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Mlle. Zabzie

Generations - Not a Thing

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, dmc515 said:

Yep, exactly.  I don't know what changed, but something definitely changed.  I'm not a big fan of Putnam nor his Bowling Alone - primarily because it derives conclusions without any type of quantitative analysis - but there's something to the idea of social capital and how we've lost it.  And no, social media is not a valid substitute.  If anything it both brings out the worst in people (whereas actual community functions bring out the best), let alone how information can be manipulated in multitudes of ways to society's detriment.

Not only is it not a valid substitute, it's the opposite.  If someone is lonely and using social media to 'connect' all they're gonna see is the best, most exciting part of the lives of  others and it could very well compound the feeling of loneliness and isolation.  The other thing I think social media does is take away from human beings experiencing their lives in the moment.  Not everyone, of course, but LOTS of people spend their life's most amazing moments documenting them for social media.  Anyone who's ever had any social media platform knows people like this - as does anyone who has ever seen someone film the duration of a concert on their phone.  

I've been on the 'social media is evil' train for a while now.  I have facebook, and now instagram, but I'm phasing out the former.  Just gonna delete it completely.  The only reason I ever had it was to share photos with friends and relatives who live far away and I'm realizing (way later than most people) that that is kinda what instagram is for, so I can do that while cutting out all the other bullshit that comes with facebook.  Facebook's days are numbered for me.  I do wonder to what extent social media platforms might be... a fad?  Kind of? 

The idea that it might be a passing craze and not "the way we do things now" did not seem very likely for a while there.  But now, with the privacy concerns, the election, and the general dissatisfaction with synthetic social interactions between organic beings.... who knows?  Maybe we'll see them either go extinct or perhaps morph into something less nefarious.  

Edited by S John

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1 hour ago, dmc515 said:

Yep, exactly.  I don't know what changed, but something definitely changed. 

Baby boomers moved in, got old—and this is important—they did not move to new houses they were not replaced by young families with more kids.

since the mid 90s when people move into a neighborhood overrun with kids from 1955-1995, it’s 60-90% retirees who have lived there for thirty or forty years.another 10-20 % are gen x people whose kids are in college or moved out.

that leaves ten percent or less in kid neighborhoods for families with kids.

in addition housing became so expensive, young families having a second child is a mega risk that might prevent them from ever being able to afford a house, so the families that were lucky to move in have fewer kids.

if there are no kids around, kids don’t go outside 

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2 hours ago, dmc515 said:

That's fair.  Video games can certainly be a great socialization tool in theory.  However, I think in practice it tends to lead to more atomistic behavior.  At least that'd be my prior, and I think it's well-founded.  To be clear, this isn't me judging the "younger" generation in the least.  I'm not a gamer, but the closest people I know who are happen to be older than me.

I've never been huge into online gaming- I'm usually years behind on games. But that's usually with strangers. Are you talking about people playing with strangers or friends?

I played, like most English guys, a ridiculous amount of FIFA at uni. And I had some of my deepest chats with my friends while playing it. My theory is that because we didn't have to look at each other, it became less awkward. 

I'm not saying there aren't a lot of negatives to gaming (I think most people agree games haven't reached the artistic level of other entertainment- there's been no game equivalent of Crime and Punishment, The Godfather or The Wire), but there are positives too, and I do think society/the media are pretty biased. To go back to my novels example- you could argue that's the most anti social form of entertainment, more than games or tv, because you can't really read a book with someone. You can watch tv with someone, and games often encourage or even require you to have other people around you. But I never hear books criticised for this. 

2 hours ago, S John said:

Not only is it not a valid substitute, it's the opposite.  If someone is lonely and using social media to 'connect' all they're gonna see is the best, most exciting part of the lives of  others and it could very well compound the feeling of loneliness and isolation.  The other thing I think social media does is take away from human beings experiencing their lives in the moment.  Not everyone, of course, but LOTS of people spend their life's most amazing moments documenting them for social media.  Anyone who's ever had any social media platform knows people like this - as does anyone who has ever seen someone film the duration of a concert on their phone. 

