Do you know the difference between a Baby Boomer, a Gen X, and a Millennial?
I didn’t. I wasn’t sure when each generation started and ended, so I did some research. It was pretty interesting and nostalgic.
The weird thing is there are no firm definitions of any of the groups, but what follows seems to be the consensus.
I also listed the movies, TV shows and music popular during these generations, although there are many choices that are popular with all three generations.
Baby Boomers were born after World War II between the years 1946 – 1964. I just made it into this group. Those born in the first half (1946 – 1955) were the earth-shakers, the “me” generations, hippies, and yuppies. Radically different from their parents, Baby Boomers started rock n roll, civil rights, sex, drugs, peace, and love; a revolution from their parent’s generation, culturally as well as physically with their long hair and new fashions.
Baby Boomers are 50 – 68 years old, as of 2014 and total approximately 76 million people.
Per the Oxford English Dictionary, the first use of “Baby Boomer” is from 1941 in an article in Life (“Whatever the reasons, the U.S. baby boom is bad news for Hitler”).
You can learn a lot about a generation by their movies, TV shows and music. I highlight some of top from each category for all three generations.
BABY BOOMER MOVIES
Field of Dreams
2001 Space Odyssey
Rebel Without a Cause
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
The Big Chill
Saturday Night Fever
Kramer vs Kramer
All the President’s Men
The Deer Hunter
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
BABY BOOMER TV SHOWS
Dick Van Dyke
All in the Family
Mary Tyler Moore
I Love Lucy
Leave it to Beaver
Mickey Mouse Club
BABY BOOMER MUSIC
Creedance Clearwater Rivival
Generation X – a much cooler name – was the generation for people born between the years 1965 – 1984 and represents about 82 million people in the U.S.
The phrase Generation X was made popular in the 1991 novel, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, and described young adults during the late 80’s and their culture/lifestyle. They are also known as the MTV generation.
While not dramatically different than Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers popularized watching music rather than just listening to it. Video games and computers became more prevalent. Many types of music were popular for this generation including; new wave, punk, electronic, metal, alternative, grunge, rap, and hip hop.
GENERATION X MOVIES
Boyz n the Hood
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Back to the Future
Beverly Hills Cop
Raiders of the Lost Ark
GENERATION X TV SHOWS
Law & Order
Sex and the City
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Beverly Hills 90210
GENERATION X MUSIC
Guns and Roses
Millennials, also known as Generation Y, were born from 1985 and on. If the trend of having each generation span about 20 years then the Millennial timeframe may have ended already. Millennials account for about 80 million people in the U.S.
The generation gap between Baby Boomers and Millennials has spread. Much has changed and Millennials have grown up using technology their whole lives and frequently communicate with people electronically.
The era of going to college and making a career and staying at one company until retirement is likely over. Millennials will need to invent creative ways to make career choices and earn a living. Freelancing and entrepreneurship are becoming more popular
The name Millennials has been attributed to authors William Strauss and Neil Howe from their book Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation, linking them to the millennial year 2000.
Lord of the Rings
Pirates of the Caribbean
Countless Disney/Pixar movies like Shrek, Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Cars, Finding Nemo
MILLENNIAL TV SHOWS
How I Met Your Mother
Big Bang Theory
Game of Thrones
Please do me a favor and comment if I missed a movie, tv show or musical artist from your generation that you think belongs listed.