Talking About My Generation

Last week one of my good friends called me Generation Y. If I wasn’t driving at the time I would have punched him.

I’m Generation X.

I was born in 1979, putting me safely in the Gen X age bracket. I read Douglas Coupland books as a teenager and consider the movie Reality Bites to be a huge slap in the face.

On the other hand, I have a lot in common with Gen Y.

If only there was an online quiz that could help ease my confusion.

Oh wait, there is.

So it turns out I’m a Millennial. And not just kind of Millennial. I got a score of 80. That makes me more Millennial than most Millennial’s. That didn’t sit right with me.

Then I read this article.

There’s a lot of truth in that article. As some one who struggles to work out if I fit into the Gen X or Gen Y I’m starting to wonder if it’s worth it. We spend so much time trying to work out how to minister to Gen Y that it can feel like we’re forgetting to minister to individuals. To people.

Are these generational boxes actually useful? People talk about the characteristics of Gen Y and how we can use different strategies to take advantage of these qualities. But seriously, how often does putting a generation of people into a box actually help us?

I’m seriously considering putting all this Gen X and Gen Y stuff into a packing box in the back of my head somewhere. Somewhere dark and dusty where I’ll forget I even put it there. I’m increasingly convinced that the whole concept of splitting people into generations has no use what so ever.

Please. Convince me otherwise. Show me how this is not pigeon holing but actually useful. Other wise, I think I’m going to stop caring if I’m Gen X.

Because at the end of the day, I belong not to a generation, but to Christ. If there’s no useful purpose to these generational markers, than they’re just an excuse. They’re a reason not to try and understand someone who’s a different age to you. And if that’s true, then it’s not helping us reach people who need Christ. It’s keeping us away.

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4 responses to “Talking About My Generation”

  1. Carrie04 says :

    Well I did the test too and got 75 and I am no near a Millenial. I’m a Gen X for sure! I don’t now how I received 75 either! So I am with you on that!


  2. Julie says :

    Ha ha, I got 34! Obviously I fit with my actual generation (X) and I don’t feel pigeon-holed. Matt says I am more like a pre-baby boomer with my attitudes though (pretty conservative, frugal etc). I think there is a definite trend with all the Gen Ys I know. They are very different to me (in some very good ways and some not so good ways in my opinion) and I don’t mind stereotyping them, though I know many of the personally!

    • Joel A Moroney says :

      I’m wondering the same thing as Matt. Are we taking typical behaviours of young people and making it a generational thing? And are we then taking these generalisations and using them to justify and excuse unchristian behaviour?
      Just a thought

  3. Matt Jacobs says :

    I’ve often wondered how much of the stereotype of Gen Y (lazy, expect everything now, not all that into commitment etc etc) to be more of a teenager thing and a sin thing, rather than a generational thing.

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