WTF is a Geriatric Millennial?
Updated: Sep 20, 2022
I'm a millennial and frankly, that title offends me.
We can’t start a podcast called Talk Forty To Me without discussing generational differences, how that has shaped us into adulthood, our parenting styles, and the shifts in societal norms…Like why does TikTok overwhelm some of us so much!? We have so much to unpack and this will likely lead to several spin off episodes and posts. Our interview with generational expert, behavioral strategist and Gen Z Brands Founder Erin Campbell is a must listen.
What the hell is a Cusper?
According to our handy dandy friend Google, 'A cusper is a person born near the end of one generation and the beginning of another. People born in these circumstances tend to have a mix of characteristics common to their adjacent generations, but do not closely resemble those born in the middle of their adjacent generations.' Ummmm, excuse me while I cry Oregon Trail tears in my cold coffee.
We're 1982 babies, and by some definitions, the first year of the Millennial generation. Sometimes referred to as 'Xennials'. An article from Good.com stated we are a micro-generation that "serves as a bridge between the disaffection of Gen X and the blithe optimism of Millennials." We remember life before technology and the great seismic shift in our lives. We used microfiche in the library and saw the emergence of the Zach Morris brick cell phone. We pirated music off the internet through Napster, messaged our friends on AIM and painstakingly chose our My Space Top 8. Ahh, the good ole' days.
You Can Sit with Us
From a marketing perspective, it seems challenging and possibly presumptuous to stereotype an entire generation and target them in the same way. Through our conversation with Erin, we're seeing just that. Our life experiences shape how we view and approach the world. It especially affects how we choose to raise our kids. We're a generation who remembers life before and after Al Gore invented the internet. And we're trying desperately to manage how much of it our kids take in. "This is bad for your brain! Oooh look, have you seen this adorable dog on TikTok?" We're just as entranced as the rest of them.
During our chat, Erin made a mind-blowing point that we can't stop thinking about. "If we as 40-year-olds struggle to regulate our usage of technology and social media, how can we expect our kids- whose brains are not fully formed- to regulate it?" Touché, Erin.
So What Now?
Since this episode, we've tried to focus more on bringing our kids back to the simpler things we enjoyed during our blissfully ignorant life in the 80's. Playing outside, drinking from the hose, going from house to house. We still have to wrestle with screen time arguments, but we're getting somewhere.
As years pass and new generations emerge, we grow and learn. We're more open-minded than our parents' generation, and we would like to think our kids our benefitting from our shift in parenting. And worst case, we can support them unpacking it all in therapy one day. ;)