Are younger generations really weaker than older ones? (2023)

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Are younger generations really weaker than older ones?

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Are younger generations really weaker than older ones? (1)

By Katie BishopFebruary 23, 2022

(Video) Are younger generations truly weaker than older ones? #eudebates

Younger cohorts are often stereotyped as lazy, bossy, or self-obsessed—and have been for centuries. Is there something to this perception?


From being called “snowflakes” to being accused of prioritizing buying avocados over houses, younger generations are somehow vilified as weaker, less hardworking, or less resilient than their older peers. This is not a new phenomenon; After all, people have been complaining about "kids today" for decades. But is it true that Millennials and Gen Z are weaker than Boomers or Gen X?

There is evidence that younger generations do in fact exhibit many traits that their older peers might see as signs of weakness. However, experts also assume that the baby boomers (born approximately between 1946 and 1964) and Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980) may judge their subsequent generations too harshly and measure them against standards that they no longer are. 🇧🇷

Generational context may be key to narrowing the gaps between decades — but looking down on young adults is an innate, long-established instinct that's impossible to undo.

myth versus reality

People have complained about the younger generationsthousands of years🇧🇷 Looking down on the generation after you is perhaps human nature. "The tendency for adults to downplay the character of young people has persisted for centuries," says Peter O'Connor, professor of management at Australia's Queensland Institute of Technology.

He points out that the stereotype is still alive and well, with polls showing thousands of Americans believe itLack of "kids today"positive traits that participants associate with older generations. But that wasn't necessarily because today's young people really lacked these traits — researchers have argued that it was because we project our present selves onto our past selves. In doing so, older people unconsciously compare who they are today to today's youth, giving the impression that today's youth are somehow on the decline, no matter what decade we live in.

British real estate guru Kirstie Allsopp in early Februaryfueled angerafter saying the youths had themselves to blame, they were unable to buy a house. Allsopp, whatbought his first home with the help of his family in the 1990s, suggested that today's potential buyers are spending big on "luxuries" like Netflix and gyms, rather than saving for a down payment.

(Video) Young Generations Are Now Poorer Than Their Parents And It's Changing Our Economies

Are younger generations really weaker than older ones? (2)

Millennials and Gen Z are particularly vilified as obsessive and lazy (Credit: Getty Images)

Allsopp's words were the latest in a series of important comments about how young people today are not willing to make the same sacrifices that older generations made or are not as tough as their parents or grandparents.

In 2017, Australian property mogul Tim Gurner also suggested that young people are overspendingon avocado toastinstead of houses (despite high house prices in many parts of Australiadoubled in the last ten years, while wagesjust risenby 30%). In 2016, the phrase "Generation Snowflake" was added to Collins English Dictionary to describe adults born between 1980 and 1994 who were "less resilient and more likely to be offended than previous generations". And the thinking pieces arealready ariseon Gen Zers' refusal to worknine to five, or ask why themhave to be in the officeFull-time - an echo of the "titled millennial" trope.from the 2010s, which is just beginning to disappear from view.

an outdated norm

Older generations may still suspect that they are tougher than today's youth - but can this be measured?

Some experts think so. A 2010 study that looked at millennials who graduated from college between 2004 and 2008 showed that this was the casemore traits associated with low resiliencethan people who graduated before 1987. Other studies have shown thisneuroticismea need for recognitionincreasing among younger generations, while a 2012 study indicated young people are doing somore egocentricthan they were in the past.

For many experts, however, these measures do not indicate that younger generations are weaker than older ones. Rather, it is merely an assessment of a generation shaped by a modern, technology-oriented society according to the standards of decades ago.

"Previous generations were taught to repress rather than express, but for younger generations it's the other way around," says Carl Nassar, a mental health expert at LifeStance Health who regularly works with teens and families struggling with generational gaps. "This has created a perception gap, with older generations seeing this expression as a sign of weakness because they have learned that vulnerability is a weakness rather than a strength."

Nassar believes the trope that younger generations are weaker is largely anecdotal, based on a discrepancy between how different generations express their problems, which could skew the data on how resilient they really are. This idea is championed by Jennifer Robison, a senior editor at US analytics and polling firm Gallup.