Again, it feels like the media really focuses on the negatives of social media. I only really use Facebook, and I only post occasionally, but it is very useful for keeping in touch with people. I could easily turn that on its' head and say seeing other people doing exciting things might encourage someone to get out and experience life. I get killer wanderlust, and sometimes seeing people's travel photos can make me feel actually sick with envy. But it also encourages my own travelling, which is one of the most fulfilling parts of my life. 

I don't want to sound too superior, but the sort of people who watch a whole gig through their iPad or tweet every bowel movement- were these people really fascinating company before social media came along? Or if they're younger, would they be without it? 

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42 minutes ago, lokisnow said:

since the mid 90s when people move into a neighborhood overrun with kids from 1955-1995, it’s 60-90% retirees who have lived there for thirty or forty years.another 10-20 % are gen x people whose kids are in college or moved out.

that leaves ten percent or less in kid neighborhoods for families with kids. [snip]

I have no idea where you're getting these numbers from.  Seriously, I have no reason not to think you're simply making things up.

2 hours ago, S John said:

Not only is it not a valid substitute, it's the opposite.

Agreed, that was kinda my point.  I've hated facebook since it's popularization.  I'm literally a year and a day younger than Zuckerberg, so I heard about it very early on when it was just for certain schools.  Almost every party I went to there'd be some douchebag saying they knew somebody that knew him.  And my first FB account was created by my roommate/best friend around 2004.  Dude just kept on asking me questions til he finished the profile.  Got rid of that one, but I have one now, ironically, because it was/is how my cohort organizes events in which we all meet in person.

But, that's just me.  There's tons of people on social media that are also actually sociable.  Fuck if I know the difference.  Do I think all that bullshit is stupid, petty, and ultimately pointless?  Yep.  Do I care if whomever I'm interacting with IRL (!) is all over that?  Nope.

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2 minutes ago, mankytoes said:

I've never been huge into online gaming- I'm usually years behind on games. But that's usually with strangers. Are you talking about people playing with strangers or friends?

I played, like most English guys, a ridiculous amount of FIFA at uni. And I had some of my deepest chats with my friends while playing it. My theory is that because we didn't have to look at each other, it became less awkward. 

In my second hand experience it really doesn't matter if it's strangers or friends.  If you're involved enough, the strangers will become friends.  Also, FIFA is fun as hell.  I really miss playing it.  But with people I know.

5 minutes ago, mankytoes said:

I'm not saying there aren't a lot of negatives to gaming (I think most people agree games haven't reached the artistic level of other entertainment- there's been no game equivalent of Crime and Punishment, The Godfather or The Wire), but there are positives too, and I do think society/the media are pretty biased.

Oh, sure.  I'm not arguing that.  In fact, I think it's past time to consider gaming an art.  It's obviously different than film or television, but it requires just as much creativity..perhaps even more so.  Hell, Grandma's Boy proved video games are at least better than Sandler (I know, low bar).

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9 minutes ago, mankytoes said:

Again, it feels like the media really focuses on the negatives of social media. I only really use Facebook, and I only post occasionally, but it is very useful for keeping in touch with people. I could easily turn that on its' head and say seeing other people doing exciting things might encourage someone to get out and experience life. I get killer wanderlust, and sometimes seeing people's travel photos can make me feel actually sick with envy. But it also encourages my own travelling, which is one of the most fulfilling parts of my life. 

I don't want to sound too superior, but the sort of people who watch a whole gig through their iPad or tweet every bowel movement- were these people really fascinating company before social media came along? Or if they're younger, would they be without it? 

Yea, there are definitely some positives.  I won't deny that.  Hell, there's a reason I am generally inactive and have been thinking about deleting facebook for years - but haven't actually done it yet. 

I know that there are several people on there for whom, once I close that door, I may never communicate with them again.  I'm probably 2 phone numbers removed from my last contact with most of them and as far as I know I'm halfway across the country from most of my old contacts to boot.  The fact of the matter is, I probably wouldn't ever talk to 95% of them again anyway, facebook or not, but it does feel like I'm closing the door on the possibility of reconnecting with some people.  Particularly people from undergrad who I am still on good terms with but just have naturally gone in different directions, and also people from grad school - the majority of whom are not Americans.  But, I don't know.  Maybe that's just how life is.  Circumstances change, people move around, social circles contract as we get older.  I'm not sure I'm actually losing anything, but it feels like I might be.  Damn you, Zuckerberg.  :lol:

 

21 minutes ago, dmc515 said:

Agreed, that was kinda my point.  I've hated facebook since it's popularization.  I'm literally a year and a day younger than Zuckerberg, so I heard about it very early on when it was just for certain schools.  Almost every party I went to there'd be some douchebag saying they knew somebody that knew him.  And my first FB account was created by my roommate/best friend around 2004.  Dude just kept on asking me questions til he finished the profile.  Got rid of that one, but I have one now, ironically, because it was/is how my cohort organizes events in which we all meet in person.

