The Hypocrisy Behind Gen Y Criticism

Entitlement has become a dirty word these days, especially when you pit a Baby Boomer with a Gen Y.

When I asked my audience recently what words first comes to mind to describe Gen Y (born between 1980 and 2000), a Baby Boomer (born between 1946 and 1954) shouted out “entitled!” “I’ve worked hard every single day since I graduated high school,” she said angrily. “And these damn kids expect to get everything handed to them today.”

Just then, a phone rang. It was the angry Baby Boomer’s. Without missing a beat, she picked it up and started talking. She didn’t turn it off. She didn’t apologize. She didn’t even tell the caller, “Sorry, I can’t talk now.” She just started carrying on a conversation, before striding out of the room.

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2 Responses to “The Hypocrisy Behind Gen Y Criticism”

  • TRF4488:

    Interesting blog, but it’s missing an important part of the equation: Generation Jones (between the Boomers and Generation X). Google Generation Jones, and you’ll see it’s gotten lots of media attention, and many top commentators from many top publications and networks (Washington Post, Time magazine, NBC, Newsweek, ABC, etc.) now specifically use this term. In fact, the Associated Press’ annual Trend Report chose the Rise of Generation Jones as the #1 trend of 2009. Here’s a page with a good overview of recent media interest in GenJones: http://generationjones.com/2009latest.html

    It is important to distinguish between the post-WWII demographic boom in births vs. the cultural generations born during that era. Generations are a function of the common formative experiences of its members, not the fertility rates of its parents. And most analysts now see generations as getting shorter (usually 10-15 years now), partly because of the acceleration of culture. Many experts now believe it breaks down more or less this way:

    DEMOGRAPHIC boom in babies: 1946-1964
    Baby Boom GENERATION: 1942-1953
    Generation Jones: 1954-1965
    Generation X: 1966-1978
    Generation Y: 1979-1993

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