I am 50 years old. Whatever that means.
Scientifically, presuming you buy into the whole notion of how we measure (and if you don’t, eh… jog on ya weirdo!), that means I have been on this tiny little planet as it’s taken 50 revolutions around the sun and I’ve managed to stay alive. I don’t take all the credit for that, of course, my parents had a large part in that for the early years but I reckon I can claim at least 35 or so of those years for myself… go me.
I posit all of this because my increasing perception that being part of a specific ‘generation’ is, somehow, now a definition of one’s self.
I looked it up and it turns out – according to this website – that I’m part of Generation X (aka Gen X).
So there you have it.
Apparently that means, as I “grew up in a time when technology was advancing fast, but it wasn’t nearly as readily available as it is today … this generation straddles both the digital and non-digital world, and understands the importance of both.”
Great. Go me! Or something.
Thing is, I’ve spent a long part of my life happily and deliberately pushing gently against such labels. I didn’t have a kid until I was 48, I had tattoos long before they were ‘popular’ (my first when I was 17, that was in 1990 for those keeping track), and whilst many will look at me as a fairly stereotypical white cis male (with middle aged spread well in place), the truth is I’ve always been bi-curious, understanding the fluidity of gender and sexuality, and again, whilst I am married (for the second time) I am not … errr … married to the idea of marriage itself. This time around it was largely to simplify paperwork for our son (case in point, my wife still has her old name on her passport, why change it until we need to?!).
The reason I’m writing this is because over on Threads there has been a few posts all discussing this very topic, which Generation are you and how that might influence your thinking and memories etc. And, as this is the internet, sparked a short questionnaire which offers to give you a more nuanced view as to which % of a given generation you might be… it is focused on work scenarios but on the whole I think it holds true.
My results: “You sound most like a Gen-Xer at work. I’m 39% GenX, 30% Millennial, 22% GenZ, 9% Boomer”.
Which much better fits with my mental model. I think a lot of this is down to my early adopter mentality, I was online a lot from the mid 90s (and learning about computers way before that too). I think being exposed to the growing culture that was evolving online back then, the early IRC chatrooms, the early days of personal websites, the explosion of blogs and more personal takes on world events, all contribute to how I view and communicate online and, as a lot of work these days is online, and I include email in that so this goes back before video conferencing made working from home a reality.
By age I am Generation X but, as the test results show, a lot of my thinking is Millennial as that’s who I ‘grew up’ with online.
As for 9% Boomer, hey that’s just because I value things like punctuation and spelling.
But so what? Like I say, I’m not a fan of labels as they are so easily used to put people down, just because we get around. If that’s your attitude, then why don’t you all just f-f-fade away. (sorry, had to be done).
What Generation are you? And which do you most identify with? Would love to hear your thoughts on this, dear reader!