But, that's just me.  There's tons of people on social media that are also actually sociable.  Fuck if I know the difference.  Do I think all that bullshit is stupid, petty, and ultimately pointless?  Yep.  Do I care if whomever I'm interacting with IRL (!) is all over that?  Nope.

I'm one month younger than 'ol Mark so you and I are about the same age.  I remember facebook coming about when I was in college and I scoffed at it because I didn't understand the point of being internet friends with all my real friends who I actually saw in real life all the time.  I guess you could use it for friends who were at other schools, but the platform actually makes more sense outside of college, imo.  Anyway, I do remember the early period when everyone was getting it.  I don't remember anyone claiming to know Zuckerberg, though.  That's an interesting tact for impressing people at parties, but in those days I would have found a successful 2 story beer bong far more impressive.  

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, dmc515 said:

I think technology access is a good barometer between older and younger millennials, but it's more nuanced than this - or at least I think it is my case.  I had a computer in my room by the time I can remember, before internet I was all about Sim City and Carmen Sandiego.  We got dial-up internet access the same time every upper middle class family did, which I think was 1995.  My school had a computer lab and had a typing class by the 4th grade (something I should always be appreciative of).  The idea of cell phones was prevalent and popular for kids once you saw Zach Morris on Saved by the Bell.  But, I avoided cell phones specifically because I thought it was stupid - I used a pager during high school to deal because even then we all assumed Big Brother was listening.

Anyway, the difference is my childhood was going outside and fucking around with the neighbor kids.  This was how the boomers were raised, and how they raised meEspecially during summer break, but even during the school year, from ages 5-12 there was a group of us in the same age group that lived next together and our parents just told us to go outside and play.  I still remember when Princess Di died our parents had to search us out and we were underneath some double pine tree fort we had made for ourselves that summer. 

I'm from the late 80's and I also remember playing Carmen Sandiego and Prince of Persia at the labs of Primary School... :P

I agree on technology and the good barometer between the most younger and the older millennials but also on the nuance thing. 

For instance, people from my class started having cell phones at age 12, so at around 2000, while I didn't until 16 bc I also thought they were useless/a waste of time (except for the snake game) until I succumbed to them... (they were very expensive as well) and had to spend money every month so as to be able to send SMS.

I much preferred MSN Messenger back then. (And even in the Facebook era until it ceased to exist due to FB.....). But of course, Internet on phones was not thing until not long ago so until then SMS were the only option outside home. 

It's not that everyone started with them at the same age.  With Internet connection, I got it in 1999, but then again, I had used computers at school since age 5. And my father had one of those "Big Cell Phones" in the nineties when I was a child, and I wanted to play with them, so it's not that I was unfamiliarised with the technology.

Then again, I also remember my long Summer Holidays playing around at town without using technology ...while, at the same time, I was also into all the different GameBoy's  when I was like 11 or so. One thing didn't mean we'd not do the other. There was a balance. Both coexisted, playing outside and also Video Games. And when I was a pre-teen I was also playing with people of different ages, my age mainly, but also two years older than me, and 5 years younger than me, so in my case "generations" were not much a thing; although we were all millennials.

Then, as for the topic of the thread, I have no problem with talking with people of any age, even people in their eighties, sometimes it's more about personality than anything else; although in general I find it more easy to have things in common with people around my age than a teenager or people in their fourties and beyond; but it's not always the case, since everyone has their own tastes.

Edited by Meera of Tarth

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1 hour ago, S John said:

That's an interesting tact for impressing people at parties, but in those days I would have found a successful 2 story beer bong far more impressive. 

Ha!  Agreed, that's much more impressive.

