(Dan here…better late than not!)
by New Deal democrat
You know the drill. It’s Sunday so I get to ruminate about all stuff that isn’t dry economics.
The oldest member of the Millennial generation is 38. Not only do I not think that The Kids Today would want to be lumped with that age group, but their uncool parents are probably precisely members of that group!
So what to name the generation that came after the Millennials? both “post-Millennials” and “Gen Z” are condescending and probably don’t cut it with The Kids Today. Remember, “Gen X” was originally called “the baby bust,” and Millennials were originally called “Gen Y” or “the echo boom,” before catchier names were found.
A good dividing point is whether or not you remember 9/11. If you do, and were born after 1980, you’re a Millennial. If you don’t, you’re not. Most studies seems to agree with this, using 1996 or so as the cut-off year after which you are not a Millennial. A similar if less apocalyptic marker is the Columbine school shooting of 1999. If you remember it, you’re a Millennial. If your schooling always included “active shooter” drills, you’re not.
But while the War on Terror or mass shootings have always been in the background for The Kids Today, everyday life has been dominated by something else. If you were born after 1996, iPods were always around — and there’s a good chance you owned one. So were cell phones. For most of your youth — *always* for the younger part of this cohort — iPhones and flat screen TV’s have been around, and you probably have had one (or another smart phone) since junior high school. In fact you may spend most of your time glued to one! The term “iGeneration” captures this perfectly.
I’m not the first person to think this is a better name. From Wikipedia
iGeneration (or iGen) is a name that several persons claim to have coined. Demographer Cheryl Russell claims to have first used the term in 2009. Psychology professor and author Jean Twenge claims that the name iGen “just popped into her head” while she was driving near Silicon Valley, and that she had intended to use it as the title of her 2006 book Generation Me about the Millennial generation, until it was overridden by her publisher. In 2012, Ad Age magazine thought that iGen was “the name that best fits and will best lead to understanding of this generation”. In 2014, an NPR news intern noted that iGeneration “seems to be winning” as the name for the post-Millennials.
So henceforth when I examine demographics issues, I am going to use the term “iGeneration,” the earliest polling as to which indicates that they hate Trump even more than their Millennial predecessors do!