Boomers and Millenials

24 06 2013

Last night three Boomer couples visited over food and drink and shared our stories on a hot summer night, poolside under a bright shining moon. Even though we didn’t know each other in our younger days, our “drugs, sex, rock and roll” stories were similar. We all had the same cultural touch points, the JFK and MLK assassinations, civil rights, Viet Nam and Beatles vs. Stones.

Earlier that day, I attended a leadership retreat with my professional club, AAF-BR.  I am now the oldest member on that board. What my sweetie told me is true; I’ll be the last Boomer president that organization has. Driving that point home, the 26-year old who followed me was our youngest president ever. At a conference we attended, someone assumed he was my son. I told him from now on, I was going to refer to him as my boy toy. Even though this group of professions is younger than me, we respect each other and I believe they enjoy my company as much as I enjoy theirs.

I’m pondering this, as it seems there’s been a rash of articles recently that makes it appear that Boomers and Millenials are at war with each other. I’m sure you’ve heard it. Boomers saying that Millenials are an entitled group of slackers who want everything handed to them without working for it. And Millenials saying the Boomers have screwed their environment, the economy and now they’re in debt and can’t get a job because Boomers won’t retire and can the Boomers just die off already.

Are we doing the same thing, just differently?

Are we doing the same thing, just differently?

No doubt there’s a generation gap. But wasn’t there an even larger generation gap between Boomers and their parents. And wasn’t it the Baby Boomer generation that said, “Don’t trust anyone over 30,”  that is until they aged out of that belief?

I went to see The Great Gatsby with my 23-year-old daughter and a few of her friends and was reminded of the differences of our ages. We all enjoyed the movie and went out for a drink together after. I had to tweet a picture of my wine because it was time for the Generation Fabulous winehop  and I wanted to be a part of it. I felt the need to apologize because I believe there’s rudeness to being more engaged with your phone than the company you’re with. ‘No Problem” they said, they really didn’t tweet but were into Vine  and Snapchat. I thought I was social media savvy, but I realized these young ‘ens absorb the latest thing and intuitively know how to do it and have moved on to something else before I’ve ever heard of it.

There was also the conversation that Kanye West is this generation’s Bob Dylan. I patted the young fella’s hand and laughingly said, “Bless your heart, we’ll just have to accept the fact that we’re from different generations.”

These are the differences that continues to keep life interesting. I’ve learned a big lesson from this age group. They are fearless and feel they can do anything. I really love how they embrace people  for who they are. They’re more color-blind and it doesn’t matter to them who their friends love.

My young friend, the AAF president recently went head-to-head with the State Governor about a proposed tax on creative services. I would have never had the chutzbah to face off with the Governor at a press conference.  He attributed it to his age which is more WTF than OMG and to the fact that he’s passionate about the advertising industry that we’re both a part of.  The Millenials have a “Yeah, I can do it and it doesn’t matter if I don’t know how, I’ll figure it out” attitude. It may come across to some as cocky, but I see it as fearless.

So this Boomer has tried to adopt that attitude. Instead of saying, “No, I don’t know how to do that, so I can’t.” I’ve learned to say, “Yeah I can do it, no problem.” And if I don’t know how, I can always get a young friend to show me the way.

If you like My Creative Journey, I’d love for you to follow me. My posts will then arrive in your email and I promise no spam.

I’m proud to be a GenFab blogger!

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10 responses

24 06 2013
janieemaus

And to add to your thoughts..I think we can all get along, just fine.

24 06 2013
conniemcleod

Thanks for your comment

24 06 2013
imnotasupermom

I’m Gen X in the middle, so I have a foot in each camp. When did I become not-the-youngest?

24 06 2013
conniemcleod

Just look at it as you’ve got experience without the chin hairs!!

24 06 2013
Ginger Kay

Great post, Connie. I’ve wanted to say this about Boomers for years, but not being one, felt it wouldn’t be well received: “And wasn’t it the Baby Boomer generation that said, “Don’t trust anyone over 30,” that is until they aged out of that belief?”

24 06 2013
conniemcleod

I think every generation has blinders on about their youth and “forgets” what it may not want to remember. I’m glad I could say it for you!

24 06 2013
Lisa Garon Froman

Well done Connie. This was a great post. I work with a lot of younger people and I am often slack-jawed by their audacity. And I kinda love it. I’ve learned a little about social media from them too…though I am out of the loop on snapchat. Now, as for Kanye West being compared to Bob Dylan….OMG.

24 06 2013
conniemcleod

Lisa, LOL, yeah, that whole Kayne comparison is clearly ridiculous.

25 06 2013
Ellen Dolgen

I agree with you, Connie. I love the fearlessness, openness and love that the younger generation has for each other. each generation can learn from the other. My children are 31 and 33 years old- they have probably taught me more than I ever taught them! Thanks for the great post!

25 06 2013
conniemcleod

Thanks Ellen! The learning is always both ways!

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