August 13, 2013

Generational Tags

Kind of fascinating how easily pegged I am, how much a creature of my generation (GenX according to the book Generations at Work - they define it as those who can't tell you where they were when Kennedy was killed but know it was a traumatic event in our history).

Mine is said to be cautious, more conservative, skeptical, a tad lazier than average, very much into limiting their work hours type of generation. What we love to hear is “less meetings” among other things.

This is said to be an outgrowth of the shocks of the '70s: OPEC, Vietnam War loss, inflation, impeachment of Nixon, joblessness, etc… We grew up with these things in the news, in the air, and it made us more distrustful of authority, more guarded and risk-averse. 

It occurs to me that it's not just peers that so determine a generation (like Gen X) but media choices.

More so in my case since my peers weren't too deleterious, though I had a whole heaping helping of news and entertainment, from Love Boat to the pop-psychology in Your Erroneous Zones to David Letterman. It's crazy to oversimplify human beings but I'm always tempted to, and I've been tempted to think that children are half products of their parents and half products of their peers but that ignores the unbelievably powerful sway of one's entertainment and information sources. I might wish now that I'd grown up without Summer of '42, Letterman and Ordinary People, as well as so many shows that may've unknowingly influenced me, from M*A*S*H* to what not but….

But really we swim in the environment we swim in and to wonder about what I'd be like with only Beverly Hillbillies and Little House on the Prairie and '40s movies in my brain is a pipe dream. There's no way parents can protect kids from culture anymore than they can protect them from news. At the time we're most susceptible to influences and least able to see the longterm consequences of them is when we're subject to them. We think we're not only immortal physically but impervious to negative influence. Anyhow it makes more sense, logically, to characterize people by generation than by horoscope given how powerful the media is compared to the moon.

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