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A marked generation

I was sick this weekend so I watched a lot of movies.  Like… a lot.  I don’t think I’ve watched that much TV in a long time.

One movie I watched this weekend was “Blast From the Past” with Brendan Fraser.  Its an older movie about a family in the 60’s who thought war was coming, so they hid in a bunker for 35 years.  They leave the bunker, present day, only to discover how much everything has changed.  The movie does a good job showing change from decade to decade.  Their home starts in a cute residential area being demolished into a malt shoppe surrounded by other cute shops.  It’s colorful, friendly and…. polite.   As time progresses, the malt shoppe and its community degrades into a bar with the same owners, now more abrupt.   Finally, in the present day we see the malt shoppe owner strung out on a life of alcohol and drugs.  And the malt shoppe?  Now an abandoned, run down building.  Next to it is an adult video store with prostitutes and gang members surrounding the area.

 

Lately, I’ve been reflecting on culture and what influences it.  What influences society today?   What marks a generation?  Who decides it?

 

It would be interesting for someone to time warp from the 60’s to now.  What a lot of changes!  It would be culture shock……  Yet, we’re still living in the same country – amazing what 50 years does.  You can see what has “marked” each generation.   Check it out:

 

Mature/Silents. (My Grandparents)  Born 1927- 1945.

Peace! Jobs! Suburbs! Television! Rock ‘n Roll! Cars! And introducing: Playboy Magazine.  The First Hopeful Drumbeats of Civil Rights!  These were the “Pre-feminism women”; women stayed home generally to raise children, if they worked it was only certain jobs like teacher, nurse or secretary.  Men pledged loyalty to the corporation, once you got a job, you generally kept it for life.  To them, marriage was for life, divorce and having children out of wedlock were not accepted.  In school, the worst things a teacher would complain about were about passing notes and chewing gum in class.  They lived in near-absolute truths.  This generation was marked with discipline, self-sacrifice, & cautiousness.

 

Baby Boomers (My parents) Born between 1946 and 1964.

“The “Me” Generation.  They were self righteous & self-centered. How did we go from family, community, hardworking, loyal people to being known as selfish in such a short time?  This was the “Rock and roll” music generation.  This music ushered in the free love and societal “non-violent” protests which ironically triggered violence.  They switched from their parents frugal point of view to: “Buy it now and use credit”.

 

Even though their mothers were generally housewives, responsible for all child rearing, women of this generation began working outside the home in record numbers. This was the first generation to have their own children raised in a two-income household where mom was not around all the time.  This was the first TV generation.  Another first: the first divorce generation, where divorce was beginning to be accepted as a tolerable reality.

 

Generation X. (My generation) Born between 1965 and 1980

We were the “latch-key kids”, often with divorced or career-driven parents. Latch-Key came from the house key kids wore around their neck, because we would go home from school to an empty house.  We are marked with being entrepreneurial and very individualistic.   Government and big business mean little to us.  We want to save the neighborhood, not the world.  We aim to make marriage work and “be there” for our children, yet there’s a 50% chance marriages will end in divorce.  This could be why we wait till our 30’s on average to get married, and even later in life to have kids.  We tend to commit to our SELF rather than an organization or specific career. Our generation averages 7 career changes in our lifetime.  I’ve certainly contributed to this stat: I’ve changed 4 times before being 36!!   We are the generation where AIDS began to spread and has become first lethal infectious disease in the history of any culture on earth.  We mark the beginning obsession of individual rights prevailing over the common good.  Our school problems advanced beyond chewing gum to drugs.  We’re into labels and brand names and consumerism has exploded with a “want it now” attitude.  Most of us are deeply in credit card debt.  All our values are relative…we must tolerate all peoples and beliefs.  We are suspicious of all organization, including organized religion.  We are survivors, individualistic, cautious, skeptical, unimpressed with authority, and self-reliant.

 

Generation Y/Millennium. (today’s young adults) Born between 1981 and 2000

Aka “The 9/11 Generation” “Echo Boomers” This next great generation brings a sharp departure from Generation X.  These who come after my generation are optimistic, and focused.  They are the first to face the thought that they could be shot at school.   They schedule everything.  You want to meet for coffee, how’s next month on a Tuesday, 1pm?  They have great expectations for themselves.  They prefer digital literacy as they have grown up in a digital environment. They have never known a world without computers! They get all their information and most of their socialization from the Internet.  Because they have unlimited access to information, they tend to be assertive with strong views. They envision the world as a 24/7 place; want fast and immediate processing.  They have been told over and over again that they are special, and they expect the world to treat them that way (church messages have contributed to this as well)  They do not live to work, they prefer a more relaxed work environment with a lot of “hand holding”.

 

Generation Z/Boomlets. Born after 2001 (my kids generation)

Introducing: Tweens Ages 8-12 years old.  There will be an estimated 29 million tweens by 2009.  They love to spend!  $51 billion is spent by tweens every year with an additional $170 billion spent by their parents and family members directly for them.  They wear name brands at a younger age and are already looking to today’s stars in admiration (a little Justin Beiber anyone?)

Did you know that 61 percent of kids 8-17 have televisions in their rooms. 35 percent have video games. 4 million will have their own cell phones. They have never known a world without computers and cell phones.  With the advent of computers and web based learning, children are leaving behind toys at younger and younger age. As children reach the age of four and five, old enough to play on the computer, they become less interested in toys and begin to desire electronics such as cell phones and video games.  Isn’t that the truth!  My 4 year old is computer savvy already!  They are Savvy consumers and they know what they want and how to get it.

They live in a world of unlimited social-connectedness.  My Space, Facebook, You Tube has connected people from across the globe more than ever.

information taken from: http://marketingteacher.com/lesson-store/lesson-six-living-generations.html

 

That’s a lot of information, I know.  I’m going to leave it at that today and continue tomorrow.  I know some of you love this stuff, and others of you don’t.   Hang in there, I’m going somewhere with this.  Until tomorrow think about this:

– what “marked” each generation

  • did you notice things that got passed from one generation to the next?
  • did you notice the things the younger generation rebelled against the older generation?
  • what common denominator seems to rise as each generation appears?

I’ll see you tomorrow 🙂

For The Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting; and His faithfulness to ALL generations… (Psalm 100:5)


 

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Categories: a new spirituality
  1. February 7, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    This one really made me think about different relationships. It’s so easy to get frustrated with people from different generations than we grew up in, because we think our always think our mindset and values are the “the best”. Thanks Connie!

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