I recently watched an influencer do a whole piece about how Generation-Z was the most impressive generation. While, that’s a fine view (given that they’re finding their way in adulthood), I thought I’d put together a piece of my own to highlight all the forgotten achievements of past generations, as well as some of their struggles. Now, please note that this article talks about all persons of these generations who are currently still alive today (few as some of them may be).
Millennials (Born 1981-1996): It’s true that Millennials have gotten a bad rep for nearly their entire lives, sometimes even getting blamed for stuff that other generations do (guilty asf, Gen-Z). But it’s rarely acknowledged that the Millennials actually made some incredible achievements in their day, despite rising retirement ages, two recessions, a global pandemic, experiencing perhaps the biggest U.S. terror attack in history on live TV (and for some, in person), fighting a decade long war in the Middle East, and being the first generation to experience school shootings. Yes, Columbine happened to us. Despite ALL of that, we’re still here, and some of us did some pretty amazing things. For one, we invented Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, & TikTok. In other words, Millennials pretty much invented social media and paved the way for the idea of technology startups and new conveniences such as grocery delivery.
Gen-X (Born 1965-1980): Generation X is literally labeled the Forgotten Generation, and for good reason. Many people don’t know the generation actually exists, usually tending to label them Boomers instead. Like Millennials, they dealt with a number of ups and downs, including most of those already listed, the tail end of the Vietnam War and the middle of the Russian Cold War. Gen-X, though had a number of achievements. They invented YouTube, which eventually paved the way for new technology and conveniences such as TV & movie streaming. They also invented Google and Wikipedia. Their importance speaks for itself. They are arguably the most successful generation out of all of us at the moment, because they make up over 30% of the world’s total income and fund the economy better than any other generation. They also invented the personal computer.
Boomers (Born 1946-1964): Boomers are largely known as the hippie generation, but they were right in the middle of many large events, such as the Civil Rights Movement, The Vietnam War, The Cuban Missile crisis, and The Russian Cold War, among most of the other big events already listed. One of the big things Boomers are responsible for are being activists of social change and freedom. They also had people like Dean Kamen and Robert Jarvik who invented things like the artificial heart and the portable dialysis machine, forever revolutionizing medicine. They also had Sir Alec Jeffries who invented DNA fingerprinting, revolutionizing law enforcement and identification practices all over the world.
Silent Generation (Born 1926-1945): The Silent Generation grew up during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, so if any of us thought we had it hard, remember that. They were a big part of the Civil Rights Movement and fought in the Korean and Vietnam War. They also experienced most of the events mentioned in future generations. Despite the incredible struggles they faced, they also did some amazing things. They invented rubber, rockets, radar, and penicillin. Buzz Aldrin of the Silent Generation was also the first man to walk on the Moon.
Greatest Generation (Born 1901-1924): It’s hard to argue with the name, “The Greatest Generation.” True, new inventions in technology have made great strides for our modern world, making us more connected than ever, but The Greatest Generation has experienced the biggest amount of change and hardship out of anyone. They’ve also achieved absolutely amazing feats. Along with most of the events of their future generations, they also had plenty of their own. They fought in WW2 and liberated Europe from Nazi control, installed the 19th Amendment (giving women the right to vote), can claim John F Kennedy (who did more for racial equality than any other president is U.S. history), raised families during and survived the Great Depression & the Dust Bowl, and were the first generation to truly allow women to work. They also invented radio, television, cars, planes, and the telephone.
While the feats of Gen-Z and Gen-Alpha have yet to be determined, you can’t ignore that despite their potential, they have big shoes to fill if they want to actually be the most impressive generation. Cheers to the future of us all.