28 minutes ago, Meera of Tarth said:

Then, as for the topic of the thread, I have no problem with talking with people of any age, even people in their eighties, sometimes it's more about personality than anything else; although in general I find it more easy to have things in common with people around my age than a teenager or people in their fourties and beyond; but it's not always the case, since everyone has their own tastes.

Yup.  This is purely anecdotal, but it's always hard making friends in a new city.  (Not looking forward to doing it again, which I will have to soon.)  Done it twice without the benefit of forced living like dorms.  And the way I do it is just hanging out bars.  Not always, but often alone.  When I was in Orlando I met some really interesting people this way - as in people that work for NASA or are developing new age stuff I only half understand.  It's kinda funny here at Pitt.  My brother and I hang out with a few bartenders more than my phd cohort.  I get the looks that clearly should be interpreted as "this person is beneath us."  I look right back with "go fuck yourself."  I don't give a shit about age, occupation, race, gender, whatever the fuck.  Only thing I care about is if you can carry on a conversation without me getting bored.  That's actually a pretty high bar in my experience, and anyone that meets it is totally in in my book.

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And it seems like it's getting harder and harder to find people who can actually have a conversation without constantly analyzing their phone for signs of life. I know I'm getting older, but it seems like more and more people (all ages!) are less interested in learning about other people/experiences and making connections, and more interested in espousing their various opinions.  It makes me sad, and when I do meet someone who is still courteous, kind, and interested in other people, it's such a gift.  

I know there are lots of people like y'all still out there, but there are times when I really notice how different society is from even 20 years ago.  Or maybe I'm just getting old.

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On 4/21/2018 at 8:33 AM, Meera of Tarth said:

I'm from the late 80's and I also remember playing Carmen Sandiego and Prince of Persia at the labs of Primary School...

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!

I love those games!

Remember the frustration of having to open the plastic cases that the floppy discs were kept in because you had to put the next one in?! When I played Carmen Sandiego, you had to insert disc 5 at a certain point in the game to keep playing. It made it really annoying when we couldn't remember where the box was. Or that almanac that came with it to make the questions much easier to answer. Imagine that, needing to read a book to complete games! Kids these days are spoiled, I always say.

Discs 1-3 were installation and 4-5 were for playing. I had the "Deluxe" version on Mac, which had - and don't pretend you're not jealous - 256 COLOURS! None of this 32 colour pleb stuff for me!

AND I can remember when I'd be playing the greatest game of all time*, WarCraft II, with my siblings, one on one in a LAN connected by null Ethernet or modem cables. My modem was 24kb/s, from memory. For all of its archaic technology, we could play in a LAN, in the same room, without paying some stupid corporation $1,000,000/month and needing another copy of the game for the honour of having multiplayer. Kids these days are so deprived, I always say.

I was replaying Prince of Persia the other day. It still holds up! It's such a good game!

*Full disclosure: I'm basing that on the games I owned. We didn't have many games as our parents didn't buy them. Every now and then we'd... find them by borrowing them off friends and they'd magically clone themselves. The games, not the friends.

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On 4/20/2018 at 11:53 AM, dmc515 said:

I think technology access is a good barometer between older and younger millennials, but it's more nuanced than this - or at least I think it is my case.  I had a computer in my room by the time I can remember, before internet I was all about Sim City and Carmen Sandiego.  We got dial-up internet access the same time every upper middle class family did, which I think was 1995.  My school had a computer lab and had a typing class by the 4th grade (something I should always be appreciative of).  The idea of cell phones was prevalent and popular for kids once you saw Zach Morris on Saved by the Bell.  But, I avoided cell phones specifically because I thought it was stupid - I used a pager during high school to deal because even then we all assumed Big Brother was listening.

Anyway, the difference is my childhood was going outside and fucking around with the neighbor kids.  This was how the boomers were raised, and how they raised me.  Especially during summer break, but even during the school year, from ages 5-12 there was a group of us in the same age group that lived next together and our parents just told us to go outside and play.  I still remember when Princess Di died our parents had to search us out and we were underneath some double pine tree fort we had made for ourselves that summer. 

I look back fondly at that time, and not just because it was immediately followed by my entrance into drugs and alcohol.  That was Americana, hell, it's the suburban American dream - neighborhood picnics where everyone knows everyone because their kids have made up their own sports/games together while the adults were able to do their own thing.  My impression with younger millennials is instead of that experience, their childhood was spent in front of a computer screen, and I think that's unfortunate.

