The generation question

Are you a Gen Z or a millennial


What is a generation? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a generation is
The cutoff between Gen Z (1997-2012) and millennials (1981-1996) is closest from 1997 to 2000. This is only a few years from when I and the people I grew up with were born in the early 2000s. he two blend in with each other, adding to the confusion. Substantial influences in the social and political development in adolescents were still around, such as early 2000s television shows or the presidency of Barack Obama, adding to the development of their views and ideals towards adulthood. During the terms that Obama served as president, I was old enough to remember how the country was, as well as had full conversations with my father about it. The discussions I had with my dad were relating to both the Obama and Donald Trump presidency and the results of their choices. This led to me being able to compare the political situation between the two time periods and have informed decisions about civic issues, like the people born in the millennial timeline.

Furthermore, if we think about the progression of years, a new generation is born by the previous one once they reach age 30. The first official named generation was the “baby boomers”, taking place from 1946-1965, spanning for 19 years. This makes sense considering people were having more children earlier at that time due to men coming home from World War 2 and the booming economy. However, the time span of Generation X and millennials are both 16 years, implying the average age of pregnancy is now 16. On the graph, it shows the length of each generation is progressively getting shorter.

A generation can also be defined as a turn in the century. Despite the influence that has been developed in a child, another influence in someone’s adolescence can be just as powerful. Those categorized as Generation Z now have grown up with the internet and smartphones, therefore have far more access to the world compared to past generations. They are also more acutely aware of the political and environmental climate of today’s world. According to advanced placement psychology teacher Amy Gumpf, said these new social and mental stimuli in the world have increased different mental instabilities, like attention disorders and depression, and preferences of humor.

I walked around the school and asked eight random students what generation they felt they were classified as; five out of eight said they were Generation Z. AP U.S. history teacher Rebecca Richardson said that in her 26 years of teaching, she hasn’t observed a big difference between the behavior of her students in the two generations. Richardson also said that out of her three children, only one would be a millennial. Pew Research Center data shows that the generation timeline is not an exact science.

So the fact is, one’s generation is defined as much as on age as it is on emotional stance. Given the fact that the children born in 2005 and beyond had grown up while new influences and trends were being produced, they were more invested in new technology than the kids born a few years before but they’re still close to the established cutoff. For that reason, 2005 should be where Generation Z starts.