(Video) Millennials in the Workforce, A Generation of Weakness - Simon Sinek

Adults' tendency to downplay the character of youth has continued for centuries - Peter O'Connor

"Generation Xers and Boomers also have issues, but expressing them seems unprofessional," she says. "So what appears to young people as needy or 'snowflake' can actually only be the societal norm of transparency."

The oft-cited idea that Millennials and Gen Z act in selfish ways that keep them from climbing the property ladder is an example of how difficult it is to judge a generation by decades. Homeowner boomers who were in early adulthood at a timebroad economic prosperity, probably remember saving and saving to buy their first home. Now enjoy theown loot, they begin to believe that young people who cannot do this are weaker than them. This ignores the problem ofskyrocketing house prices,stagnant wagesand the rise ofunsafe work, which prevents people from getting mortgages.

Older generations can also indicate that they are Generation Zthe most depressed and anxious generationas a sign of their lack of resilience and forgetting that this is a generation coming of age during a global pandemic, in a time ofunprecedented solitudeand widespreadeconomic uncertainty🇧🇷 The different generations and their challenges are not comparable.

"The reality is that Generation Z is maturing and facing a variety of challenges that other generations did not face at the same stage in life, mainly the Covid-19 pandemic and the constant pressure of social media right on their smartphones," he said. says Jason Dorsey, president of the Center for Generational Kinetics, a generational research firm based in Austin, Texas. "Add to this the mental health challenges of social distancing and isolation during the pandemic, the challenges of distance learning and all the formative elements of youth, and it's easy to see why the generation feels it's a challenging time."

Are younger generations really weaker than older ones? (3)

If generations can pause for one another and understand that each is a product of their time, we can debunk the myth — and maybe we all get along (Credit: Getty Images)

A product of its time

Each generation's actions and beliefs are shaped by its own unique problems and challenges. Boomers and Gen Xers may have grown up without the convenience of smartphones, but they also didn't have to grapple with the complexities of growing up online — likely leading to the need for approval and self-centered traits that some studies have uncovered.

Likewise, older generations may not have had the same access to education as younger generations, but they were more likely to haveget a mid-level jobwithout college degrees and are not burdened with crippling levelsstudent debt.

And on the flip side, Gen Z might believe their parents' or grandparents' generation didn't fight hard enough against social issues like climate change and financial inequality (an argument that has led to the viral rise of'Okay Boomer', an expression intended to disparage its older peers).

(Video) Is this generation really soft? #shorts

Previous generations were taught to repress rather than express, but for new generations it is the other way around - Carl Nassar

However, they may also forget that many of them struggled with other societal issues, such as B. more rigid forms of sexism and racial inequality. After all, in many countries, when some older Boomers were in early adulthood, women still needed a man to co-sign a home loan application, and interracial marriages were still illegal in some US states had to hold. fight hard to defeat you.

The truth is that older generations have accused their predecessors of being lazy, overbearing and self-obsessed for centuries. We almost seem forced to pass judgment on people who grew up in an era different from our own — and the ability to share memes poking fun at the overly-awake Generation Zers or the wealth-hoarding Boomers only deepens that divisions.

Dorsey believes there is a way out - but this generational context is key to debunking the myth of persistent weakness.

"It's the awareness of what these different generations went through, why they are the way they are," he says. “The best way to get older generations to stop pushing younger generations is to create a dialogue that just doesn't exist right now. Instead of having heart-to-heart conversations across generations, we have viral memes that say the youngest are snowflakes and the oldest are dinosaurs. But the truth is, we are all human.”

Additional reporting by Bryan Lufkin

(Video) Generation Comparison (1901-2024)


Is younger generation more practical than older generation? ›

Now a days, even older people also started following younger generations as they now realize the importance of being practical in various phases of life. But older people at times are far more experienced than us so definitely they would guide us the right way where we should follow the rule of practicality.

How generations are broken down? ›

Gen Z, iGen, or Centennials: Born approximately 1996 – 2015. Millennials or Gen Y: Born approximately 1977 – 1995. Generation X: Born approximately 1965 – 1976. Baby Boomers: Born approximately 1946 – 1964.

