The fact that I’m neither older nor younger than I am is a source of great pride for me as a member of Generation X. My generation’s impact on the planet (and the property market) began long before I learned how to ride a bicycle.
For one thing, I’m grateful for the fact that I was able to learn to ride a bike instead of spending my childhood in the darkened confines of my parents’ basement watching movies that they had once enjoyed as teenagers. In a nutshell, I’ve weighed the pros and cons of each generation and concluded that my own is the best.
Boomers Ruin Everything
Then again, almost everything we think we know about the generations turns out to be bunk, as you might object.
We can’t generalise much across generations, in part because of the wide range of differences among them and the arbitrary distinctions we draw between them. It’s also because it’s nearly impossible to distinguish between factors related to being a member of a particular generation and those related to one’s age.
The “reminiscence bump,” for example, means that older people have more vivid memories of their youth than people in their middle years, and those memories are more likely to be positive. The more your memories fade the more likely it becomes that life today and the lives of young people are worse than they were a generation or two ago.
When it comes to insults against millennials and Generation Xers, the most obvious examples are the claims that they’re self-absorbed and narcissistic, as well as irritatingly entitled and uncommitted to their jobs. Even if these claims are true, as psychologist David Costanza argues, they are most likely due to advancing years.
The narcissistic tendencies of younger generations have long been recognised. There is no doubt that as we age, we become more satisfied with our jobs because we have more time to experiment with different positions.