Baby Boomers vs. Generation Y

Who are the Baby Boomers and Generation Y? The Baby Boomer generation is anyone born between the years 1946 and 1964, while Generation Y is anyone born between the years of 1982 and 2004. These two generations have many differences and similarities between them.

There are many differences between the Baby Boomers and Generation Y.  Some of the differences are: their work habits, doing what they are told, accepting what they have, punishment, attention spans, trust in others, and many more. Baby Boomers have a better work habit than Generation Y. This is because people in Generation Y feel they are entitled to everything, while Baby Boomers work for everything they have. Baby Boomers are independent about how they live their lives. They don’t want to depend on others for support, since that is how they were raised by the generation before them. Generation Y does not work hard to get what they want; they believe it should be handed to them. Baby Boomers also live with what they have, while Generation Y wants more. Baby Boomers work hard for what they do have and they are content with it. They realize if they want more in life they will have to work hard to get it. Generation Y does not feel the same way, since they feel like they are entitled to things and they always want more. As they want more though, they are not willing to work any harder to get it.

Another way Baby Boomers are different from Generation Y is how they act. Baby Boomers are more willing to do what they are told. They do not act outside of the law or societal norms. This may happen because of how they were punished. If a Baby Boomer did something wrong their punishment was normally some sort of beating (slapped on the bottom, hand, or mouth). This type of punishment taught them not to act out, since it only took once or twice of being slapped to realize it was not good to do that. Generation Y punishments consist of being sent to timeout. This type of punishment allows them to push the limits more and more, which does not allow them to learn from their mistakes. This causes them to be more rebellious. Since there is no real punishment they will act out more than the Baby Boomer. When protesting against something, Baby Boomers are more proactive. They will go stand on the street or march for what they believe in. Generation Y tends to use the media to protest, by updating statuses or using Twitter.

The Baby Boomers are more trusting than Generation Y. An example of this is meeting someone at a certain location at a certain time. When a Baby Boomer makes plans to be somewhere, they arrive on time, if not early. Persons of Generation Y tend to be late. This is mostly due to the extensive use of cell phones. Baby Boomers did not have cell phones when they were growing up, so when they said to meet somewhere at certain time, they had to be there. Nowadays when a person is running late, all they have to do is text or call someone to make last minute changes. This is making trust less important to Generation Y. Dating has also changed between the Baby Boomer generation and Generation Y. When Baby Boomers met someone it was in person. Now Generation can meet someone on the internet, through social media.

While the Baby Boomers and Generation Y are different in many ways, they are also similar.  It may not seem like Baby Boomers are tech-savvy, but they are learning how to use the new technology that is out today. Generation Y has an advantage of growing up with some of the new technology, but the Baby Boomers have taken the time to learn how to use it. Baby Boomers and Generation Y are also similar in saving money. They both understand the value of having money saved to help pay off debt, or to have money for the future. The Baby Boomers as well as Generation Y are also inventors and entrepreneurs. There are as many things being invented today as there were in the late 40’s and early 60’s. This is one thing that will always be the same between the generations.

While there are many differences between the Baby Boomers and Generation Y, there are also similarities as well. Some of the Baby Boomers are the parents of Generation Y children, so their own values and teachings will rub off on their children.  As times change though, so do the ways a person lives; this is why we have many differences and only a few similarities throughout the different generations. This continual change makes one think what the future generations will be like.

By: Randall Eckelman, Business Major-IUPUC.

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