Staff Editorial: Bridge between generations should be valued

  From baby boomers to millennials, the gap between is filled with much more than numbered years. Time has altered traditions and morals in such a way that the older generations are often portrayed as being ashamed of the current youth. The reasons why can easily be found in the environment that every generation was raised in. Every generation has differences, and these differences should be valued rather than ridiculed.

  History of course is one of the largest factors that comes into play. Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964) had pivotal roles involved in the Civil Rights movement, Woodstock, and the Vietnam War. Psychologist Ralph Ryback M.D. wrote in his article “Baby Boomers to Generation Z” in “Psychology Today,” this generation strongly values relationships and has sculpted strong interpersonal skills due to the lack of technology. What little technology they did have was used for productivity tools as opposed to connectivity. Due to the second World War having just ended, this generation set the definition for “workaholics” as they strived to sculpt an ideal corporate America.

  The generation following Baby Boomers is labeled Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980). Baby boomers have the alternative name of “latch-key kids” due to the fact that they largely were raised on daycare due to either both parents being overly involved in the workforce or one divorced parent. Unlike the generation preceding them, Baby Boomers focused more on balancing work-life rather than establishing corporate America. This generation also began various social movements fighting racism, homophobia, and biased/tyrannical establishments.

  The millennials (born between 1980 – 2005) have grown into a stereotype as the “narcissistic” generation.This is due to their reliance on new innovations, startups, and tendency to ignore full-time jobs. This generation has redefined the workplace as well as stomped on all previous social prejudice. Due to this generation being raised by parents who saw themselves as partners rather than authoritative figures, the children grew up accustomed to making their own rules. Even “Time” magazine has labeled this generation as “The Me Me Me Generation” because they want it all.

  However this generation was not born into the ideal and spoiled lifestyle that their predecessors claim. Psychologist and social commentator Dr. Jean Twenge says in her collection of published psychological data that depression, loneliness, and panic attacks are significantly more characteristic of millennials than any previous generation (“Millennials Are Different Than Any Other Generation In History: Here’s Why” by Colette Shade). This increase in mental illness can be caused by a large number of factors such as the hardships of modern day society, the nearly unhealthy obsession with technology, and the heavy egotism. The biggest reason could be the extreme pressure to be successful despite the expensive cost of buying a home, keeping a good job, and getting married. In the workplace, millennials strive for flexibility – lax dress code, more vacation time,

and an ability to work from home versus the office. As Ryback explains in his article – this generation values working smarter, not harder.

  Ultimately, controversy will always follow the birth of a new generation. With time comes changes and adaptations, so even though our generation may seem disrespectful, lazy, or arrogant to someone from another generation, our morals and worldviews have changed to coincide with current events. Whereas Baby Boomers laid their importance in recovering the economy through a newly defined corporate America, our generation has focused on establishing a more open and accepting society to accommodate our broad point of view on public matters such as politics, racism, sexism, etc. Despite the somewhat negative stereotypes of the average millennial, the bridge between generations has allowed a whole new era of open-minded students to be born. Instead of seeing the bridge between generations as a gap, it should be seen as an accepted growth and change in society.