Amy Gilligan: Talkin' 'bout my generation | Opinion

Amy Gilligan: Talkin’ ’bout my generation | Opinion

Millennials are no doubt pretty sick of the stereotypes about them.

We’ve all heard them, right? I don’t think they’re accurate, to be clear. But you know the drill: Millennials are entitled, used to instant gratification, don’t want to “pay their dues” in the workplace, prone to narcissism.

Blah, blah, blah.

In my experience, I find millennials to be open-minded and collaborative and motivated. They also can likely fix whatever’s wrong with your phone.

I guess every generation has its hallmarks — which may or may not be based in reality.

I’ve always felt like one of those in-betweeners who doesn’t quite fit in the generational brackets. Born on the back end of 1965, I’m technically part of Generation X, though I don’t necessarily feel like I have a lot in common with people born in 1980. But a recent flutter on the Twittersphere made me feel slightly more ownership of the label.

Recently, when CBS News ran a story pointing up some of the differences between generations, producers somehow failed to notice that Gen X was left entirely off an on-screen graphic labeled: Generation guidelines defined by birth year.

The years 1965 to 1980 were just skipped.

That resulted in some pretty hilarious tweets from the X Generation. Such as:

“Gen X was apparently out of the building during roll call, probably too busy taking care of an elderly parent while sending an Uber to an unemployed millennial child and arguing with a post-millenial about why the WiFi is so slow. #GenX” — @UrbnHealthNP

“I’m just a GenXer, standing in front of history, asking it to acknowledge me.” — @goldengateblond

“Er, you forgot one, @CBSNLive. #GenX? You may remember

us as the inventors of Harry Potter, podcasting and irony.”

— @RicoGagliano

I read through dozens of tweets, many with 1980s movies

memes, and I thought, “Ah-ha, these are my people.”

It’s entirely appropriate that this was the generation left off, since the 53- to 38-year-old set tends to be a cohort marked by its cynicism and apathy. The boomers are concerned about their legacy. The millennials want to leave their mark on the world. X? We just kind of want to have a beer after work. It doesn’t even have to be craft beer.

Don’t sweat it, millennials, some of those terrible stereotypes will fall away as you get older. Gen X was maligned, too, and trust me, no one is better at picking on their little sisters and brothers than baby boomers. Labels wear off, or maybe we just decided to embrace our inner slackers.

By the way, CBS did go back and correct its graphic. Gen X now appears in the segment posted on its website. See it at

I’m feeling much better about this generation thing. BTW, does anyone have a cassette player? Because I could hook you up with some sweet, sweet mixtapes.

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