In defence of Millennials and Gen Zs – if such things exist


I feel a little uncomfortable about these different generational attributes and attitudes – like Zoomers or Generation X. This is mainly because I would have to identify myself as a Baby Boomer

The Boomers are so many – anyone born after the end of World War II get included, right up until 1965, for goodness sake. As if there was really no differences between those born in 1945 and my own generation, born at the end of the 1950s.

It’s being squashed into a category which you never asked to be in the irritates me, I believe. There is also the danger of being outed as a ‘centrist dad’ by some deranged Corbyn supporter – which may be true but, even so, you don’t want people categorising you.

Most of the differences these days are said to be down to their attitudes to the internet, depending on their age.

But despite these reservations, I have been wondering these demarkations might explain some of the differences between my two sons, born only three years apart.

With the eldest – born in 2004, though, for the purposes of this post, I define him as a Millennial – it all seemed so easy. It was a matter, at bedtime, of reading him some of the more exciting bits in Tolkien, for example, then – at the critical moments – declining to read any further, and forbidding him from reading on that night under the covers.

Sure enough, there was soon the telltale flashlight under the duvet which showed that he had developed the habit of reading. By the age of eight, he had worked his own way through all three volumes of Lord of the Ring, which wasn’t bad.

My second son is definitely Generation Z (born in 2007). He could never see the point of being read to by me. However exciting the book was that I had chosen, he was still restless. I slowly began to realise that he was yearning for something, more visual than books and perhaps more interactive.

He learned to read of course, when he needed to, like he learns everything – very quickly.

I am writing this blog post because my attention has been drawn to a number of classic – mainly American – headlines, blaming Millennials for the demise of anything from fast food chains in the USA to the fabric softener industry.


Most millennials “don’t know what the product is for,” a senior Procter & Gamble executive told the Washington Examiner in 2016.

Personally, I think that – if the Millennials feel that way about fabric softener – which has done so much damage to the planet and to people’s health, then that’s all to their credit. in fact, both Gen Z and Millennials are determined to save the planet = and thank goodness for that.

Both my boys lived throguh the banking crisis of 2007-8, though the younger one won’t remember much about it. The pandemic is what will shape his generation – and here is a difference between us. I was brought up with the thalidomide scandal and mad cow disease – i am therefore far less trusting of what I am told by the establishment, and by the medical establishment, than they are.

And then again, as one of them told me after reading a draft version of this post, maybe it’s just because we – and they – are different people.

Rate this post!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 2

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Radix is the radical centre think tank. We welcome all contributions which promote system change, challenge established notions and re-imagine our societies. The views expressed here are those of the individual contributor and not necessarily shared by Radix.

Leave a Reply

The Author
Latest Related Work
Follow Us