Generalisation-Y

I was just reading something in The Bulletin magazine about Generation-Y, which includes anyone born from 1980 to 1994 or thereabouts. I have some friends who are Gen-Y, so I thought I should read about them. They are apparently “indulgent, infantile and in debt” – a group of apolitical, self-absorbed, overconfident mischief-makers.

Who is to blame for Gen-Y? The baby boomers, it would seem. (For those three or four people who don’t know, these are the people born between 1946 and 1964.) The boomers have been raising Gen-Y, spoiling them rotten, and ensuring that they have no common sense.

But let's spare a thought for the generation in the middle: Gen-X, the nice and wholesome people born between 1965 and 1970, who are trapped between those two naughty generations.

I’m a Generation X-er, but not a “typical” one. I didn’t listen to Nirvana, didn’t especially like Pulp Fiction or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and didn’t have a Commodore 64. When I left school, I decided that I’d easily be able to slip into whatever job I wanted, nothing would ever go wrong with my (very lofty) career goals, and (quite rightly… for a while) if I ever blew all my money, my parents would help me out. After leaving school, all I wanted to do was save the environment – a noble cause, but one that mainly involved living in a van in Western Australia in the hope that I’d stop people logging Malaysian rainforests. Not sure if that worked.

I later took a job, stayed there for seven years (a long time for me), then quit to be a writer – a decision that led me to live off credit cards and be several thousand dollars in debt for many years. (I’m OK now, thanks.) I had no grasp of reality!

So it filled me with dread to find out that there was now a whole generation of people who are exactly like me! What is happening to this once-great nation???

But then it occurred to me that the oldest Gen-Y person is only 26. When I was 26, I considered myself rather young… and so, I assume, do the current 26-year-olds. So let’s wait a few years before we agree that Gen-Y signifies the downfall of civilisation. Back when the boomers were 26, they were all into peace and love. I'm sure they still like all that stuff, but now they have other priorities.

My main worries are for the next generation. Will they go through life being classed as Generation Z? What a demeaning term for anyone!