Why labelling Generations is stupid

These people above, they are labelled “Millennials” — the only thing they have in common is when they were born. I myself am a late Generation Xer… It means nothing. Yet strangely these “definitions” get bandied around authoritatively as if they add some credence to what someone is writing or saying. Recently we’ve been hearing about how Millennials are suffering from the selfishness of Baby-Boomers. Yeah right, like ALL the baby-boomers are responsible for ALL the ills that Millennials are subjected to. They keep living in the goddamn houses and have consumed all the good stuff, cling on to the jobs and on and on.

This nonsense has to stop. It’s a collectivisation that doesn’t work. Just because we are born within a rough 20-year band does not equal shared experience, not at all. The range of varience that individuals may encounter is so massive as to nuke any idea of collective experience several times over. People living in different countries will experience different things, these generation labels pretty much only fit (if they fit at all) to western democracies where we can speak of more homogenised cultures. Go to Russia, India, China — you know, places where over half the world population lives and the labels make no sense at all. There is a ridiculous cultural-imperialist arrogance to assuming that western democracies are all that matter. They are the past, not the future.

So, please… before applying the broadest and most ill-fitting label to over a billion people, think if it makes any sense at all or conveys any meaning — my bet is it doesn’t.

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