Generation labels are new to the 20th and 21st centuries. As the 20th century unfolded, technology progressed, yet human interaction, personal responsibility, and accountability regressed. Now the 21st century is here, and Generation X, Y, and Z are on the scene and in full control of civilization, or are they?
The first generation label was the “baby boomers” that exponentially increased the United States population when World War II ended, and the soldiers came home. This generation was the hard-working, responsible, accountable, and innovative generation that laid down the fibers of what this country once represented. This generation was said to have occurred from 1946-1962.
Generation X (1961-1981) were exposed to a controlled media outlet to include the three networks on UHF (ultra high frequency). Commodore 64, Pong, and the touch tone phone were just emerging as the newest technology. They interacted face-to-face, and possessed a strong value base. They were forced to do things for themselves. Education was very important, and personal achievement and goal orientation still echo in their ears from their parents.
Generation Y (1982-2001) began to have more media outlets such as cable TV that offered hundreds of stations at their fingertips, and unfortunately became the new babysitter as households were forced to have both parents return to the workforce due to the economy. MTV (Music Television) music set to videos was the newest craze. And it seemed the more shocking the scenes on cable television, the more desensitized this generation became.
Out of these two generations technologies exploded onto the scene, bringing with them the inception of the PC, Internet, cellular phone, X-Box, and GPS. But as Generation X and Y marveled at their achievements and breakthroughs, Generation Z (the post 9/11 generation) is now left with no identity. They are totally digitized, bombarded with information at the speed of light, and some suffer from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivy Disorder).
Even with all this technology readily available to children today, Generation Z lacks the desire to expand their vocabulary and human interactions due to texting/IMing. The laziness of this mindset is disheartening to the previous generations, leaving them to question where they went wrong. Children turn to the internet and accept the first answer without contestation or confirmation. If not careful, this generation with all this technology available could find themselves blindly traveling into a future with no sense of spirituality, cultural identity, or morality.