Breakdown of the Generational Gap


In today’s day and age, rather than going to a bookstore everyone resorts to online purchases for novels. while generations ago the only access to books were through a library. Generations have been evolving and are being shaped by the digital world.

Ramya Raja, Staff Writer

The GI Generation, The Mature Silents, the Baby Boomers and Generations X, Y, and Z. The 21st century is filled with six living generations, but the differences between these generations, these people, is overwhelmingly astounding. Today, ideas such as selfies, what we consider to be common and well known, are completely foreign concepts to the majority of our elders. Ideologies, such as the acceptance of the LGBTQ community, remained foreign and unheard of in the past.  Pop culture references such as “The Rock” and “Shoot like Katniss!” are not understood by generations previous. The wide gap between generations is astonishing, yet understandable and predictable. However, certain generations overlap or merge into one another.  Each generation performs one of two actions: they isolate themselves from previous and preceding generations or are absorbed into current generational trends.

There is a generational separation among the Mature Silents, born around 1927 and 1945, and the Baby Boomers, born approximately around 1946 and 1964. Each generation has their own influences which shaped them into what they are today. The Mature Silents were children of the Korean and Vietnam Wars, resulting in their characters becoming disciplined, self-sacrificing and cautious, while the Baby Boomers, having grown up in strict environments, are rebellious and carefree – proof of the age groups varying, drastic changes in ideologies. While the Mature Silents believed in avoiding debt and carefully managing money, the Baby Boomers believed in buying first and using credit. While the Mature Silents were the richest retirees in history, the Baby Boomers remained vastly more in debt than their parents. The will of the Baby Boomer generation created a massive gap between the two chronological generations resulting in the massive difference of opinion.

On the opposing side of the argument, and applying to our present time period, current and past generations find themselves merging with one another, due to their similar ideologies and seeking of “the next best thing”, proof surfacing between The Millennials and Generation Z. Due to the general open mindedness of the two generations, they tend to rub off on each other. Children today, currently known as Generation Z, absorb traits from their parents and social environments, then spread the information to their parents, The Millennials, bridging the generational gap. Together, the two age groups share much: a love for technology like never seen before, great expectations for themselves, and unlimited access to information with the fast pace of the digital world. Between specifically these two generations, the overlapping characteristics makes them barely indistinguishable one another, aside from the time frame of birth.

The current students occupying North Forsyth High School are among the few classes ever to exist among two generations: the Millennials and Generation Z. According to the time frame in which they were born, the class of 2017 was born between 1998 and 1999, identifying them as Millennials, while the class of 2020 was born between 2001 and 2002, identifying them as Generation Z. However, characteristically, little is different between the two generations due to their merging factors.

The generational gap may exist, but in the world we live in, digital technology, has begun to make the gap smaller and less obvious. Thus, generations have finally begun to merge.

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