The Battle of the Generations

September 15, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

Did you fight in a World War? Grow up with social media? Started a counterculture?

Generations generally have defining moments that are a reflection of characteristics of those people born in that time period.

With each generation, something is different from the previous one. It could be having more kids, or living in a more digital age. Big or small, something always defines a generation. How one generation goes about the world and their lives might be subtly or drastically different than the next.

And whether it’s good or bad is up for debate.

The Greatest Generation are those who lived through the Depression, fought in World War 2, and experienced the economic boom shortly after. Baby Boomers were raised and defined by the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and ultimately led the counterculture. This current generation – Gen Alpha – is dealing with the Covid Pandemic, and insane inflation. I call them the “struggling generation.”

However, not every characteristic defines every person of that generation. They might have traits mixed in from other generations, especially those born at the end or beginning of a generation, compared to those born right in the middle.

This is especially true with what’s known as ‘Cuspers.’ Defined as those right at the end or beginning of a generation, they have mixed characteristics of those two generations, and identify with both. Though I’m a Millennial, I’m definitely a Cusper, born right before the start of Gen Z.

Sometimes I refer to us Cuspers as the ‘Tug of War Generation’ or the ‘Confused Generation.’ Reason being is because we’re caught right in the middle, feeling the pull of either generation. We’re strong with technology, but not nearly as strong as Gen Z. We were born in a relatively peaceful time before 9/11 and the War on Terrorism. We sometimes feel ostracised from either group because we don’t fit in with one in particular.

However, I believe this gives us an advantage because we have the ability to see the perspectives of both generations. This allows us the chance to enjoy the benefits of both sides. Yes, I understand social media, for the most part. But I don’t rely on it or really care for it. I do text, but enjoy a nice phone call as well. We can help bridge that generational divide.

Because it does seem that generations clash with each other. Non truer than The Greatest Generation and Baby Boomers. Sayings like “In my day” or “My generation” and “Times have changed” get tossed around a lot among grandparents, parents, and their kids. No generation is the worst or the best. They might have a better economic stability, or better education. While for others it be more politically unstable or difficult securing a stable job. Each has something unique they bring to the table, and we should embrace those qualities, learn to mix them in to create a better world going forward.

Not only am I a Cusper, but I have Baby Boomer parents, born right in the middle of their generation. So though I’m more ‘modern,’ my personality has traits from that time period as well. Which makes me feel unique, but at times, at odds with my fellow Millennials or Gen Zers.

It’s Interesting to see three or four generations of a family together, and see how society, and us a species, have changed and evolved through time. For a long time there was my Grandma, parents, myself, and my younger cousins. Four generations – consisting of the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Millennials, and Gen Z –  and it was very interesting seeing us all mixed in together.

My Grandma was one of eight. Those siblings were born across twenty years! A whole generational age difference from the oldest to the youngest. Though I didn’t meet all of them, I’ve always wondered what it would be like seeing them all together. How one might act compared to another. My Grandma was the middle one, so just seeing her compared to her two youngest siblings was different enough for me.

What are some things you think define you and the generation your part of? Do you fit in with that generation, or lean towards another one?

There’ll always be differences amongst generations. But it’s interesting seeing those differences evolve through history. I wonder what the next generation will be called, what characteristics they’ll have, and moments that define and shape their world.

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.