The Baby Boomers are a generation born between 1946 and 1964. Therefore, this generation is currently aged between 58 and 76.
Millennials are the generation born between 1981 and 1996, with current ages spanning from 26 to 41.
Although 17 years separates the youngest baby boomers from the oldest millennials, there has been animosity between these generations, especially as millennials have reached adulthood over the last twenty or so years.
Even though there is Generation X in between baby boomers and millennials, a certain “hatred” has grown towards the baby boomers. It is without much doubt that the baby boomers are quite a unique generation.
Having been born in a post-war world and then experiencing a counterculture, the generational traits of these boomers have orientated towards abundance and prosperity.
Many grew up with great expectations, and a consumerist ethos. But, as with any generation, they experienced hardship with economic, social, and political turmoil along the way.
Some examples include the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, various assassinations, and more.
With their idealist philosophy, counter-balanced with a rebellious spirit, baby boomers seemed to have had the best and worst of what the world had to offer.
But, because of their generalized liberal attitude, many millennials think that the boomers had it easier.
Moreover, because baby boomers grew up in such a special time historically, many “members” of this generation consider themselves to be the “chosen ones.”
Some would argue that they are the greatest generation.
But, many millennials would have to disagree.
Let’s find out why millennials hate baby boomers so much, and if this hatred is warranted at all.
Reasons Millennials Dislike Baby Boomers
Millennials, as well as Gen Xers, tend to perceive baby boomers in less than flattering lights.
One reason is that many millennials believe that the baby boomers controlled and even monopolized the world’s resources and economy. And, all for their own financial freedom and gain.
Baby boomers are viewed as wasteful and greedy by many. And, this has led to the assumption that they had a disregard for future generations and never worried about what those to come would inherit.
This supposedly selfish and egotistical behavior is what many believe has led to the global warming crisis of today.
Baby boomers dominated society throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, with the latter decades known as the “yuppie” period.
As the generation improved their professional lives, their wealth also grew. The collective wealth of this generation was far larger than the next generation (Gen Xers).
This has led to the common belief that baby boomers were better off financially but only left the scraps for the next generations to pick up.
Some would argue that baby boomers call all the shots on pensions, too, without having to pay anything into them anymore.
As the generation ages, many have reached or are reaching retirement age. Therefore, this could put significant strain on the pension system, with the sheer number of baby boomers estimated to be around 60 million as of today in the US.
Because of this huge number of people, there is a considerable disparity between those in work and pensioners. So, a great number of millennials see themselves as footing the bills for the baby boomers to sit back in their nice, big houses and relax.
It’s not all about what the baby boomers have and millennials don’t have, though. It’s the traits and characteristics that millennials have inherited from baby boomers that result in hatred, too.
There’s no doubt that baby boomers were driven to succeed. And, for all their hard work, many reaped the rewards, and still do. But this workaholic attitude has been inherited by the millennial generation.
Millennials tend to be fixated on performance and progress. Many feel the need to push the boundaries, without thinking about the possible consequences.
But, this necessity for success could risk the human species as we know it, according to some. This has led to a depletion in natural resources over the years, climate change, a build-up of nuclear waste, and a declining bee population.
Millennials attribute these failings to the baby boomer generation for trying to succeed without considering the negative impacts of their actions. And, unfortunately, the next generations are continuing the harm.
Are Millennials “Ageist?”
Many see those who hate the baby boomers as “ageist,” simply because the baby boomer generation includes pensioners and older people.
This “baby booming bashing” could be seen as discrimination, just as racism or homophobia is.
In the United States, aging is viewed as something negative in society, especially by younger people.
Modern society tends to be obsessed with youth. “You must do everything whilst you’re young before you get too old to do anything.” “You must reverse the aging process to look younger.”
With such a negative attitude towards older people, many younger people try to avoid older folks, whether that be socially or at work.
The physical decline that comes with age is evident in the baby boomer generation. Due to this, some millennials may not see baby boomers as being relevant in society anymore, leading to a disdain for them.
Ageist or just part of being young?
Every generation has had its problems with the previous generation. Maybe it’s more prevalent than ever today because of marketing geared towards young people and social media helping these views spread more easily.
Is Hostility To An Older Generation Normal?
It’s clear to see that many millennials distrust baby boomers and dislike how they lived whilst they were younger. But, is this hostility towards a previous generation a new thing or not?
Throughout history, younger generations have seemed to have issues with their parent’s generation. In the United States, for instance, this is known to date back to the eighteenth century.
Just like today, young people then wanted to make their own trail and mark on the world. And, like now, they wanted to do it in their own, modern way.
Each generation does things differently, and, on the most part, may look at the world differently.
But, because millennials are not the generation immediately after the baby boomers (generation X is), it is no surprise that there are stark differences in the two generation’s way of life and attitude toward the world.
Therefore, it can be considered inevitable that generation xers would inherit some of the baby boomer’s identity and not have such an issue with their parent’s generation. But, the same goes for millennials and generation xers.
Yes, each generation may think they had it harder than the last, but, in reality, each generation has its troubles, as well as positives.
Millennials may find it hard to buy homes these days, but as far as technology goes, they have grown up in the most technologically advanced era ever.
Generational hostility is nothing new. But, the hatred many millennials have towards baby boomers seems stronger than most. But, it works both ways.
Many baby boomers hold a similar negative sentiment to the younger generations. It’s just a matter of looking at the good and the bad of each generation and making your mind up for yourself.