Fuck You, I’m Not A Millennial
Patrick Hipp
743108

Born 1984 here.

I think this piece makes some good points- especially the contrast between the two Baby Boomers the author knew, which illustrates the fact that even groups that are supposed to be the same "generation" can experience wildly different realities even though everyone seems to agree that they're part of the same generation. Another point that the author could have teased out, but didn't, is the way that the economic and social conditions of a kid growing up might significantly affect which "generation" that kid is part of- for example, a kid born in 1987 who grew up in a poor rural family may have had no access to computers or the internet until long after high school, while an upper middle class suburban kid born the same year would likely have had a computer at home with AOL by 1996.

Also, with the possible exception of the line between the Greatest Generation and the Silents- which I define as someone old enough to have fought in WW2, or not- it can be very hard to distinguish an exact dividing line between generations that makes sense. Of course I, born in 1984, have more in common with someone born in 1981 than 1995, even though most standard generation definitions put me in a different generation than the kid born in 81 but the same as the one born in 95.

So ultimately, these labeled generations, like "millennials" or "generation x", are mostly made up arbitrary bullshit.

All that said... Fuck you, I am a millennial. It's the kids born in 2004 or whenever who are not millennials. I'm a millennial because I lived through and remember the millennium transition, I lived through and remember the digital transformation as a child, teen, and young adult, because I lived through and remember September 11th, the Iraq War, Bush 2, and suffered from the 2008 economic meltdown, just as I and my peers were entering the job market. That set of unique circumstances defines my generation. I don't know what the kids born after, I don't know, the year 2000 are going to be called, but it's not millennial. That's me, and mine. They can be generation Z, or whatever. I'm a millennial.

And I am sorry for you folks born around 1981 or so who don't feel like you fit within either generation x or the millennials. But since we're drawing arbitrary bullshit lines here, you're young (or late) gen x'ers. That's because, for the most part, you didn't suffer from the depression just when you were graduating- you already had jobs. And you grew up without computers, for the most part. And you actually had Atari, rather than hearing about it like it was some legendary dinosaur when you grew up. Cell phones for you may even have come after college, and certainly not during high school, unless you were insanely loaded. Your conditions growing up were, in many ways, more similar to someone born in 1972 than 1986. That's why you're stuck in a generation with them.