What's In A Generation?

The Blurred Lines of American Generations

There seems to be one thing that everyone can agree on when it comes to generations in America: Baby Boomers were born between 1946 - 1964. Everything else is rather unclear. If you were born before 1945, you may be labeled "The Greatest Generation," "The Silent Generation," "The Lucky Few," have some combination of these labels or none at all. Anyone born after 1965 could be "Generation X" or "Generation Y." What's with all of the confusion?

Let's examine a couple of charts, that should sort it out.

Notice that between these two charts, the only overlapping generation is again the Baby Boomers. There is widespread confusion about all of the other generations. In fact, the Baby Boomers are the only generation that are actually technically defined at all by the United States government. Everything else is conjured by someone else.

The reason that I find this so interesting is that there is so much intergenerational warfare in America. Gen Xers may call Millennials lazy and entitled while Millennials may call Gen Xers materialistic and selfish. But, if you happen to be born in 1983, it would appear that you are a member of both. We have so many stereotypes about the characteristics that define and describe certain generations, but I feel that most of this is a farce. Our characteristics are largely determined by our genetics and our upbringing; if decades worth of individuals all possessed the same qualities, we would live in a very simple world that lacked much of the diversity that surrounds us. 

In my opinion all generations other than Baby Boomers should be "unlabeled." Baby Boomers can keep their title because they are identified only by their birth rate, which has nothing to do with their individuality. For everyone else, I think that we should stop criticizing and stereotyping and learn to coexist with one another.