What is the misunderstanding between the younger and older generation called? ›

The generation gap definition is the difference in values and opinions between older and younger people. Often those in different generations have different ideas about how one should behave and believe.

Which generation works hardest? ›

People ages 16 to 25, commonly known as Generation Z, consider themselves the hardest-working generation yet won't tolerate being forced to work when they don't want to, according to a new study.

Why is the younger generation so important? ›

Young people not only represent the future of our country, we are one of society's main agents of change and progress. We have a great effect on economic development too. In this stage of our lives, we build many social relationships and develop a personality that defines us as a new generation.

Are the younger generations less healthy? ›

Millennials are more obese than previous generations were at the same age, putting them at risk for type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and other physical health conditions. In addition, obesity can raise risk for weight gain. Eating habits of Millennials may help explain part of this trend.

What generation is the easiest? ›

According to many baby boomers (those born in the early 1940's to the mid 1960's) millennials have it the easiest!
Average age that each generation started saving regularly
Baby Boomers31 years old
Generation X29 years old
Millennials/Generation Y27 years old (4 years difference)
Mar 8, 2018

What year is Silent Generation? ›

What causes generation gap? ›

Generational gaps are simply caused by age and the situation of the world at the time one generation has grown up. For example, the beliefs and perceptions of those who grew up during World War II may be different from those who grew up in the 1960s—though to be sure, similarities will remain.

What is the disadvantage of generation gap? ›

Comparing children to each other or even to how you were as a child is another reason the gap becomes wide. This often causes them to lose confidence in themselves and can destroy any enthusiasm they may have previously had.

In what ways does the older generation fail to understand your generation today? ›

The older generation misunderstands a lot of the phrases and words we youngsters say or make up, and some of the things we do. They misunderstand phrases such as “on fleek” and “that's lit,” thinking they mean horrible things when, respectively, they mean “looking good” and “that's really cool.”

What are examples of generation gap? ›

The generation gap is visible in the business sector and the way people from disparate generations view their business environment, working habits, etc. For example, millennials are known to struggle to get a job. They often search for better jobs with more requirements early on.

What generation is smartest? ›

Gen Z is also the smartest and best educated generation.

Which generation is happiest at work? ›

A new report from Gympass, the world's largest corporate wellbeing platform, has found that despite Gen Z's reputation for shirking work, they are actually the happiest at work and also the hardest working.

What generation is the wisest? ›

If millennials can combine their focus on saving with an ability to take prudent risks and seek out long-term investment returns, they may earn an entirely new moniker: the Wisest Generation.

Why is the younger generation smarter? ›

The Flynn Effect explains how with every generation, the average intelligence of children increases exponentially. Throughout history, the knowledge and experiences of the older generations are passed down. This naturally increases the awareness and the knowledge of the next generation.

How do you deal with younger generations? ›

Millennials and Gen Z: Connecting with and Managing Younger Generations in the Workplace
  1. Set Aside the Stereotypes and Approach Each Employee as an Individual. ...
  2. Don't Assume It's All About the Office Environment. ...
  3. Provide Clarity. ...
  4. Remember Their Youth. ...
  5. Support Them Through Life Changes.
Sep 24, 2019

What is the best generation and why? ›

Greatest Generation (Born 1901-27).

Pros: Survived the Depression, fought and won World War II, rebuilt Europe and led the U.S. economy to the top of the world after the war.

Which generation is the least healthy? ›

Researchers found that, compared to previous generations, members of Generation X and Generation Y showed poorer physical health, higher levels of unhealthy behaviors such as alcohol use and smoking, and more depression and anxiety.

Why is it better to be older than younger? ›

Among the perks of getting older, seniors tend to make better decisions, are more emotionally stable and become less impulsive than their younger peers, according to research. Older minds tend to better understand the weight of each decision because they know the value of their time, energy and happiness.

Are younger people healthier than older people? ›

Certainly older people in general have poorer health than younger people, and this is due partly to the higher rates of disease in old age. The incidence of heart disease, for example, increases with age, but this does not mean that ageing itself is a cause of heart disease.

