My first noticeable awareness of the generational gap between my generation and the Millennials was at my place of employment. I shared first-hand knowledge to a classroom of students about the Civil Rights Era. During the Civil Rights Era, I was around six years of age, but I remember some of the events leading to the historical landmark.
While talking to the students, I realized many did not know or understand the significance of the movement. There were some students who barely knew who Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr was and that became an awakening to me. Even more so, most of the teachers were not born until after the Civil Rights Era. At this point, I accepted I had become a part of a transcendental movement.
If you haven’t figured it out, I’m part of the Baby boomers generation. You know the story, the Baby boomer name is coined because of the booming increase of babies born around 1946 to 1964 primarily because of the post-World War II era. There’s the generation X group born between the mid-1960’s to early 1980’s. Generation Z are those born after 9/11.
Then, there’re the Millennials. Millennials are born around the early 1980’s and 1990’s. In other words, anyone between 18 – 29 is Millennials. Why the early 1980’s? Well, an article in the New York Times, the author, Dionne Searcey, writes, “by 2020 Millennials will account for one-third of the adult population” (2014). Those born in the early 80’s make up this demographic.
Since the rise of the baby boomers, the Millennials are aggressively growing to supersede them. The New York Times article goes on to say, according to the census, currently, those age 23 are the largest in the populous age group follow by individuals age 24. Among the generations, my primary focus is on the Millennials.
Why is this important? Well, the generational differences affect the way society operates. For example, the selfie-taking Millennials have a major influence on how marketers market because we’re in the age of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to name a few social media outlets. Millennials influence the way communication is transmitted.
For this reason, major mass communication businesses are willing to invest their finances and resources to target Millennials in effort to compete with other competitors. If you don’t see how marketing correlates with Millennials, then check out the last two major political elections that were won. Also, take notice of how the current campaign is run on Twitter and other social sites.
Recently, the fashion model, and business woman, Tyra Banks launched her Next America Top Model campaign in conjunction with social media. The 13 lucky college students were chosen after their photos were posted on their Facebook pages. One of the criteria for being chosen as one of the contestants were the number of “likes.” Among the Millennial generation, the person receiving high number of “likes” in today’s society is perceived as popular or “in touch” with his or her peers. Some places of employment like marketers take things like the number of “likes” and “followers” in consideration.
According to an article in Forbes, the Millennials are “often misunderstood because Millennials do not approach adulthood the same way as other generations” (Forbes, 2014). This is why Millennials promote creativity in the area of marketing. Millennials are not a part of any establishment. Their vision and values are not confined or defined by societal dictates. The so-called establishment fine ways to conform to the Millennials.
With a new attitude and mindset, Millennials are changing how government and businesses keep up with the challenges of operating technology and incorporate new ways of doing business. If you’re keeping up with the trends, on these lines, the average conference or meeting is no longer conducted exclusively from a board room nor an in-person interview.
Some companies opt to Skype individuals or hold multimedia conferencing because of convenience. I recently had my first Skype interview a few months ago for consideration of a fellowship position. To my surprise, I was chosen. The interview was very informal, and it was a far cry from the traditional nerve-wrecking interviews. This is another realization of the transcendental changes.
The trend is globalization, therefore, the days of geographic restrictions and limitations are far behind. Since the Millennials, we’re in the age of virtual companies and even virtual relationships. Get use to it.
How do boomers and generation X bridge the gap? Well, if you’ve heard of the term “left behind” then, if you do not want to get left behind baby boomers and generation X catch. If you don’t believe it, if you’re texting or Skype, then you’re catching up. If you’re on the Internet, you are transforming to the age of the Millennials.
As a society, we are still merging and finding ways to resolve generational differences. For example, the Social Security issue is one major problem the government is seeking ways to resolve, if possible. Then, there’s the issue of individuals living longer and healthier. This mean boomers and Millennials are both around longer to create socio-economic and environmental concerns in the long-term.
In addition, Millennials contribute to raising the issue of diversity in the workplace. Thus, women’s equal pay issues, fair and equal opportunity practices are held to higher standards, and political legislation is facing the challenge to provide representative of the current changing trends of society. Some of these issues are how to maintain the traditional values of the family, religion, and social structure.
Baby boomers and Generation X we’re still around. We’re needed too. There’s a truth to the saying,”to know where one is going, one must know where he or she has been.” I have been around long enough to see there is really nothing “new under the sun.” The circle of life does have a way of evolving and reinventing itself. Technology is all about improvement or the creation of something new from what already has transpired.
In other words, whether you’re a Baby boomer, Generation X, or Millennial, if you like it or not, we’re in this together. Instead of creating a gap, it is time to bridge the gap. It is time to reconcile generational differences and seek ways to blend all ideas and pass on a legacy manner beneficial to all generations.
Inside the Millennial Mind. Spenner. P., (2014). Retrieved 5/11/16. http://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickspenner/2014/04/16/inside-the-millennial-mind-the-dos-donts-of-marketing-to-this-powerful-generation-3/#4b78c50b371b
Marketers Are Sizing Up the Millennials. Searcey, D., (2014). Retrieved on 5/11/16 from www./nytimes.com/2014/08/22/business/marketers-are-sizing-up-the-millennials-as-the-new-consumer-model.html?_r=0
Photo credits/Bing Images
Disclaimer: Graphs and Diagrams images are not current and may not reflect current statistics.
Response to the Daily Prompt Challenge- Today’s word (generation)