The Border Collie Chronicles

Observations from (arguably) the World's Smartest Dogs;
(but, without question, the bestest friends!)
or, Life As We Understand It, as told from dad's shop.

Posted February 7, 2013


What Are You????What Are You 01

By Annie


I think that I’m probably an Echo Boomer … you know … a Gen Y’er … yeah, you know … a millennial!  According to Wikipedia (one of my most favoritest sources), us Gen Y’ers display increased narcissism[i] (a generalized personality trait that is characterized by egotism, vanity, conceit and/or selfishness).  There is also a belief out there that this could definitely be a social or cultural problem, rather than MY problem, and I couldn’t agree more!


You see, in my research[ii] for this dissertation, I discovered that, generally speaking:


  • The Depression Era loosely defines those folks born between 1912 and 1921:  Of course, these folks are conservative and compulsive savers; they tend to be more patriotic, oriented toward work before pleasure, respect authority, and have a real sense of moral obligation.

  • The World War II Era is those folks born in that brief period between 1922 and 1927:  People in this group shared a common goal of defeating the Axis powers. There was an accepted sense of “deferment” among this group, contrasted with the emphasis on “me” in more recent generations.

  • The Post-War Generation is from 1928-1945:  This generation dealt with the growth of Cold War tensions, the potential for nuclear war and other never before seen threats which led to levels of discomfort and uncertainty throughout the generation.  These folks value security, comfort, and familiar, known activities and environments.

  • The Baby Boomers (or Boomers 1) range from 1946 to 1954:  These are the folks that “came of age” in the sixties and early seventies.  This segment is bounded by the Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinations, the Civil Rights movements and the Vietnam War.  Boomers 1 were in or protested the War while the Boomers 2 missed the whole dang thing.  Boomers 1 had good economic opportunities and were largely optimistic about the potential for America and their own lives.  They are known for their loyalty, work ethic and creativity.  The women were the first to put on a business suit and break the glass ceiling.  Pioneers, they worked their way up to the executive suite.

  • The Boomer 2 Generation comprise a bulk of folks that we know born between 1955 and 1965:  This first post-Watergate generation lost much of its trust in government and the optimistic views that Boomers 1 had.  Economic struggles including the oil embargo of 1979 reinforced a sense of “I’m out for me”, some narcissism and a focus on self-help.  The youngest members of the Boomer 2’s did not have the benefits of the Boomer 1 class as many of the best jobs, opportunities, housing etc. were taken by the larger and earlier group.  Both Gen X and Boomer 2’s suffer from this long shadow cast by Boomers 1.  (See … stick with me, I’m getting there!!  Blame is starting to flow!!)

  • Generation X (we know a BUNCH of these folks too!!) are those folks born between 1966 and 1976:  These folks are sometimes referred to as the “lost” generation - this was the first generation of “latchkey” kids who were exposed to a lot of daycare and divorce.  Their parents were the Boomers, hard at work at the office, so they came home after school to an empty house, made their own snack and watched TV, goofed off or did homework until Mom and/or Dad got home.  Independent and resourceful, they learned to make decisions and deal with challenges on their own.  This group is often characterized by high levels of skepticism, “what’s in it for me” attitudes and a reputation for some of the worst music to ever gain popularity.  Many Gen Xers have formed families with a higher level of caution and pragmatism than their parents demonstrated.  Concerns run high over avoiding broken homes, kids growing up without a parent around and financial planning.  (Yep – the “blame game” is in full swing.)

  • Now we’re up to Generation Y, Echo Boomers or Millenniums – those born around 1977 to 1994:  Gen Y kids are known as incredibly sophisticated, technology wise, immune to most traditional marketing and sales they not only grew up with it all, they’ve seen it all and been exposed to it all since early childhood.  Gen Y kids often raised in dual income or single parent families have been more involved in family purchases ... everything from groceries to new cars.  One in nine Gen Y’ers has a credit card (or a pickup) co-signed by a parent.

Now, of course, there are some sub groups of all of these generations – and there are some folks that are clearly defined in another group – despite their birth date!  Dad, as an example, can mostly be pegged as a Depression Era generation member (despite being born some 45 to 54 years later!  If it wasn’t for that “respect for authority” thing, yeah, he also has a little Boomer 2 and X creeping in there too!!)


