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Come On Eileen Turns 30 + the Latest Gen-X News Links

Three generations of Little People

Three generations of Little People

Church Presents Program On Generation X

Last Sunday, a Unitarian church in Atlanta featured three guest speakers in a special program, Generation X Saves the World. All three were Gen X women and members of the congregation. All three took a different approach to their presentations. One delivered an Ode to Sassy magazine. The audio of their presentations can be downloaded. If you haven’t read much about Generation X, these presentations serve as a great primer.

Who Is Gen X? 

Speaking of primers, I recently published a static page on my site, Who Is Gen X? I included some fun images of vintage Fisher-Price Little People. If you subscribe via RSS or email, you will not have received notification of this. This article covers a number of Generation X topics including characteristics of Gen X; Xers as parents and entrepreneurs; Xers as cynical; Divorce and Latchkey kids and more.

Neil Howe

I really enjoyed a recent post from Neil Howe, the author of Generations. His blog is The Saeculum Decoded, and the post is Dear Graduation Class of 2012: You Are Not Special. He takes issue with a recent round of commencement speakers who were intent on telling graduates they were ordinary and not special despite what their parents have been telling them for two decades.

I saw these commencement addresses popping up in my Google Alerts about Gen Y and Generation Z. I thought they were awful, so it was great to see someone of Howe’s caliber address them historically and with compassion. Here’s an excerpt:

“At some level, I guess I’m baffled by the sudden popularity of this trope.  Here we are at a time of historically high youth unemployment during the longest and most severe economic bust since the Great Depression.  Why would anyone think Millennials need to be reminded by graybeards that history won’t give them a free pass?  Just about everyone knows…Millennials are eventually going to have save more and bear higher taxes…to pay for their parents’ unfunded retirement liabilities.  And, if those programs go bust, Millennials are conveniently situating themselves in or near their parents’ households so they can help out in person. Shouldn’t these older people want to be nicer to these kids in anticipation of what’s ahead?  Shouldn’t they be at least hoping that this rising generation is indeed special enough to handle the challenges being handed to them?”

The Yawning Generation

Jeff Edelstein, a columnist with the Trentonian (New Jersey) penned an interesting opinion piece recently that highlights some interesting statistics on politics and social issues. For starters, when compared to senior citizens, a slightly higher percentage of younger Americans believe abortion is morally wrong. He also breaks down the ages of Congress. Did you know nearly 50 percent of U.S Senators are over 65, and fewer than 10 percent are under 50? Read more at Marijuana, sex, abortion, immigration: Yawn.

Histories of Things To Come

I was toying with writing a blog post recently about smart bloggers, so I did an Internet search for the phrase. Guess what I got back? The phrase “smart bloggerz” with a Z and a bunch of articles on how to make money blogging. Anyway, the smart blogger, ToB, who writes the blog Histories Of Things To Come, wrote a great post back in June, Recession, Apocalypse and Hipster Futures.

Come On Eileen Turns 30

Andi of Misadventures With Andi, reminded me this week via Twitter that Come On Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners turned 30 recently. Thirty, Xers. Are you feeling your age? I re-posted it somewhere and someone replied (can’t find now who it was!) that it actually made them feel young because they’d just read an article about Atari turning 40.

Headlines About Generation Z

I am starting to see a lot of articles about Generation Z including one from USA Today, High Maintenance Generation Z Heads To Work. This article cites the beginning year for Generation Z as 1990. I don’t know how this can be considered accurate as the typical years for Gen Y, the Millennial Generation, are (by broadest definition) 1980/82-1996/2000.

Bruce Tulgan who wrote Managing Generation X and Not Everyone Gets A Trophy wrote the article, so I really don’t know what to make of it. This is always the generational debate — when a generation begins and ends. In all my research, I have never seen anyone cite the beginning of Generation Z as earlier than 1997. Usually, it’s 2000.

Gen-Z Constantly Wired Up

Gen-Z Constantly Wired

All of these articles say pretty much the same thing. Generation Z is overly connected and wired up; were overly involved in extra-curricular activities as kids and teens, and have been overly indulged with parental praise. Here is an excerpt from the article that serves as a warning light:

“Gen Zers are much less likely to fall into recognized opinion categories and much more likely to mix and match various points of view. Don’t be surprised to find gun-toting vegans and religious fundamentalist feminists, political conflicts that would have isolated young people before the advent of social media.
We’re about to find out just how worldly and precocious, but fragile and needy, Gen Zers really are. They’ll be America’s most high-maintenance workforce, a change for which we are unprepared.”

Generations on Pinterest

I routinely search “generations” on Pinterest. I never find much of anything worth re-pinning, but I did come across this funny doodle scrawled in a spiral notebook.

Think about it. If the cassette is father to the iPod then the 8-Track is grandpa and the big round licorice record is great-grandpa. haha!

Another thing I’ve seen a few iterations of on Pinterest is a picture of a member of the Silent or Baby Boomer Generation holding a picture of Generation X holding a picture of Gen Y holding a picture of Generation Z. Instead of trying to wrap your brain around that sentence, just have a look at these examples.

Four Generations and Holding Sources: Generations search on Pinterest

Four Generations and Holding Sources: Generations

This kind of makes me a little dizzy if I think about it too long.

Dear Photograph

My favorite site that pays homage to generations is Dear Photograph. Surely, by now, you’ve heard of this amazing project that’s now a book. I can’t read the posts on this site without crying. It’s more than nostalgia. It’s snapshot photography and highly personal memories, usually no more than a sentence or two in length. My favorite, which I’ve shared before, is from “Kevin.”

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. Jennicot

    Hi, Am trying to find/get ideas for taking different photos of the 5 generations in my family. I have taken some lovely photos showing this, but am stuck for new ideas. My mother is 94 and the youngest in our family is a few weeks old, and to be honest, not sure how much longer mum will be around. I have done the one where you have the photo of the person holding the photo of the person etc, and hands – but want some ideas to show how unique my mother is to us all.  Can anyone sugggest sites where I can get some new ideas – Jenni

  2. TOB

    Thanks for the plug Jen, much obliged! It is a privilege to be mentioned here.

  3. Rose Byrd

    Jen, I really think there is a distinct possibility of US being drawn into a major war before end of 2012! I have had this sinking intuition about that since about Easter time! Odd, huh? Anyway, I pray ALL generations can come together for the common good on things of true importance, don’t you?

  4. Andi Fisher

    Wow SO much in here, I don’t know where to begin! I missed all the commencement speech stuff – can’t believe the kids didn’t just throw tomatoes at them! Way to be encouraging! I have been fortunate to work with many Millenials and have really only seen the stereotypical behavior in one instance, I have throughly enjoyed working with this generation. In addition, the team that reports to me is made up entirely (well there is just 2) of Millenials and they rock! The Dear Photograph site looks amazing, I think I would enjoy the book. I had no idea that you were doing different updates by email, and a photo newsletter sounds cool. I too have a list that I have been trying to build but forget to tell people about it. I can’t wait to see the new project!

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