X Marks the Spot?  Not Anymore – Y Does!

X Marks the Spot? Not Anymore – Y Does!

To whom are you directing your marketing materials?  An article by David Mastovich, who publishes “Light Reading” as part of his “Massolutions” eNewsletter, stated the following:

Marketers, historians and writers love to coin catchy phrases to describe generations with similar life experiences, values and attitudes. An entire column could debate the segmentation and descriptions of various generations. Instead, let’s focus on the communication challenges created as a result of four generations working side by side for the first time in American History, including:

• The Silent Generation, born between 1933 – 1945 (ages 73-85)
• Baby Boomers, born between 1946 – 1964 (ages 54-72)
• Gen X, born between 1965 – 1976 (ages 42-53)
• Gen Y, born between 1977 – 1989 (ages 29-41)

The current talk seems to be about the difficulty working with Gen Y.  Since similar angst occurred when Baby Boomers and Gen Xers entered the workforce, we might want to acknowledge that it could be, as Yogi Berra famously said, deja vu all over again. Each generation has similarities and differences.


USA Today, Time Magazine and other media outlets describe Gen Y as nurtured, programmed and pampered by parents more involved than those of previous generations. Academicians note Gen Yers grew up in the era of ‘latchkey kids,’ daycare and high divorce rates. This combination makes Gen Y the most independent generation to date, with a sense of security, optimism and in some ways, entitlement. Their technological expertise, multitasking skills and educational experiences also make Gen Y more prepared to enter the workforce.

You may realize some truth to the description of generations, although debate exists as to where Generation X ends and Generation Y begins.  If you notice the yearly breakdowns, you’ll note that some of the generations indicated above are between 11 and 18 years in length.  Personally, I like to think of a generation spanning 18 to 20 years or so (as is reflected in the above description of the Baby Boomers).  Similarly, we can see attributes of the Generation Y, more commonly referred to now as “The Millennials,” as present in our current ehigh school students – so either Gen Y is has a later “end” date, Gen X is longer than 11 years, or both.  It will still be a few years into the future before we can determine a more clear line of demarcation

However, for argument sake, let’s think about the ages of the children in our K-12 experience today – 5 years old through 18 – which would make them different from any other generation that has gone before them, as are their parents.  Let’s take a closer look. Read more about X Marks the Spot? Not Anymore – Y Does!