What Are You 02OK – so here’s the culmination of my thoughts … you see, based on the analysis of all of my research, I have come to the conclusion that with all of the support of helicopter parents[iii] (who, by all means, mean well!) that a Millennial Generation (aka Entitlement Generation[iv]) has been created who accomplished “great” things as they grow up in the suburbs; face anxiety when confronted with new challenges; and who multitask with ease - as their parents hover (see ... I told you ... Helicopter Parents) reassuringly above them.  Yes, "Trophy Kids[v]" have been created!!  I can only imagine what the ramification of this is in some workplace environments.  I anticipate that some of us Millennials have a too great of an expectation of the workplace[vi].  As a matter of fact, I have read some studies which predict that Generation Y will switch jobs with more frequency (and sometimes flippancy), holding far more jobs in a lifetime than Generation X can even imagine, due to the increased expectations.  You see … it’s not our fault … you created us!![vii]  You love us … You told us that we could do anything (and then you did it for us!)  While we appreciate it, the ramification might be tough on all of us!What Are You 03

Now, let’s not forget about the up and coming kids … yeah, I’m talking about Generation Z – folks born since 1995:  Yeah, it’s true that we don’t know much about Gen Z yet (but I’m pretty sure that most of them are clueless too!)... we do know a lot about the environment they are growing up in.  Higher levels of technology will make significant inroads in academics allowing for customized instruction, data mining of student histories to enable pinpoint diagnostics and remediation or accelerated achievement opportunities.  Gen Z kids are growing up with a highly sophisticated media and computer environment and will be even more Internet savvy and expert than their Gen Y forerunners.

Well – in retrospect – I guess we can’t really pigeon hole folks into any specific category (and probably shouldn’t) … we’re all individuals (though it’s sometimes fun to look at the pigeon holes).  We can see qualities and traits of us from many of the different generations … let’s try and pick the best from each and go out and conquer the world (or at least empty the trashcan!!)


So … What Generation (or blend) Are You???!!!







[i] The term narcissism comes from the Greek myth of Narcissus, a handsome Greek youth who rejected the desperate advances of the nymph Echo.  These advances eventually led Narcissus to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water.  Unable to consummate his love, Narcissus "lay gazing enraptured into the pool, hour after hour", and finally changed into a flower that bears his name, the narcissus.


[iii] Helicopter parent is a colloquial term for a parent who pays extremely close attention to their child's or children's experiences and problems, particularly at educational institutions.  The term was originally coined by Foster Cline and Jim Fay.  Helicopter parents are so named because, like helicopters, they hover overhead. It has also been reported that some such parents get involved with their children's salary negotiations. 


[v] A term that reflects the trend in competitive sports, as well as many other aspects of life, where mere participation is frequently enough for a reward. 


[vi] According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, corporations like Lands End and Bank of America are hiring “praise teams” to keep up with Gen Y’s demand for constant positive reinforcement.  Other generations believed that as long as no one fired them, their work must be okay.  Gen Y needs constant praise in the form of emails, awards, celebration balloons and other such tangible recognition of their work or they become anxious.


[vii] The advice from experts is for parents to “toughen up” by following some general guidelines:

  1. Put limits on spending by giving your teen an allowance. When it’s gone, there’s no more until next time.

  2. Let your teen face the natural consequences of his behavior. If he bangs up your car, let him pay for it.

  3. Teach your child to apologize to others, to understand their point of view, and otherwise demonstrate “emotional intelligence.”

  4. Watch how you use praise. The late prominent educator John Holt warned parents that praising a child is a massage to parental egos: building up the child becomes a form of building up yourself. Give specific praise for a specific piece of work or action. For example, tell the child, “You did a great job on that picture,” and not “You’re a great artist.” Don’t use praise to manipulate as in “You’re so brilliant, you could be a doctor.”

  5. Let children earn self-esteem from working hard and achieving in a real way.





What Are You 04 

My cousin - A Gen Z'er - Jib!!



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