Current high schooler on "My Generation"

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at
Tue May 6 16:14:16 CDT 2008

'Talkin' bout My Generation'
Jimmy Biblarz, a student in the humanities magnet at Hamilton High School in Los Angeles, writes:

Released by The Who in 1965, the song "My Generation" has become a 1960s anthem listened to around the world. It is widely considered one of the greatest songs of all time, and has managed to maintain relevance 43 years after its release. 

The song still rings true to a lot of American kids; we still don't want to get old and end up like our parents. Read some of the lyrics:

"People try to put us d-down (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
Just because we get around (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
I hope I die before I get old (Talkin' 'bout my generation) 

With them, the band expresses a sentiment most young adults share. My generation has been labeled a lot of things by "people trying to put us down." We've been called Generation Y, Generation ME, Millennials, the Internet Generation, and even Generation Einstein. We are mostly the children of Baby Boomers and early Gen X adults and were born between 1980 and 1994. We have also been labeled the laziest generation ever. Baby Boomers and Gen X have stereotyped us as a cohort of kids that because of instant messaging, Myspace and Facebook, seek instant gratification. We are impatient and unwilling to work hard, according to many, hence the name Generation ME.

It is also said we are so dependent on our parents, we live with them sometimes into our late 20s and even early 30s. This has then created a group of Baby Boomer "helicopter parents," who even after children move out, stay actively involved in their children's lives. Demographers and sociologists say that these "helicopter parents" have a negative effect on the maturity levels and development of children in my generation. Business owners and college professors have labeled us demanding, impatient, and poor communicators.

We have no work ethic, and are also unable to articulate ourselves creatively. It is estimated that individuals in my generation will switch jobs more than any generation before us, and that we are incredibly aware of the brand of things we are buying. We are also the most technical generation ever to live. A recent poll showed that 97% of college students have a computer, 94% have a cell phone, 76% use instant messaging, 75% have a Facebook account, and 60% have an iPod.

My generation rarely gets any positive labels, so I imagine I share similar feelings with Pete Townshend and the rest of The Who when they produced "My Generation." My cohort is assumed to be lazy, incapable of solving the immense problems the Baby Boomers left behind for us, dependent on our parents, and impatient.

I disagree completely. My generation has learned incredibly sophisticated technology in an incredibly short time; a feat many of our parents and grandparents are unable to accomplish. Studies have also shown that we are more naturally intelligent than previous generations.

I am president of my school's Young Democrats Club, and every Thursday we have very intellectual discussions (Oliver Brown, another writer on The Times Homerooom blog, is also in the club.) Everyone participates, and after every meeting our club sponsor tells me how excellent she thinks we are doing. Its not just in Young Democrats either. Kids are smart. We are more politically and socially aware than Baby Boomers and Gen X'ers give us credit for. I have no doubt we will be able to solve all the problems the world faces (It would have been easier if the Baby Boomers hadn't created these problems, but that's another story.) To quote, "My Generation," "Why don't you all f-fade away? And don't try to dig what we all s-say (talkin' 'bout my generation." And to all you adults trying to put us down, listen to "My Generation," and try and look at my generation differently. 

 -Brian in Atlanta
The Who This Month!

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