Throughout the years, people have been characterized as a part of a cohort, or generation, such as the Baby Boomers, Generation X, and the Millennials. They are usually attributed to having certain characteristics, which can lead to stereotyping.  A generation experiences the same cultural events, but the diversity of gender, class, race, and politics makes the generalizations partly mistaken. Characteristics given to people in a certain generation are frequently described incorrectly and may be offensive or degrading to some. They are a social construct created by older people in which they can put condescending labels on younger people.

Generation X, the people born between about 1960 – 1980 are described as being slackers and cynics. Most of the people born at that time don’t even have any of these personality traits; I mean Jeff Bezos, Dave Grohl, and many successful celebrities and musicians were part of this cohort. It is supposed that just because some people couldn’t find jobs that the group of people in the generation were all ‘slackers’. Even Millennials are defined as something they’re not as a whole. In fact, Time Magazine has labelled them as the “Me Me Me Generation” and stated they were “lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents”. They supported this with data saying that narcissistic personality disorder is extremely high for people in their 20s in this generation. But Millennials are no more narcissistic than all people at that age. Millennials supposedly spend time on their phones too much, but the truth is, so does the rest of the world. Everyone in a generation is extremely diverse though, so they cannot exactly be generalized.

Generations unquestionably exist in the sense that they are groups of people based in a certain time period, but the images and traits associated with them do not exist. No one is defined accurately by the terms of generational characteristics. Everyone living in a certain time period is affected by the world in a different way. We are technically just a large group of people who develop constantly over time, and the labels given by people both older and younger should not delineate us.


By: Shahd ElNaggar