Defining Generations

Generalization of age groups further divides us

Story by Zoe Rushing, Design Editor

People will always find a way to dislike each other. There will always be something that can be used as false justification for hatred and one of those ways that’s been done is age. More specifically, what generation a person is a part of. 

A generation is defined as a group of people born around a span of 15-30 years that share similar ideals and characteristics that make them similar. Most generations are defined by these attributes that identify its people, and with each new generation comes a group unique and contrasting from its predecessors.

 As of now, there are five main generations: the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z. All of which vary in degrees of significance and change, but if there’s one trait that every generation shares, it’s the absolute hatred of the other generations and their deeds. 

Spend an hour online or have a conversation about the subject with anyone, and you’re bound to get a comment on the wrongful nature of one of the generations. Common age-based perceptions include that Millennials are lazy, Gen Z are all sensitive snowflakes or Baby Boomers are judgemental stuckups who despise change. 

We tend to box people by their age into small confined personalities and beliefs that aren’t meant to define a generation. However, the glaring obvious problem with doing this is simply that people aren’t that cookie cutter. There are so many factors to what makes a person who they are, and when they were born and grew up is only part of it. 

Now this isn’t to say that the day and age people are raised won’t create very similar behavior, but to assume everyone is all the same, flaws and all, isn’t accurate. 

Assuming a whole generation is a certain way also has the effect of making people forget the good generations have been able to accomplish and can still accomplish. The Baby Boomers, who arguably have one of the worst reputations, in their golden years were in the era of social change and created and were redefining tradition and the attitudes of the time. 

Nowadays that isn’t what you are gonna think of when you think of Baby Boomers. You probably picture an older woman with a certain haircut yelling at a stranger for standing and minding their own business. But that is what happens when the hateful people in a group become the image of the group as a whole. 

It’s one of the reasons every generation is so against one another. Nobody attempts to see them as a whole but only a fraction of what they are, and that fraction tends to be the hateful, selfish sides. We end up dividing ourselves and refuse to see the problems in doing so.

In the end, everyone is just a product of the time before and after them, but people of any group are capable of accomplishing great things and being or becoming great people. It’s why there really is no bad generation. All of them are flawed with an array of people who make up what each age group is defined as.