What is the silent Greatest Generation? ›

Generally speaking, the Greatest Generation are the parents of the "Baby Boomers" and are the children of the "Lost Generation" (those who grew up during or came of age during World War I). They preceded what is known as the "Silent Generation," a cohort born between the mid-1920s to the early-to-mid 1940s.

What year is the best generation? ›

Members of the Greatest Generation were born in the 1900s to the 1920s. There's no universal cut-off date, but some sources have defined the Greatest Generation as people born from 1901 to 1927 or 1901 to 1924.

What is the least parented generation? ›

Gen Xers would come to be known as one of the “least parented, least nurtured generations in U.S. history,” with parents divorcing at historic rates as both mom and dad worked in pursuit of an American Dream.

What is Gen Z age? ›

The Collins Dictionary define Generation Z as "members of the generation of people born between the mid-1990s and mid-2010s who are seen as confident users of new technology". The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines Generation Z as "the generation of people born in the late 1990s and early 2000s."

Why is it called Gen Z? ›

The 'Z' in the name means "zoomer", as this is the first generation known to 'zoom' the internet. Most of those who are a part of Gen Z are the children of Generation X. Some other names for this generation would be the iGeneration, the Digital Natives, internet generation, and centennials.

Why is Gen Z called the new Silent Generation? ›

Due to the cyclical nature of generational characteristics, “the New Silent Generation” may be the most descriptive name, because its members will likely mimic many of the traits of the Silent Generation (born 1923-1944).

How does generation gap affect children? ›

This will definitely make children feel more prepared to enter adult life and avoid from turning to crime. Generation gap is the major reason today why parents and children are moving away from each other. As we all know, the environment has changed, so has the life style and with that changes the mind of children.

Does a generation gap exist today? ›

Today's Generation Gaps

Today, although more Americans see generational differences, most do not see them as divisive. That is partly because of the areas of difference. The top areas of disagreement between young and old, according to the Pew Research Study, are the use of technology and taste in music.

What is generation gap essay? ›

Generation Gap is a term given to the gap or age difference between two sets of people; the young people and their elders, especially between children and their parents. Everything is influenced by the change of time- the age, the culture, mannerism, and morality. This change affects everyone.

What are the disadvantages of new generation? ›

Here's how Millennials turn their greatest workplace weaknesses into the strengths necessary to be effective next generation leaders.
  • Poor Work Ethic. ...
  • Devalue Face-to-Face Communication. ...
  • Career Impatience. ...
  • Frequently Job Hop. ...
  • Dependent on Feedback. ...
  • Fixated on Flexibility. ...
  • Lack of Experience. ...
  • Act Entitled.
Jun 15, 2016

How can we stop generation gap? ›

Overcoming the generation gap
  1. Encouraging multi-generational team working. The best way to get people to accept each other's differences is to get them to work together. ...
  2. Establishing clear cultural values. ...
  3. Embedding technology that drives collaboration. ...
  4. Communicating at all levels.

What is the biggest problem of today's generation? ›

  • Depression.
  • Sexual Activity.
  • Drug Use.
  • Alcohol Use.
  • Obesity.
  • Academic Problems.
  • Peer Pressure.
  • Social Media.
Sep 20, 2022

What do you think the biggest problem that today's generation is facing? ›

What are the biggest problems young people are facing in 2022? TL;DR: Inflation is the top problem Gen Z and Millennials name as the biggest they are facing today. Over-dependence and addiction to technology ranked second as the top problem among young people for the first time.

What are the differences between old generation and new generation? ›

The parents' generation usually depends less on technology while the new generation relies on their new technology. The major differences between these two generations are jobs, educational opportunities and technology. First, one of the most recognizable differences between these two generations is in jobs fields.

Who created generation gap? ›

Castle-Drive Productions

How many generations in 100 years? ›

Generally, three or four generations span 100 years, but depending on a number of factors, that same amount of time could produce as little as two generations or as many as five generations.

What generation am I? ›

Generation X is anyone born from 1965 to 1980. Baby boomers are anyone born from 1946 to 1964. Millennials are anyone born from 1981 to 1996. Generation Z is anyone born from 1997 to 2012.

Why is Gen Alpha the best? ›

Gen Alpha also stands to be the most materially endowed generation of all time. This means they could end up being able to spend more on nonessentials than previous generations. They also stand to be the most globally informed group so far, and they will have the longest life spans.

