Generation X: Who needs them?
Image via CrunchBase
Gen X sucks! It's just not as sexy as the other generations it falls between. The Silent Generation defeated the Nazis, Boomers started a revolution, and Millennials are saving the planet. Generation X is so bad it doesn’t even have a name, just an X. Gen Xers are the smallest of the four generations with a dip in the population line by about 20-30 million. While most of the attention of young professionals is focused on this overconfident, happy and resourceful millennial generation, what’s forgotten is that YP’s still have a large Gen X segment in them.
If we use the current membership guidelines of most YP groups the age out limitation is usually 40 years of age, the most restrictive are capped at 35 years of age. Most research points to 1980 as being the arbitrary gateway to be considered a Millennial. Those two facts together suggest that the working world has at least five to 10 years left of Gen Xer’s preparing to take over. The population gap gives opportunities to Boomers to stay past their prime and Millennials to seize the day as well. However, for the Xer, their life experience of critical thinking, skepticism, isolation and standing in the shadows will be a highly valuable experience for management and leadership.
Gen Xers experience being caught in the middle positions and will have to deal with the largest generation gap since 1969 and the subsequent problems that brings, such as differing views on politics, religion, leadership and technology. In regards to technology, Gen X is already showing its leadership. While many seek Millennials for understanding of the latest Web 2.0 technology, it is Gen X, not Millennials, that is leading the charge with the most buzz worthy of social media tools: Twitter.
Millennials have not caught on to Twitter as much as Gen X has, but looking at the 3-year-old service that Twitter is, its millions of users, its rapid growth, diversity of third party applications, and its saturation in print and media., makes it a force to be reckoned with. In addition, its ability to break real time events like the overseas uprising in Iran, the stateside death of Michael Jackson in and even more localized events like the dismissal of public from the State Capitol, give Twitter a legitimacy that other platforms just don’t have. Gen X can be proud to lead the charge in this area and be content with anticipation over joining the leadership circle and finally getting some respect.