The Generation Gap: Generation X & Baby Boomers

By Daniel D’Amico, Trending Writer

There has been a widening gap between the older and newer generations. This includes tensions between the Baby Boomers, Generation X and the millennials. A new hashtag, #HowToConfuseAMillennial, has surfaced, which has only served to exacerbate these points of tension.

A major factor is difference in thinking between the newer and older generations. An article in Quora highlights this idea in the business setting. The baby boomers are used to a certain level of class stratification and formality whereas the millennials come in with ambition looking for the quickest, easiest ways to get something done. This can sometimes be in conflict with what the baby boomers are accustomed to. Their aims of working as efficiently as possible are the same, but their methods of achieving this can differ. This goes on to include their work ethic more generally as well.

The baby boomers have also been used to job compartmentalization, where they would have to learn the skills particular to their career. Thus, they feel threatened when a company brings in a new, younger worker with a more extensive skill set. The baby boomers were used to having secure jobs to a large extent up until younger and younger workers were being brought in.

There is also Generation X who fit right in between the Baby Boomers and the Millennials. The tension that exists between the two generations listed above occurs to a much lesser extent among those of Generation X. While they are similar among the older generations in terms of how they ran things, they also identify with the newer generation as well. According to The Pew Research Center, Generation X has identified their use of technology as the most unique feature of their generation. Despite this, many are unsure of what defines Generation X due to its placement between the two much larger generations.

The millennials have a very bad reputation among some of their older colleagues. They have been called lazy, addicted to technology, and entitled. However, an article in CNBC shows how many of these descriptions are unfounded and identifies the cause. As the baby boomers near retirement and the Generation X get older, they feel more and more insecure. The millennials come in with a very high proficiency in technology. Their supposed laziness is, in reality, their comfort with technology and how they can access any bit of information easily using the internet.

Overall, there is still tension due to the insecurities felt by the older generations, among other things. While the differences in how the generations operate are still clear, as the generations become more accustomed to working with one another the tension will gradually decrease.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, September 13th print edition.

Contact Daniel at

daniel.damico@student.shu.edu

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