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How baby boomers screwed their kids — and created millennial impatience - Salon.com


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Like alcoholism or drug addiction, this new disease is making our youngest generation impatient at best, and, at worst, feel lonelier and more isolated than the generations before. Where alcohol replaced trusting relationships as a coping mechanism for teenagers who grew up to be alcoholics, so too are the positive affirmations we get from social media and the virtual relationships we maintain replacing real trusting relationships as coping mechanisms.

A side effect could be a generation that struggles to find happiness and fulfillment even more than the generations that preceded them. Though there is a desire to do good, their acculturated impatience means that few will commit time or effort to one thing long enough to see the effect of service — the thing we know gives a sense of fulfillment. In doing research for this book, I kept meeting amazing, wonderful, smart, driven and optimistic Gen Yers who were either disillusioned with their entry-level jobs or quitting to find a new job that will “allow me to make an impact in the world,” discounting the time and energy that is required to do it.

It’s like they are standing at the foot of a mountain looking at the effect they want to have or success they want to feel at the peak. There is nothing wrong with looking for a faster way to scale the mountain. If they want to take a helicopter or invent a climbing machine that gets them up there quicker, more power to them. What they seem to fail to notice, however, is the mountain

The Gen Xers are also lonely and feel isolated and screwed by the same systems.

So I don't think this impatience only applies to the Millennials.

But I don't think we Xers have the same generational narcissism that Boomers and Millennials have (tho that statement itself could be considered narcissistic.. lol)

I agree -- Xers aren't narcissists.

We're pessimists and resolved to the belief that we're going to have to make sacrifices because of the policy choices of the Boomers, who collectively created massive amounts of debt.

I don't think public policy makes a spit of difference.  What we were, was a generation of kids who where frequently told 'no' b/c young families don't have a lot of money and latch-key kids b/c it was the era where both divorce and two-earner families were becoming common.

Maybe it wasn't public policy but SOMEONE put us $17 trillion in debt for no particularly good reason:

http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

I agree, the GenX and GenY were subjected to the same Baby Boomer parents, the only major difference is the era in which they were born determining whether they have a sense of entitlement or not.

One word....Internet

The fact that Xers still know what the real world looks like means they don't take technological advantages for granted.

(Almost similar to pre-TV Baby Boomers and post-TV Baby Boomers?)

when will there be another generation without the internet?

I don't think we were subjected to the same Boomer parents.  We're the children of Vietnam.  Our parents served (or were at least eligible) and suffered.  I don't have any numbers to back this up, but imo Xer parents did not fall into the trap of generational narcissism with the rest of the Boomers. They had children in their early 20s instead of waiting until their late 30s. We grew up with the struggles of young families becoming latch-key kids instead of bounding fully formed as accessories for their parents' already-advanced careers.

That's right, Xer parents had the Cold War and Vietnam shaping them.

Millennial parents had the 1980s excesses -- and 1990s aftermath -- shaping them.

Xers grew up fearing the world would destroy itself; we had no cellphones, Wikipedia, or Google.

The later Millennials will never know a world without smartphones and tablets.

I get what you are both saying, it seems the author blurs the lines of who is X and who is Y and seems to write in terms of what they themselves are exposed to without really considering what their parents have been exposed to.

However in terms of distraction, it doesn't really matter what generation you belong too, we are all exposed. I feel for my kids who are growing up being normalized in a world where there is an App for everything. We can at least anchor them to principles of integrity, dedication, slow and steady wins the race, etc. But who is going to anchor their kids?

The answer is to use the same App tools that distract them to educate them with.

OR you can take your kids hiking, camping, to a play, museum or to a baseball game.  There are many solutions to the "problem" of the Internet that (interestingly) take a PARENT'S time away from a screen.

Yeah, every generation has its strengths and its issues.   The majority will by definition handle it in a mediocre manner. The best you can hope for is to help your children/friends/community transcend some of their issues (by transcending your own).

There's a variation of Murphy's Law that says you cannot make something clean without making something else dirty.

Cleaning up one issue just opens up new issues that need to be cleaned.

Because entropy is always increasing, right?

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