Maybe my part of the generation is the bridge then. Because everything you described was similar to my experience too, just make those events happen a few years earlier. Maybe the real dividing line is the kids who went outside and played all weekend and summer and those who sat in front of a screen. I was the former, and I'll cherish those memories forever. One funny thing I remember doing is getting $20 from my mom in the morning for food and then meeting up with my friends to form a little gang. They also got money, and we'd spend only a small amount of it on food cause we'd just get pizzas. The rest went to the good stuff. Sometimes we'd pool it to buy a video game for a NES (we shared games), but there were two main prizes: more Nerf guns for our epic battles and even more importantly, STINK BOMBS! We used to love cruising past people and smashing handfuls of them at people's feet. "Have a nice day!"

Another great outdoor memory comes from the winter. My buddy Reed had literally the greatest tree house of all time. It had three levels, and the highest one was higher than his house's roof, and their place was three and a half stories tall. They had a corner house on a somewhat busy street, and the town folk soon learned that you go there at your own risk. We would literally make hundreds of snow balls and bring them up on the elevator we made. People normally  laughed it off, but one bad man made the mistake of stopping and trying to come get us. There were two ways up, the ladder on the tree and the ladder that could be pulled up. It was up, and the tree was slippery and we could stand right over him. We would also make special balls for just this reason: the ICE BALLS! He was probably 30 or so, and we smacked him with a few of those bad boys. He ran away being pelted with a furious barrage of snowballs. Take that! 

The tree also had an epic ball swing. There is no way any parent would let their kid use that thing today! How nobody got hurt is beyond me. 

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18 minutes ago, Yukle said:

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!

I love those games!

 

You and I are the same age, and you forgot one: Number Munchers!!!!! Also, Oregon Trail 2. This first one is OK, but the second one was perfect. So much wasted buffalo meat though. 

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

You and I are the same age, and you forgot one: Number Munchers!!!!! Also, Oregon Trail 2. This first one is OK, but the second one was perfect. So much wasted buffalo meat though. 

Oregon Trail I never played...

Number Munchers! I do remember that! We had it at school on an actual floppy disc! One of the bendy ones, that was really floppy! Those were the bomb. And of course I mean, they weren't the bomb, they were rubbish.

Not to boast, but I once got every answer correct on number munchers. :read:

ETA: Only the best people were born in '89. ;) 

Edited by Yukle

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3 minutes ago, Yukle said:

Oregon Trail I never played...

Number Munchers! I do remember that! We had it at school on an actual floppy disc! One of the bendy ones, that was really floppy! Those were the bomb. And of course I mean, they weren't the bomb, they were rubbish.

Not to boast, but I once got every answer correct on number munchers. :read:

ETA: Only the best people were born in '89. ;) 

88 or get out! 

Omg, we're about to turn 30. The horror! 

 

I also played NM recently while blasted. I did pretty well, from what I remember. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Yukle said:

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!

I love those games!

Remember the frustration of having to open the plastic cases that the floppy discs were kept in because you had to put the next one in?! When I played Carmen Sandiego, you had to insert disc 5 at a certain point in the game to keep playing. It made it really annoying when we couldn't remember where the box was. Or that almanac that came with it to make the questions much easier to answer. Imagine that, needing to read a book to complete games! Kids these days are spoiled, I always say.

Discs 1-3 were installation and 4-5 were for playing. I had the "Deluxe" version on Mac, which had - and don't pretend you're not jealous - 256 COLOURS! None of this 32 colour pleb stuff for me!

AND I can remember when I'd be playing the greatest game of all time*, WarCraft II, with my siblings, one on one in a LAN connected by null Ethernet or modem cables. My modem was 24kb/s, from memory. For all of its archaic technology, we could play in a LAN, in the same room, without paying some stupid corporation $1,000,000/month and needing another copy of the game for the honour of having multiplayer. Kids these days are so deprived, I always say.

hehe! From what I remember, the games were all preinstalled in the computers of the school, so we didn't have to insert discs :P

But yeah, I used floppy discs at home to save the drawings I made with Paint and pictures of characters of series I watched or other things that I found from the Internet with the modem connection when I was a kid. I remember that my parents controlled the time I'd be connected because meanwhile that meant they could not use the phone and also....the price of the connection....

