Generation X, Y, Z — How To Bridge The Networking Gap (Part I)

When you hear the words Generation X or Generation Y, what comes to mind? Perhaps, genome experiments or Star Trek or some combination of that? Or maybe these are just too well known, and everyone already associates these phrases to be the pre-1970s generation and the pre-2000s generation, respectively. Nonetheless, I’m sure that many social sciences and experimentalists have deemed both of these generations to be completely different in many respects, and have actually categorized these differences as to their approach to life, etc. Instead of giving out the usual terminologies and definitions that are currently out there, I’d like to put my own perspective to work on these generational gaps, and how you as businessmen, networkers, and/or just regular curious citizens can use this knowledge for better or for worse. And for funzeez, I’m going to add in Generation Z or the post-2000s generation (and the current kids being born).

Generation X:

This generation is known as the post-baby boomers age. The interesting to note about this generation is the evolution from the baby boomers. These children saw their parents (baby boomers) struggle out of the World War II fiasco and the Cold War and were extremely adamant about keeping their job. They’re realization was that a job was a job, and that if you had one, you were lucky. The lesser existence of corporate entities entitled them to a slightly more privileged job demand than the current shareholder (quarterly profit era) and thus there was less strain on them as long as they did their job. Of course their parents were affected by a few strong recessions, and this generation itself was hit by both the 1987 crash as well as the housing crash of the early 1990s, which caused them to be even more engrained in their philosophy of “be proud to have a job” and “I work to raise my family.”

Generation Y:

This has led to the way that Generation Y has lived their life. The generation that has been affected by the early 2000s internet boom and the spawn of the worldwide web which has created a number of corporate entitites, stronger necessity for shareholders and investments, and a growth away from “living to feed your family” and towards a principle of “living to make a difference” or “living to create something of myself”. The attractions of security and riskless-ness that were so engrained in their parents for staying with their “secure” jobs has left them with the turmoil of early 2000s and the effects of the 2007 crash, and has demonstrated to them just how expendable a resource they are to the “secure” company.  Along with such governmental, environmental policies which had failed in the 1970s due to lack of support, the new “make a change” age has spawned a success for these types of programs and created a lot of entrepreneurial opportunities. The worldwide web has allowed the ability for them to easily network with their fellow man, and thus, created a gateway to the world at their fingertips.

Generation Z:

This is the generation of the future. It’s incredibly difficult to tell the evolution of this generation (the thumb-ers). This generation has every ability at its fingertips…texting, cloud computing, genome projects, nanotechnology, etc. I believe with the evolution of technology at this epic forefront, this generation will revert back to a modified version of the pre-baby boomers. Back to the day and age of cobble-stoners and shoe-shiners because with the information freedom that exists and the technological power that’s available, comes the equality of every nation’s ability to accomplish the same task. Thus, increased specialization will occur from every nation. Transaction costs will lead to specialization to occur based upon geographical and scarcity constraints, and profitability will thin out to extreme margins. Thus, the innovative will succeed, but only a few can be completely innovative. On top of this, the population dynamics will increase further as medicinal cures to diseases increase with nanotechnology and genome projects, and petitions to eliminate “bad” companies such as tobacco and dangerous pharmaceuticals further reduce profitability. What will eventually happen is the world we once known will be no more. People will be reduced back to selling stuff at their store-front (only this time it’ll be a digital/online store-front), and/or belonging to large public-private firms created based on the necessity of so many public governments around the world having insurmountable debt to only be rescued by the private sector.  In fact, I also believe that Generation Z will evolve in its ability to socialize using text-based and video-chat based networking which will only create a further disconnect between societies to where they almost never have to leave their house. Generation Z will have evolved us all complete circle back into the cycle…sorta…

Stay tuned for Part II…how to understand and account for these generational nuances and bridge this networking gap for your own benefit.

(A good link for Generation X vs Y Comparisons)

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