A sad read: Move over, millennials: Here come the ‘posts’

I found this article via @remcopijpers and I think it’s a sad thing. We still love giving generations names, while there are often more differences inside groups of people of the same age rather than between different so-called generations.

He notes that whereas millennials were digital natives (note of PDB, that’s wrong), the next generation is filled with social media natives. If boomers were hippies who dropped out, Gen-X’ers were slackers who sat out and millennials are either narcissists or passionate entrepreneurs, posts will be pragmatists who care about connection more than wealth, he says.

“Posts will be defined by being connected, both from a technological standpoint and a social standpoint,” says Mr. Hess (at right), who’s based in Chicago. “They have a global sensibility, they don’t think money matters much and they’re not interested in taking on debt. They’re not colossally ambitious, perhaps as a coping mechanism, but they’re optimistic in the face of economic challenges.”
Read the article here.

Check this research by Twenge et al and see how there is more continuity and small evolutions rather than revolutions in youth. Many of those perceived differences are more related to being young, check this:

This was 1976:

This was 1985?

3 thoughts on “A sad read: Move over, millennials: Here come the ‘posts’

  1. Generalizing about large groups can be a useful thing when big entities — brands/companies, governments, etc. — are considering making big bets in product development, curriculum, social service projects, messaging/marketing, etc. There are common themes — attitudes, values, beliefs, and behaviors — that connect many of us, irrespective of lifestage. These can be said to be part of our cohort or generational identity. Certainly there’s major variability within generations, and most change is easier to see over a span of 20 years than it is from year to year. It’s not as if a door closes, and then the next generation starts. Generational theory is soft science — it’s not biology, it’s sociology. As such, it’s a blend of art and some science. And it’s but one tool we use to think about these groups of people. Think of generational theory sort of like we think about seasons. Just as there are warm days at the outset of winter, there are variations at the start/end of generations. Alas, we can still say that, in the Midwest for example, winter is generally a cooler season than summer. As such, it’s a good time for making and selling sweaters and snow skis, despite the fact that there will be some warm days here and there. In the same way, we can make some assumptions — generalizations — about a birth cohort that shares the same “age location in history.” Those assumptions surely will be imperfect, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be very useful for some.

    Make any sense?

  2. And I AGREE that too often what passes for generational thought is actually lifestage thought. Every generation calls the successive generation some variation on lazy, narcissistic, and entitled. Those are lifestage (adolescent, young adult) traits, rather than cohort traits.

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