And I kept buying PC's that could still use diskettes much longer than other people did, although same with Internet connection, I didn't get ADSL until 2006-2007.... (and I still have VHS's and a player.....still working).

And Carmen Sandiego was so difficult indeed! I remember the questions' thing!

Another one we played was "Prehistoric" for MS-Dos...

Quote

I was replaying Prince of Persia the other day. It still holds up! It's such a good game!

*Full disclosure: I'm basing that on the games I owned. We didn't have many games as our parents didn't buy them. Every now and then we'd... find them by borrowing them off friends and they'd magically clone themselves. The games, not the friends.

Still? But it is as good as the MS-Dos version? :P I just remember him always falling down!!!! 

ETA: It was so good indeed!!!!!

Edited by Meera of Tarth

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Tywin et al. said:

Maybe my part of the generation is the bridge then. Because everything you described was similar to my experience too, just make those events happen a few years earlier. Maybe the real dividing line is the kids who went outside and played all weekend and summer and those who sat in front of a screen. I was the former, and I'll cherish those memories forever. One funny thing I remember doing is getting $20 from my mom in the morning for food and then meeting up with my friends to form a little gang. They also got money, and we'd spend only a small amount of it on food cause we'd just get pizzas. The rest went to the good stuff. Sometimes we'd pool it to buy a video game for a NES (we shared games), but there were two main prizes: more Nerf guns for our epic battles and even more importantly, STINK BOMBS! We used to love cruising past people and smashing handfuls of them at people's feet. "Have a nice day!"

I was both :P More outdoor-type especially when younger, later a little bit of both

I also remember fondly my summers at the town of my grandparents where I could go to play outdoors, to "chase" cats to later play with them (the town had lots of friendly cats), walking the dog of my friend in the hills, washing her dog, getting dirty, the swimming pool, making a shelter in the garden, playing tennis or soccer on waste ground, and of course using the money to buy pastries or whatever. Riding the bike (although in my case I was almost a teen when I mastered the technique). Rainy days watching films or playing with Game Boy or Playstation.

Then going out at nights, firecrackers and ghost stories...

Edited by Meera of Tarth

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On 4/25/2018 at 6:47 PM, Tywin et al. said:

Maybe my part of the generation is the bridge then. Because everything you described was similar to my experience too, just make those events happen a few years earlier.

Sure, I suppose.  You're around my sister's age right?  She was born in 88.  That's still on the older level of millennial in my book.

On 4/25/2018 at 6:47 PM, Tywin et al. said:

One funny thing I remember doing is getting $20 from my mom in the morning for food and then meeting up with my friends to form a little gang.

The fun thing was just stealing money from your mom, or dad, and much more than $20.  But enough of my misspent youth.

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Although I posted very early in the thread about my skepticism of generations as a meaningful construct, I really enjoyed at a conference today a keynote presentation by Cam Marston, who has written books on this topic.  His central claims are that the sudden rise of affluence in the 20th century led to a change in focus toward the individual and self-actualization (similar to Maslow) that manifests in lots of ways in parenting and education that have imprinted on the generations is successively stronger ways.  And he was careful to emphasize general patterns of preferences/tendencies rather than stereotypes to define individuals.

First, he’s a very entertaining speaker (check him out if you can).  Second, and more significant to this thread, his observations on the behavior patterns/preferences that are common among baby boomers (are we all on the same page? Let’s get together and talk about it) and genX (I don’t want to know about your weekend, just send me an email about what you want done), and their challenge in interacting, were so on the nail that it made me wonder if his claims about Millenials (expect their job to make them happy, expect their boss to care about them as a person) as a group would hold some water too.  The audience was entirely baby boomers and genX, so I couldn’t see if Millennials felt it reflected them too. 

I was really surprised that in an audience of 200+, roughly evenly split between both generations, that he got such rapturous endorsement.  And even the exceptions rang true — some of which applied to me as an eldest child and an immigrant who grew up less affluent than Americans. 

Definitely an engaging speaker and left me with a renewed mission to stop locking myself away from my direct reports when I’m busy.  But I’ll withhold judgment on the bigger picture. 

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