- Politics and Social Issues
Generation "?": What About Us?
I'm not Generation X.
I did not grow up with Madonna; I was on my way to college when she first came out. I'm certainly not a Baby Boomer; I wasn't even born when JFK was assassinated in 1963, nor in 1964 when the Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan show.
It seems as though every other generation gets its own identity and name - The Greatest Generation (born 1901 through 1924), The Silent Generation (born 1925 through 1945), The Baby Boomers (allegedly those born 1946 up to 1964), Generation X (supposedly born from the early 1960s to the early 1980s), Generation Y (born from approximately the early 1970s to the early 2000s), and even little Generation Zers, born after that. But what about me?
Fact is, I was born in 1965, like a middle child. I am too young to relate to the ex-hippies of the 60s that made up the Baby Boom generation; I was an infant during the height of the movement. And even though "they" say I belong to Generation X, I do not relate at all to these MTV generation kids who never heard of life without cable. I remember TV having 6 channels and no remote; I do not remember MLK, RFK, or Malcolm X being shot. So I, and others born around the same time, are essentially without a generation - what I call Generation ?.
My generation is now well into middle age, and remembers life before cell phones, iPods, computers, even answering machines. We grew up taping songs off the radio with our cassette players and those of us from cities rode the subways and buses unchaperoned at 12 years old. We still marvel at Facebook and texting. We struggle to understand some of today's music. On the other hand, we have embraced the new technology and will never know what the 60s were like, except as very young children. I, for one, only learned of the returning Viet Nam POWs from my elementary school's Weekly Reader. And we definitely follow certain music of today, as opposed to our older brothers and sisters.
So I would say that those of us born from about 1960 to about 1967 are indeed the Forgotten Generation - we don't really fit in anywhere. We are people without a generation. But then that also means that we can define ourselves any way we want. And since we're still relatively young, I suppose our story still remains to be written.