Jeff Whiting: April 2010 Archives

Here is an overview* of some of the interesting differences between Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964), Generation X (born 1964 to 1981) and Millennials (born 1981 to 2001).

Level of trust toward authority
Boomers are confident of self, not authority.
Gen Xers have a low level of trust toward authority.
Millennials have a high level of trust toward authority. Yet they are less trustworthy of individual people. Perhaps it's from being born into an age of terrorism or maybe it's their overprotective parents or the danger-obsessed media.

What do they view as the ultimate reward?
Boomers want a prestigious title and the corner office.
Gen Xers want the freedom not to have to do something.
Millennials prefer meaningful work.

How were their parents with them?
Boomers had parents who were controlling.
Gen Xers parents were distant.
And Millennials? Their parents were intruding. Or, as my Millennial-age intern tells me, they have "helicopter parents"--they're always hovering.

What are their views toward having children?
Boomers are controlled, their children were planned.
Gen Xer's are doubtful about the possibility of becoming parents.
Millennials are definite about parenthood. In fact, they view marriage and parenthood as more important than careers and success.

And overall family life?
Boomers were indulged as children.
Gen Xers were alienated as children.
Millennials were protected as children.

Views toward education?
Boomers want freedom of expression.
Gen Xers are pragmatic.
Millennials need the structure of accountability.

Political orientation
Thankfully, boomers want to attack oppression. Without those views we might not have had civil rights or protested Vietnam.
Gen Xers are apathetic and more worried about the individual.
And the Millennials, the facebookers and Tweeters? It should be no surprise that they crave community.

Last but not least, the views on the big question.
Boomers want to know, "What does it mean?"
Gen Xers need to know, "Does it work?"
Millennials are curious to know, "How do we build it?"

Tell us what you think? Do you agree with this information. Share your thoughts by posting comments.


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