D.R.: Next gen discovers parenthood
While a still-young parent of wee ones, I used to get a kick out of stories that claimed Gen X was so different from the boomers, the tweeners (or whatever my dad’s generation was called), the Greatest and so on.
My generation, mid-to-latish boomer, was supposed to be the most self-absorbed as well as strident. Then we became Yuppies, then parents, and now, well, we’re old fogeys. At least my newsroom of Xers and what comes next believes so.
In my second career in journalism, I’ve worked in mostly small communities as a still-youngster reporter and editor, to supervisor of X kids and to whatever the current crop is calling itself. All this while moving through newlywed to young parent to parent of college and high school kids. In time, if I’m lucky, maybe I’ll be a grandparent in time for the next generational crop of rookies in my newsroom.
At the risk of sounding most fogeyish ” like the gens older than me ” I have to say there isn’t a whole lot of difference in the people making up each of these grand tides of humanity.
Gadgets change. But the youngsters always think they are something special that’s never hit humanity before. But the truth is, they’re just young and filled with all the things that concern the young. They are not really any more self-absorbed than my generation or my parents’ generation. They don’t really have any more social concern. They aren’t any more mature, or immature for that matter. They simply are what kids are when they are starting out: generally broke, making a life, trying to have fun.
Then, miracle of all miracles, they get better jobs or start their own businesses. They fall in love and have children. They want the best for their children. As the boomers supposedly were more enmeshed in their children’s lives, so the Xers imagine themselves more parental than their parents. I’d scoff, but it’s natural. Part of growing up. We’re all still growing up, actually.
Times change. Technology changes. What we in each generation use changes. Boomers might read more than Xers, and the next generation has way more easy dexterity with gadgets than any of the others.
But I haven’t seen anything that tells me we’ve essentially changed as people from generation to generation.
That’s a conceit of the young, I think.