing technological growth and overall global development. Perhaps because of this, Millennials are characterized as being more progressive, creative and far-thinking than earlier generations such as Generation X (1965-1980) and Baby Boomers (1946-1964). Many millennials may also identify as being more concerned with intrinsic and moral values over extrinsic and material ideologies.
On the other hand, Generation Z (Gen Z) is made up of people born from 1997 to 2012. I myself am a part of this generation, in which its members are currently aged between 9 and 24 years of age. There are approximately 68 million gen z people living in the U.S right now, and they are mainly characterized by their huge social media presence and their hyper-connected world. Generation z are in school or university, wanting to be successful in life, make an impact, and change the world. Like other generations, Gen Zs often share certain values and qualities that characterize how they behave. They are identified by their flexibility and entrepreneurship, often thought of as content creators. Gen Zs are shown to value in person interactions, embrace change, and be very competitive.
There has been a lot of fuss and “conflict” between these two generations, especially on social media. Millennials have been labeled as lazy and entitled by the media and are constantly bashed by Gen Z for being too retrogative, while Gen Z are looked at as the justice-seeking kids that are too young to know anything about the world. In general, I believe that this generational war is mainly based on the cultural differences and societal change present between these two generations. It’s also important to consider that as a cause of the increasing media presence, interaction between generations is not only much more evident but also more possible. This means that potential 30 year-olds classified as Millennials can argue with teenagers (Gen Z) and younger people, as their way of thinking is most likely completely different. Therefore, I believe that the difference in age, as well as in generation, is what has made both populations argue with each other time and time again, and that this has been highlighted by the huge presence of media in our everyday lives. However, despite the many differences they might have, It is clear to see that both Gen Z and Millennials share a strong disillusionment with older generations, especially in regards to the desire for change and the context of justice. Compared to Generation X and Baby Boomers, both generations preceding Millennials, Gen z and Millennials have a much more progressive view on the world. This has allowed them to become some of the greatest innovators in history, and has made them change the way older generations view the world.
Finally, I think that it’s important to remember that your generation is simply the group of people born about the same time or era that you were born in. Therefore, even though entire generations are attributed with certain characteristics, you grew up differently and the term generation only refers to the trend of the time that you have lived through and followed. The point in discussing generations is not to assign people a box, as no one can really know you simply based on your generation. However, looking at people through this generational lens can offer some sort of predictability when it comes to reaching out, engaging, informing, or persuading a large group of people part of a certain population division.