Wednesday, March 12, 2014


I have this theory -- or belief rather -- that with the advent of information's accessibility, the exponential growth and speed of technology, and instantaneous inter-connectivity, that the era or typical span of time allotted to a "generation" will become smaller and smaller.

According to Wikipedia, the generations of the Western world are as follows.

The Lost Generation born between 1883-1900. A span of 17 years.
The Greatest Generation born between 1901-1924. A span of 23 years.
The Silent Generation born between 1925-1942. A span of 17 years.
The Baby Boomers born between 1943-1960's. A span of about 17 years.
Generation X born between the 1960's-1980's. A span of about 20 years.
Generation Y born between the 1980's-2000's. A span of about 20 years.
Generation Z born in the 2000's.

After the Baby Boomers, what we have Generation X, Y, and Z which have rough timeline parameters as to what constitutes falling into X, Y, or Z and is no longer definitively spanned by a set amount of years.

If you were to take all the generations excluding Y and Z and casually look at the significance of each generation's circumstances and what occurrences or technologies sculpted that generation, there isn't too much difference in my opinion, in comparison to the Y's and Z's. Up until gen Y, which is about 100 years of time, lifestyle hasn't changed much in comparison to the last 30 years or so. I can only theorize on "how life was lived then" however, because to truly form an opinion I'd have to have lived 7 lives, each of which living through each generation.

I believe we are now living a generational Moore's law, where the ingredients and parameters that define a generation will no longer be determined by a linear set of 20 years or so, but will begin to shrink and become smaller and smaller. Eventually there will be a terminal velocity to where flesh will stifle steel. I want to say that this new apex generational window will be a 5-8 year span, rather than the 20 year span in place now. I would even go on to say that even now, within these Y and Z generations, there should be "micro-generations" to properly illustrate the significant difference between the nuanced years within the 20 year mark.


Take a 25 year old and an 18 year old today, a difference of 7 years of age. I believe difference in how the 18 year old today lives his/her life as to opposed to the 25 year old lived his/her's 7 years prior as an 18 year old is significantly more different than if were were to take the same age span at a not-so-distant time in the past. Like if you were to take the difference in the teenage/young adult life of a 55 year old and a 48 year old, it probably wouldn't be as different in comparison to the difference of the 25 year old and 18 year old today.

I am already living this theory. I call my generation the dial up generation, and it's a window of about 10 years. Those born between 1980-1990. Maybe this window can even be smaller or skewed earlier or later, I don't know, but the significance of this generation is the onset of in-home internet and affordable mobile phone through the pre-teen and teenage years. As a result I can type 140 W.P.M. because to communicate via the internet then, you had to type. Voice was not practical, and webcam wasn't even fathomable. Take someone a few years younger than me or my generation, chances are their typing skills will not be quite as fast as ours/mine, etc. etc. I believe we're the last generation where showing up to someones house unannounced to see them was completely normal. We're the generation that calls AND texts, where those before or after us do one or the other predominantly.

I can only imagine how life will be living through the advent of the smart phone and the essentially free access to anything is. Crazy.

Anyway, just some food for thought. Maybe you have your own ideas on the significant traits and elements of the microgeneration you belong to?