Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Icepick Cometh

For those of you looking for another Gen X voice in cyberspace, I've found a blog I really like: The Icepick Cometh. Most recently, Icepick explores how Gen Xers not only are cyncial about the world, but about themselves:

One thing that escaped me until recently (but seems rather obvious now) — our
generation’s tendency to cast the proverbial jaded eye on everything includes
casting that eye back on ourselves.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Have Babyboomers gone out of style?

Marian Salzman, the writer credited with popularizing the term "metrosexuality," says 2008 was the year when Boomers went out of style - and Generation Jones has taken their place. Generation Jones is made up of people who were born at the end of the Baby Boom and the beginning of Generation X (and, frankly, they are Gen Xers, although the Boomers don't want to let them go.)

Salzman says that Generation Jones-ers have very different values than people who came of age in the 1960s.

They value traditional notions of family but see men and women as equals in
parenting. They go back to older American values -- civility, community,
responsibility -- yet keenly embrace technology and use the Internet naturally.

Sounds like Generation X to me. In fact, kind of sounds like me.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Office parties and Generation X

The number one complaint I get from Gen Xers about dealing with Boomers at work is that they don't want to get roped into ANOTHER party, cookie exchange, secret santa, or, frankly, any team building activity.

Today, one of my favorite blogs Punk Rock HR has something to add: Don't ask me to plan your stupid party, either.

Thank you Punk Rock HR for educating the masses!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday roads: Where Gen X and the Griswolds intersect

I've been thinking about being a Gen X parent lately. Three things really started me on this thought path. First, do to the enormous amount of snow dumped on us in mid-Michigan, my kids have been home from school - a lot. Secondly, National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation was on television last weekend. And lastly, I found a new blog by Canadian Lillian Schaer where she talks about a Gen X baby boom that's happening.

So I started asking myself: Are we becoming the next generation of Clark Griswolds? And then I answered myself: Yes.

Clark lives in his family-centered life and is often misunderstood by outsiders.
Clark likes to have a good time with his family.

Clark is a successful professional (in the food additives business, which affords him the opportunity to treat his family to cool vacations.)

I think you could say the same thing about Xers: We're family centered, like to have fun, and successful in our work although most of the outside world seems to ignore that fact.

Therefore, Xers, this holiday season, I encourage you to embrace you inner Griswold.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A-ha - we're not so bad after all!

Anyone from the Boomers on down can relate to this: Having parents and other adults harp on you when you were a kid about watching too much television.

"Why don't you go outside? Climb a tree?" seemed to be a common question asked by parents.

Well, it turns out we're all hypocrites. The Matures watch more TV than the Boomers. Boomers watch more than the Xers. And Xers watch more than the Ys.

Time.com reported on the Deloitte study this week.
According to a new study from Deloitte (h/t TVTattle), "millennials" (Americans aged 14 to 25) watch 10.25 hours of TV per week—although they spend more time with "media" (including computers, videogames and music) than other age groups. Beyond that group, TV use goes up with age: 15.1 hours for Gen X (those aged 26 to 42), 19.2 hours for baby boomers (43-61) and 21.5 hours for "matures" (62-75).
However, this is not just important to those who want to throw it in the face of their elders - it's also significant to those who are trying to market their products and services to younger demographics. Obviously, television advertising may not be the way to go (but we kind of knew that anyway.)

Friday, December 12, 2008

How dumb are you?

In light of the recent rumblings as to which is the dumbest, most underacheiving generation, I have decided to do a poll to find out the real answer.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Those crazy Gen Ys...

I've seen a lot written lately about Gen Y's post college depression and I'm worried. Not because they're supposedly depressed, but because they are being labeled depressed.

When I was there age, they called that being a slacker. Which describes neither Gen X or Gen Y. To me it was the way Boomers saw what we were going through. And calling Ys depressed is just another way to make the younger people feel like they're not living up to their potential.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think we should give our Gen Y brothers and sisters a free ride. Getting through those first years out of college is a rite of passage that I believe is necessary if we're going to grow into strong, independent adults. But let's remember that we all went through this, too. And it wasn't fun to be labeled because of it.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Good stuff: Obama & Generation Jones

Althought I don't agree with EVERYTHING in this video (for instance, I absolutely think Obama is an Xer - he's the king of the Xers - he's the poster boy for Xerness), I find one theme right on track: The Obama victory was a generational shift in politics. We can call it post-Boomer politics if that makes people feel better.

I realize Obama is black. I realized that it's a big deal that he's the first black president. Yet, that's not why he is so appealing. There are many of people of color in this clip that talk about generational impact on Obama's candidacy. It's because the race and generational issues are intertwined here. Xers are more racial diverse.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Xers shop online, yet still don't care about your marketing strategy

A new study by the Pew Internet and American Life project shows that three-quarters of Gen X women shop online. However, despite the large amount of Xers in cyberspace, they are still a tricky demographic to target, according to emarketing.com. Unlike Gen Y, who use the Internet mostly for entertainment, Gen X uses the Internet as a resource for information. Therefore, they want your information, not your marketing messages.

Here's an idea: Give Xers the information they want about your product - and if it's something that meets their needs they will buy it. I know, marketing can be such a tough thing to master.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Xers are the new establishment - Not!

It seems that everywhere I look lately, there is a Gen Y blogging about how we Xers are jealous of them, are commited to the company, and the people who are crushing those great Gen Y ideas at every turn.

And I can't help but thinking - what?

Seriously. What?

Even our friends over at Brazen Careerist can be guilty of it. However, if you ask a Boomer whether Xers are like them, you will hear a resounding "Nooooooo!"

So, just for the record, Xers are not like Boomers. They're more like Ys, without all the soccer trophies. And a little bit more sarcasm. And they drive minivans (hey, we're parents now, what can I say?).

Here's my free advice to Gen Y bloggers: There are a lot of things you can rip on Xers about - our need to add our glib opinions to everything, our lack of trying to sugar-coat things so we don't hurt your feelings, our bad fashion choices in the 80s, our obsessive use of the f-word. However, we don't buy into the hierarchy either. Our cohorts are responsible for Amazon.com and Google. We're the generation of Kurt Cobain and Janeane Garafalo.