’97-’05 considered different generation

Sadie McMullen

More stories from Sadie McMullen

Okay boomer
December 11, 2019

Image by Top 10 Website

Gen Z is generally associated with different things than Millennials. The most obvious is that they have grown up with technology, while Millennials were introduced to it in their teens.

America’s current high schoolers are their own breed of teenagers. We were born at a turning point in history that was full of weird inventions, original toys and online games, making it a unique time for kids to grow. While we weren’t able to enjoy the peak of technologies as kids are today, we still had formative years full of our own kind of entertainment.

Technically speaking, all current high schoolers are a part of Generation Z, classified by those born from 1995-2019 aged 0-24. There are many groups whose sole purpose is generational theory, which is the defining of American generations and their characteristics based on national events. According to Staruss-Howe generational theory, generations can be as short as five years to as long as 38, so it isn’t too much of a stretch for us to call for an eight year generation of our own. There is typically a defining historical event or crisis that influences an age group and separates it from past generations. Our new generation should be defined not just by our love of technology, despite not growing up with the advanced applications available today, but also by our ideas, open minds and our activity in politics. Politically, we grew up during the Great Recession, we experienced the first African American president and we are facing the effects of climate change. The kids of today might have to deal with similar effects, but they aren’t old enough to really remember these issues and experiences.

When I think of Gen Z, I think of kids born with an iPad in their hand who have been watching Youtube and playing games since before they could walk or talk. These kids better fit the idea of digital natives that has been presented by generational groups.

When I think of Millenials, I think of grumpy 30-something year olds who are upset about the economy, and eat avocado toast every morning. They are adults who suffered the most from the Great Recession, and are too old for our age group to be a part.

There needs to be some area in between that can be more accurate for those on the fence of two vastly different age groups. If the aim of generational theory groups is to correctly label people and their common traits based on their age group, they need to update the start and end of previously labeled generations. Some groups have suggested that there are two halves of generations, with 1997-2005 being the first connected kids. This should be the age range of our own generation. As technology advances so rapidly, there is just as rapid a change in people and their behavior. Our generation, that some have coined as “Zillennials”, deserves to be separated in the history books.