The above is a picture of the actual Oregon Trail ruts in Wyoming. Picture from here.
Quite a while ago I wrote a post about “Who are the Millennials? Generally, I was trying to defend the amazing generalization that the media had been painting about people born during a huge 20 year timeframe.
I’ve never agreed with the lumping that many years into one Generation particularly if you look at the rapid change in technology over that time frame. In my post I tried to hold on to the Millennial status and make an argument that the generation behind us should be the “Wired” generation. Those that were born from 1986-2000.
Then this week I read this post “The Oregon Trail Generation: Life Before and After Mainstream Tech.” She’s basically saying the same thing I was however what I really like is that he is shedding the Millennial title and adopting a new one. We are naming ourselves as a Generation and I LOVE it! Who in my small range of a “micro Generation” doesn’t remember sitting down to computer lab and agonizing over the decisions to take extra food or another wagon axel before setting out to conquer the Green and Black dot matrix American West!
Our age range of the micro Generation is very similar. This excerpt from my post…
“Millennials are people who came of age during the 2000 millennial change so anywhere between 14-22 years of age on January 1st, 2000. We are old enough to remember a time pre Internet but young enough to not remember a time before computers. This may seem trivial but we are the last generation that can say that the Internet did not exist in our lifetime. We did not grow up with the instant access to information via cell phones and mobile technology although we adapted quickly enough when it came along. The generations behind us may never know the weight of 5 volumes of the encyclopedia britannica while trying to write notes on index cards.”
Then her post…
“We used pay-phones; we showed up at each other’s houses without warning; we often spoke to our friends’ parents before we got to speak to them; and we had to wait at least an hour to see any photos we’d taken. But for the group of kids just a little younger than us, the whole world changed, and that’s not an exaggeration. In fact, it’s possible that you had a completely different childhood experience than a sibling just 5 years your junior, which is pretty mind-blowing.”
So here we are, the micro generation. The generation with roots in the glorious American heyday of the pre-9/11 era and the reality of growing into adults during the post-9/11 wars and recessions.
Will marketer’s care about our 6-8 year generation as they court the much larger Gen X or now the Millennial Generation behind us? Maybe the generation I’ve been trying so hard to defend is not actually my generation at all. From here on out my allegiance is Oregon Trail Generation! I definitely relate to all of this generation’s generalizations!