Many people often find this subject quite confusing; this is mainly due to a lack of understanding and comprehension. Let’s first start with a breakdown of each generation and when they existed from:
• Baby Boomers: Born between 1946 and 1964. They're currently between 57-75 years old
• Gen X: Born between 1965 and 1979/80 and is currently between 41-56 years old
• Gen Y: Gen Y, or Millennials, were born between 1981 and 1994/6. They are currently between 25 and 40 years old
• Gen Y.1 = 25-29 years old
• Gen Y.2 = 29-39
• Gen Z: The newest generation, born between 1997 and 2012/15. They are currently between 6 and 24 years old.
Generations Explained: Impact on the Digital World
Let’s start with the oldest generation first. Baby Boomers have a considerable population size, with approximately 71.6 million people included. This generation was shaped by the world-wide post WWII optimism. They are the generation with the highest consumption of traditional media such as radio, newspaper and magazines. Despite this, around 90% of baby boomers make use of Facebook as a means of staying in touch with family or reconnecting with old friends.
Next, we shall speak about Gen X. This generation is sometimes considered a bit lost as it falls between two more intense generations. They are also considered to be very tech savvy. They share the same media interests as the boomers but have a larger digital presence than their forbears. One of the largest contributors to the development of this generation is the advancement in personal computing.
The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.
The third generation is known as Gen Y or Millennials. The most apt term used to describe this generations is “cord-cutting”. Millennials were born in a time where wireless devices began to truly become a major part in the world. Another big difference from other generations is that they barely make use of broadcast media such as television and radio and now mainly rely on streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon for their entertainment.
The last generation that will be discussed is known as Generation Z. This generation was born into vast technological advancement and thus has had no difficulty making use of modern technology such as smartphones. This generation actively avoids phone calls from people they do not know and would rather make use of texting/instant messaging. This development can be detrimental as social skills can degrade. This generation has little to no patience however as instant gratification is a common thing in the modern world, this is due to them being able to ask/order anything and have it arrive in just a few hours. They also have a sense of entitlement, many of this generation do not want to start at the bottom and work their way up, they would prefer to be able to start their dream job as soon as possible and not wait for success.
Generations During Lockdown
As most Baby Boomers no longer take part in the work force, this part of the article will mainly focus on Gen X, Y and Z.
It is known that Gen X has a very intense entrepreneurial spirit, it is due to this that many of this Gen found the lockdown restrictions to be a challenge that need beating. Many Gen X created their own businesses and this came to be a detriment during COVID-19 as many businesses were forced to close, but many saw this as a sink-or-swim opportunity and grasped the challenge to change and adapt in order for their business to survive.
Gen Y and Z have similar reactions to the lockdown, both generations have a reliance on digital media and electronic devices to adapting to the restrictions was not too difficult of a challenge. The main issue with these two generations is that they need social interaction with their friends and family. This social blackout has been a leading cause for a decrease in productivity and can lead to altered moods.
In closing, each generation has its own quirks that make them unique. The key to understanding them is to try and see the context and what strengths lie in each approach as the generations still have the capacity to learn from each other.