The only thing more annoying than talk about millennials, is the disputes over who millennials are. The biggest problem is that we are applying a global label to a little island. So, I’ve gone and tried to put these global labels in an Irish context and added my own ‘definitive’ dates!
I’ve also relabeled them, for convenience (OK mostly just for ‘the craic’).
So, meet –
The Older Then Irelands, The Italia 90s, The Late Lates, The Eurovisioners and the charismatic WhattheFups.
The ‘Older than Irelands’
Before Baby Boomers generations were defined as by the wars they fought in – The Lost (WW1), The Greatest (WW2) and The Silent (Vietnam). The names for the generations were as much about their economic effect as their role in society.
Older than Ireland, your pathetic first world problems mean nothing to them and rightly so. Incidentally this generation holds the majority of wealth be is completely ignored by millennial marketers, who are very busy chasing the latest in 3D drone printing technology.
That’s alright – they don’t want to talk to you either.
The Italia ’90s (aka the Baby Boomers)
1946-1964 the generation that came after WW2, who in a nutshell, had it ‘pretty good’, invented teenage years in the 50s and were at the heart of the swinging 60s. This generation had more kids than ever before – hence the name. This was a combination of upward movement (aka more people with more money, having more kids, more often) and the fact that generations before them were lost to war.
Theirs were the glory that was Italia ’90. Do not be fooled however, they can still use a selfie stick.
The Late Lates (aka Generation X)
Age 51- 38
1965– 1979 Some extend the period a little into the early 80s. In Ireland however, 1979/80 is probably the best fit, due to the changes that the 80s heralded in (below).
Better educated, better qualified, with the opportunity to travel for pleasure rather than emigration and with access to contraception, this generation typically had a much better quality of life than their parents. But they are also perhaps defined by being the ‘stuck generation’ – experiencing disappearing jobs, pensions and inflating mortgages yet many being unable to uproot and change course. This generation is often looked upon as the ‘ignored middle child’.
To them – the glory years of The Late Late Show and the festival splendor that was Witness… that and being the last generation that was able to get on the property ladder.
The Eurovisioners (aka the dreaded ‘Millenials’)
1980–1999… but this is the one everyone argues about! Reason being, technology and economy. Either end of ‘millennials’ have had very different experiences in both regards.
The beginning of this generation in Ireland is easily definable by some big moments. 1979/80 heralded a lot of change – the ‘Pope’s Children’ generation, RTE Radio 2 for ‘pop’ music, Charlie Haughey as Taoiseach, massive upheaval in the form of protests and industrial disputes, an escalation of the troubles, the Irish pound becoming independent from the sterling and contraceptives being permitted. So for Ireland, this is probably the most accurate start of the millennial generation.
We also won the Eurovision the 6 times during this period. Crucial.
For me, this generation ends in 1999 – on the introduction of the Euro, the Good Friday Agreement, Westlife’s first number one, the end of Gay Byrne on our TV sets and the introduction of the Nokia 3210.
Note – any person born beyond this date does not remember a time before the mobile phone. Eep
Lots of places around the world set the date up as high as 2004 but the combination of the and the economic downturn, the revelations regarding the Catholic Church, the Smoking ban, the development of key cultural defining landmarks like the Aviva, the Spire, the O2, the tunnel and not to mention the profound effects of September 11th would make me inclined to say 1980-1999.
Er-ma-GOD – selfie Time! How fitting.
The WhattheFups (sometimes referred to as Gen Z, but nobody knows what’s going on to be honest, hence the name)
Age 16 and Under
Born on or after 2000, these guys don’t even remember a time before the iPhone (2005). They don’t remember when we weren’t having a ‘war on terror’ or the ‘good times’ of the Celtic Tiger.
The oldest was born the same time as the first landmark reality TV – Big Brother. So to them, Big Brother has always been there, in every sense. Just as shows like it created the potential of the ‘everyman’ becoming the star, so to was born a resurgence of the populist movement. I’m not saying Big Brother is responsible from Trump but…
They do NOT understand your brand saying ‘bae‘. Or they wouldn’t if they ever actually saw your ads… which they don’t.
They do not understand this generation label either – as they can’t quote Father Ted.
Main image by Mike.
So there you have it. May the debate of the generation timelines end there! (Yeah right)