While there are differing opinions on what age group Generation Y actually consists of, I’ve decided to go with those born in the later-1970s to early-1990s.
I was born in 1977 and feel like I am right on the cusp of that generation. Too young to be included in Generation X, too old to be anywhere near Generation Z, so I go with Generation Y.
Now that’s out-of-the-way, I want to take a minute to speak to Generation Y and explain how I think we’ve been given a very special gift.
We had an analog childhood with a digital adulthood.
We got a taste of both worlds and the transition came right as we transitioned from childhood into adulthood, making it rather seamless for us.
Think about it for a minute. Did you play outdoors all the time while growing up? Did your television have a few cable channels at most, and maybe you even distinctly remember getting cable for the first time? Did you have no way of getting ahold of someone unless you called them on a phone, the one that is now referred to as a landline? Remember when pagers came on the scene? I never had one but that was part of the beginning…
Does it feel like time is moving faster than it ever has before?
It sure does to me. We, as Generation Y, never had all these devices and social media platforms to continually check and update. Perhaps things moved a little slower because of it. And I wonder if because our days are now filled with so much “stuff” – endless channels of social media and entertainment to choose from and let’s not forget, those pesky smartphones attached to everyone’s hands – time is just passing us by as we document what we had for lunch that day and who is dating whom.
Technology has crept into our lives in so many ways, from automated services to wearable devices, and while I understand and appreciate the many benefits of it, I can’t help but wonder if the children of today are losing a part of their childhood because of it all?
I watch my young nephews interact with smartphones and tablets and video gaming consoles with deft ease and I wonder if they will ever appreciate a lack of technology. They were born into the technological boom. It’s all they know.
Unlike Generation Y.
We grew up without endless technology at our fingertips. Our analog upbringing practically forced us to use our imaginations in playtime and fortunately, our teenage years will not be remembered via Facebook and Instagram but rather Polaroids and reels of film. We played in the dirt rather than watching it in a video. And while I understand that I write in generalizations for purposes of this blog post, I also understand that there was something very special about growing up in a world where connection was more often made with other people than with a wireless router.