Are kids now smarter than kids back then? ›

IQ scores improve by an average of 3 points a decade, meaning an average teenager today would have an IQ score of 118 i the 1950's. Clearly, the intelligence of generations is steadily increasing as time goes on.

What is the most loyal generation? ›

The most loyal generation is 55-to-64-year-olds and the least loyal is age 18-24 (the youngest millennials and oldest Gen Z). However, when 18-to-24-year-olds do sign up for a loyalty program, they participate more frequently than their older peers.

What is the best happiest age? ›

According to a new study published in the Social Indicators Research journal, we can expect to be happiest between the ages of 30 and 34. The study came to this conclusion by asking people over 50 from 13 European countries about the periods of their life in which they felt the most content.

What age group is least happiest? ›

Happiness is U-shaped – it declines and bottoms out in your 40s, so report countless studies, until it starts to inch its way up again in the 50s. This is a remarkably consistent finding, across countries and cultures.

Which generation works the most? ›

Far from being the next cab off the rank for clubs, Millennials and Gen Z are already the overwhelming majority in the fitness market, representing 80% of all gymgoers.

What is the best generation in history? ›

The Greatest Generation, also known as the G.I. Generation and the World War II generation, is the Western demographic cohort following the Lost Generation and preceding the Silent Generation. The generation is generally defined as people born from 1901 to 1927.

Which generation is more active? ›

Baby Boomers. That's right; adults aged 57 to 70 years old are the most active on a weekly basis, completing on average 215 minutes a week.

What is the most impactful generation? ›

Baby Boomers lead the pack when it comes to overall generational power, capturing 38.6%.
Overall Power, By Generation.
GenerationOverall Power Share
Gen X30.4%
Gen Z3.7%
Gen Alpha0.0%
3 more rows
May 6, 2021

Are younger generations more socially aware? ›

Born in the digital age, these generations are seen to be more health-conscious, socially aware and environmentally responsible. This narrative is consistently reiterated by the media who frequently highlight the willingness of these younger generations to stand up for what they care about.

What is the smartest generation? ›

Gen Z is also the smartest and best educated generation.

Which generation had it the easiest? ›

According to many baby boomers (those born in the early 1940's to the mid 1960's) millennials have it the easiest!
Average age that each generation started saving regularly
Baby Boomers31 years old
Generation X29 years old
Millennials/Generation Y27 years old (4 years difference)
Mar 8, 2018

Which generation eats the healthiest? ›

When asked about their most sought-after health benefits, it's evident that Gen Z prioritizes bolstering both their physical and mental health; the top benefits they seek out from foods, beverages, and nutrients were having more energy or less fatigue (with 38% saying this), improved sleep (35%), emotional or mental ...

Why is it called the Silent Generation? ›

Unlike the previous generation who had fought for "changing the system," the Silent Generation were about "working within the system." They did this by keeping their heads down and working hard, thus earning themselves the "silent" label.

Are younger generations better at multitasking? ›

Between 2009 and 2015, it was found that younger adults were more likely to multitask than older adults (Brasel & Gips, 2011; Carrier et al., 2009; Carrier et al., 2015) both in electronic and nonelectronic multitasking (Zwarun & Hall, 2014), making today's college students especially likely to multitask and to do so ...

Do different generations think differently? ›

Generational theorists propose that generational cohorts are deeply influenced in their thinking by events, experiences and technology that are part of their world during their formative years. People who are born during a certain era share common experiences growing up.

Do the younger generation have a shorter attention span? ›

While Gen Z is a marketable generation, their attention span may challenge brands. As mentioned before, the average attention span of someone born into Gen Z is about 8 seconds. Why has this generation seen such a decrease in their average attention span over older generations?

What is the difference between youth and old? ›

A primary distinction between the two is that youth typically dwells in the future, while old people may live in the past. When talking to an older person, they may reflect on the past or on memories when they were younger.

Why generations are so different? ›

Why are the generations so different? Each generation had significant events during their formative years. These events and trends have affected the way each generation sees the world. Veterans or Traditionals experienced the Great Depression and World War II.


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