Is Gen Y the new ‘Silent Generation’?
If anyone has read enough of my rants, they will probably have picked up my pet peeve of boomers, news sources, and yes, even encyclopedias and textbooks now referring to Gen Y and Millennials together as just “Millennials”. I will resist the urge to rant on CNN’s influence on this in 2009 and why it frustrates me and just sum up why I personally do not agree with this in two main points.
1. Gen Y was already in or approaching preteenhood by the new millennium. Our childhood was not in Millennial culture, it was the 90’s. I can’t blame you for wanting to blot the 90’s out of your mind as it was a strange and weird time… but that is where most my childhood memories come from!
2. Gen Y and Millennials actually have two very unique and easily distinguishable cultures that differ greatly on a number of important points.
But in spite of this, kids from 85-97 will continue to be called “Millennials” until who knows when.
Now normally this would be the point to just end it in frustration, however, as reading a biography on Jim Henson, I came across a term I had not heard before. “The Silent Generation.
Now the “Silent Generation” was in no way silent whatsoever. In fact, containing such people as Jim Henson, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and more… some could argue that this is a generation that shook the world more than most. However, due to the loudness of the generations which surrounded them, they ended up sort of tied to one group or the other.
Technically too old to be boomers, and too young to be the parents of boomers, The Silent Generation faced a lot of hardships. Born in a depression, and raised in a war, they began to question things in the world. Capitalism, war, cultural differences.
These people were not the Hippie generation of people like Frank Miller to come. They did not wave giant banners, or flip cars. They were simply people who wanted something more out of their life than what they had seen those before them go after.
What they did do though, was they inspired the next generation. They became an intrical part of the Boomer generation’s ideals and goals. Now like in most cases, what started out as a creative and heart felt idea, became a cold and oversystemized cause… but it was the inspiration all the same.
Now interesting history lesson, sure, but what does this have to do with Millen–Gen Y?
Well simply put… this world is toast… I don’t know if anyone has noticed this, but the concept of passing the Boomer legacy on to the next generation is pretty much beyond hope at this point. The franchises they built are now giant hollow shells… held up by their massive size alone as they scrape what last scraps they can off the inside until it all collapses. The people in charge have wasted so much time trying to maintain their position and keep things from changing, that any poor soul who does end up their replacement when they pass away is going to have no clue how to run these broken down juggernauts. The arteries of the employment cycle have been clogged for so long that when the people at top DO kick the bucket releasing the pressure, there will be a good many years of reactionary turf wars and infighting… And what’s more… after many years of being doomed to work 3 or 4 part time jobs, and go out of their way just to stay hired… being expected to work for “The experience” or “the exposure”… even if jobs open up, a huge portion of the future workforce has decided they want no part in this mess.
Ya… it’s hopeless… it’s depressing… it’s ugly… but one of the cool things about humanity is that they persevere.
Much like the silent generation, the Gen Y’s (and a few Gen X’s) really got sick of the world around them. They didn’t want what the generation around them wanted, they didn’t have the gall to play the games that the generation before them forced them to play… What happened during this time? Well much like the silent generation, a huge amount of them turned to the creative side.
The influx of freelancers we have seen in the past decade alone has been mind blowing. Youtubers, Voice Actors, Graphic Designers, Plumbers, jewellers, Programmers, interior decorators, accountants, tutors, translators, writers, and more. Less and less people have been going to “Join an established company and work their way up” and instead have been going the “Make it out on my own and try to get by.”
With this change of workers, we’ve seen a growth in resources to aid them. Youtube monetization, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, online workstations, etsy, kindle publishing, twitch, beam, discord, and more!
As the Gen X’s Y’s started gaining popularity and stability in these areas, we saw the millennials start trying to take part as well. The downside to this is it tends to flood the market in a lot of people looking for “Easy money” and “Easy Fame” which also creates depressing stats like “90% fail in their first year.” But it is also encouraging to see the changes inspired in the generation to come, and there have been quite a few diamonds who have popped up in the rough, making even more resources and ways to make this more successful.
Now what does the future hold? No idea… provided we don’t blow everyone up, or stupidly destroy this fragile flame we started to get going…. I would personally love to see us go down the way of the guilds again… I think it would create a cool level of comradory and what not! But the future is not mine for see, and the present alone is hard enough to view.
What I think we can see though… is that like it or not, history is being made by the new generations. It’s also repeating quite a lot. The clock will not turn back, and we can’t recover what we’ve already destroyed… but as the world changes, how will you react to it?