The term millennial is a collective label given to individuals born between 1982 and 2004. Other terms that try to label a demographic cohort based upon years of birth are Generation X, Baby Boomers, the Silent Generation, and Generation Z. These expressions are an attempt to categorize billions of people into small collective groups. The concept behind this implies individuals in each group share some sort of connection.
People born between 1920 and 1940 are known as the Silent Generation. They are known as “Silent” because historians propose that during this period, members of society focused on their careers rather than on activism, and the general population conformed to social norms. This is an ironic term considering that this Silent Generation included notable individuals such as Elvis Presley, Martin Luther King, The Beatles, Ray Charles, The Dalai Lama, and James Dean.
Baby Boomers are the demographic cohort born between the 1940s and 1960s. The term originated from the notable increase in the birth rate following World War II.
Generation X is the demographic cohort born from the 1960s to the 1980s. The term Generation X was introduced in the early ’90s in popular books focusing on the cultural change during this period. The term X suggests an unknown variable or something undefined. This generation is also called the MTV generation or the latchkey generation. Hip-hop, indie, and grunge music played a pivotal role in molding this generation.
Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are born between the 1980s and 2000s. The term refers to the last generation born before the turn of the new millennium. This generation is usually marked by their increased use of media, digital, and communication technology technology on a daily basis. Mobile phones and the internet are supposedly at the center of a millennial’s day.
Finally, there is Generation Z. This demographic cohort refers to individuals born from 2000 to the present day, into a world of internet and technology. The gadget technology industry, including smartphones, virtual reality headsets, and touch screen tablets, has been ingrained into daily life since birth. The label Z simply follows the grammatical order on from Generation Y.
As each generation changes, one of the most notable differences is the influence of technology. This raises several questions. How will modern gadgets influence the current generation? How do modern gadgets compare to historically notable and influential gadgets like the radio transmitter and the alarm clock?