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As The Who sang in 1967 in their hit song ‘Talkin Bout My Generation’:
People try to put us d-down (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
Just because we get around (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
I hope I die before I get old (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
So yes there was a generation gap back in the 1960’s when I was an up and coming teenager with the usual ‘attitude’ towards my parents. I thought that they were so old-fashioned and didn’t ‘dig’ my generation! How history repeats itself!
This posed the question, what are the main differences between Baby Boomers and Generation Yer’s? While Baby Boomers were influenced by the aftermath of World War II, television, rock and roll, the Vietnam War and the hippie movement, Gen Y has grown up with the internet, globalization, mobile phones and Facebook. I would say that these are very significant differences, even though we often wonder “why are Gen Y so self-entitled”?
I thought it would be interesting to find out what Generation Y really think of my generation and what they think are the crucial differences in our attitudes, customs and beliefs.
When it comes to work the Baby Boomers worked their hardest no matter how much they disliked their jobs or how much they despised the idea of getting stuck doing it for the rest of their lives. No matter whether they enjoyed what they were doing or not, they would get the job done and get it done properly.
Gen Yer’s do not want to work as hard as their parents did, but spend their life in a meaningful way. They like to pursue past-times such as travel, dining out and spending their money on luxuries. They do not live to work, they work to live.
Young people expect a different type of workplace than their parents had. They want jobs that are flexible, not always having to work from 9 to 5. They prefer working from their homes and taking a day or two off to spend with their family. A study has found out Generation Y wants to spend 30% to 70% of their time at home.
Baby Boomers were raised to achieve ‘The Great Australian Dream’ of buying a house by the time they were married, which was on average, around the age of 21 years.
Gen Y are not motivated by the worries that bothered their parents. Many do not think they will have their own house but will settle for a flat or an apartment, since they do not know if they are going to stay in the same place anyway. They also tend to live at home a lot longer ‘sponging’ off their parents because they have less restrictions and more home comforts than we ever did!
My generation were bought up to be very frugal and save their money for a ‘rainy day’. We rarely dined out or travelled to exotic locations. Many of us did not own credit cards and only purchased items once we had saved up for them.
Generation Y are very much a consumer generation, flooded with advertisement throughout their lives. A group that has never witnessed recession or mass unemployment is not very conservative when it comes to spending money. They like to eat out, buy the newest technical gadgets and travel. Very often they find their bank account overdrawn and can get into heavy debt.
Generation Y believe that our generation have actually caused the most damage to the Earth through our greed, affluence and extravagance. They feel that their generation and those to follow, if we are lucky, will have to suffer the ill-effects of climate change, peak oil and the other horsemen of the ecological crisis. Ultimately it is Gen Y who will have to contest against the conditions of decline, which the previous generations left behind, and pick up the pieces of civilisation.
The Baby Boomer generation probably had a lot more freedom and less intervention from their parents than the very over-bearing parents of today.
Gen Yer’s view their parents as intrusive or ‘helicopter parents’ who are always hovering. They like their own space with their own bedrooms, computers, mobile phones and tv’s and would prefer it if their parents did not ‘crowd them’ so much.
Technology is probably the biggest difference between the Baby Boomer generation and Generation Y. We simply did not have the exposure to technology that this generation has and most Gen Yer’s think we suck at technology and don’t mind telling us. However, a lot of us are returning to school to learn technology and are becoming more familiar with social media and mobile phones.
Gen Yer’s love to have the latest technology and spend a fortune on the most recent iPhone, iPad, digital cameras, laptops, eReaders and wrist watches.
Baby Boomers meant well, but the truth is that a whole lot of the negative remarks they have on our generation were, in fact, their own doing. We are a result of their guidance and teachings. We live in a world that they created. We play by the rules that they have set up. The only positive thing that can be said is that the Baby Boomers did do something right; they created a generation that outshines them in most ways. We are more tolerant, better educated, hungrier for success and more open-minded.
Thank you for the Gen Yer’s who helped me write this post. They certainly didn’t hold back with their opinions of my generation!
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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