Y is for….

9 November 2013

…. Generation Y. Ah ha…. you thought it would be Y-DNA didn’t you?!

Globally, generation Y (gen Y) refers broadly to individuals born between 1975 and 1995. According to the Financial Times, people of this generation are frequently seen as being ‘reliant on new media and digital technology with short attention spans’ and apparently also expect ‘entertaining and fast-paced information’.

Being a member of this generation, I – along with my peers – watched with horror as my parents worked ridiculously long hours. Now, as Generation Y go in search of jobs, we have different priorities. The Observer reporter, Anushka Asthana, reported in 2008 that we ‘care less about salaries and more about flexible working, time to travel and a better work-life balance…. and employers are having to meet these demands.’ We no longer live for work but work to live.

There are various names which have been given to the generations of yesteryear with family and local historians cherishing photographs depicting several generations of one family.

The Lost Generation – also known as the Generation of 1914 in Europe – is a term originating from  Gertrude Stein who used the term to describe those who fought in World War I. The members of the Lost Generation were typically born between 1883 and 1900.

The Greatest Generation – also known as the G.I. Generation – is the generation that includes the veterans who fought in World War II. They were born from around 1901 through 1924, coming of age during the Great Depression. Journalist Tom Brokaw dubbed this the Greatest Generation in his book of the same name.

The Silent Generation – also known as the ‘Lucky Few‘ – were born 1925 through 1942. It includes those who were too young to join the service during World War II, though most of those fought during the Korean War. Many had fathers who served in World War I and this would have had a great impact on them during their childhood.

The Baby Boomers are the generation that was born following World War II, generally from 1946 up to 1964, a time that was marked by an increase in birth rates. In Europe and North America boomers are widely associated with privilege, as many grew up in a time of affluence.

Generation X is generally defined as those born after the Post–World War II baby boom ended. Historians use beginning birth dates from the early 1960s to the early 1980s. Generation Y, most commonly known as the Millennial Generation, describes the demographic cohort following Generation X. And this is followed by Generation Z, the name used for the cohort of people born from the late 1990s to the present day who are distinct from the preceding Millennial Generation. Gen Z will grow up with a highly sophisticated media and computer environment and will be more Internet savvy and expert than their Gen Y forerunners.

Which generation are you in? Do you ‘buck the trend’ of your generations’ characteristics?

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