Sunday, November 8, 2015

Stuck Between the Me Generation and the Not You Generation

Alexa von Tobel seems to think Millennials created the on-click, streaming universe in which they swim so well.
Fiftysomethings now enjoy bingeing on Netflix, texting that they’re running late and trolling Facebook as much as their kids do. “It’s beyond the tipping point,” says von Tobel of her generation. “[We] are the decision makers, the influencers.”
Bitch, please.

Do you have any clue that when the first of your generation was being conceived, your Gen X cynical, detached, risk-taking parents-to-be were rejecting the hyper-traditional model being forced upon us by our resource-pillaging, nostalgia-laden, responsibility-adverse Boomer parents who were crafting a stricter, more conventional climate than any we had seen in this country as the Hippies-turned-Yuppies--who once rallied behind the call to trust no one over thirty--set themselves up as The Authority on Everything(tm), especially morals? The Reagan years made McCarthyism look tolerant: at least it only cared about your political affiliation.

We of Gen X, born between the assassination of JFK and the election of Reagan, were the first to have no hope of achieving a standard of living of our parents, and we knew it long before we graduated from increasingly defunded schools where ketchup was a vegetable and arts were too expensive, trying to find work despite two million jobs being shipped overseas during the bust of American Manufacturing. When we got accepted to college, the tuition was out of sight, and we didn't qualify for loans on our own - our parent's income(s) were the basis for determining need until we were 24 or made $8,000 in a calendar year, more than we could gross at $3.35 minimum wage, even if we worked 40 hours a week.

The Millennial Generation needs to stop being impressed with itself. You are are really cool, and we love you, except for when you tell us how cool and loveable and hip you are.

Gen X created Netflix - a DVD by mail service - to accommodate our transient and erratic lives. We worked weird hours, whenever we could get them, and frequently had more than one job. We didn't have time to participate in a brick-and-mortar schedule, and we were often spending more on late fees than we did on rentals, with little time to watch a show.

We created PayPal, Google, and Amazon and had web logs crafted by hand before Steve Jobs got hired back to Apple to make an iPod or Mark Zuckerberg got dumped. We truly dig that you have embraced the digital universe into which you were born, but please stop being so impressed with yourselves. We made it up out of thin air, because we had nothing to lose.