Magazines like Wired and Fast Company urged young go-getters to eschew the lifetime-employment-with-benefits mindset of previous generations, and to jump from one job to the next.
Startups sprung up in valleys and alleys from coast to coast. Ah, 'twas a marvelous time to be young in America. Those days are over, now, but Netters' entrepreneurial instincts haven't vanished. HR professionals say that Americans born from the mids onward feel more entitled in terms of compensation, benefits, and career advancement than older generations. Netters expect to be paid more; they expect to have flexible work schedules; they expect to be promoted within a year of being hired; they expect to have more vacation or personal time; and they expect to have access to state-of-the-art technology.
Netters have a tough time taking direction, since they regard their elders as dinosaurs who should just hand over the business! To PCers, who've waited impatiently for Boomers to retire -- and Boomers refuse to retire -- this is a bummer. Because now that a few Boomers are finally taking the next life-step, or whatever the preferred euphemism is, Netters are poised to leapfrog over PCers. I've borrowed the term Net Generation from books like "Wikinomics," which defines Americans born from the mids on as "the first generation to be socialized in a world of digital communications.
Netters also don't remember life before fast computers and Internet service; they are a wired generation, sometimes accused of addiction to instant gratification.
They don't read print newspapers, buy CDs, or rent DVDs, and their collective grasp of the concepts of copyright and intellectual property is shaky, at best. But not to worry! In his book "Playing the Future," Douglas Rushkoff predicted that "digital kids" weaned on Macs and MTV weren't screwed, as some pundits feared; instead, they were evolving into a generation uniquely capable of succeeding in a chaotic, highly networked 21st century.
The prime fictional example is Seth Cohen on "The O. The cynicism, irony, and skepticism that had sustained previous generations during the Cold War reached an apex, during the Nineties, with "Seinfeld" and "The Simpsons.
Netters also helped pioneer a hiply earnest new form of social activism: a networked "movement of movements. For the hardy but less adventurous, there was City Year founded in , Teach for America , AmeriCorps , and "service learning. So does Calvin, the 6-year-old protagonist of "Cavin and Hobbes," which debuted in Small wonder, then, that we've come to expect Netters to achieve great things while still wet behind the ears.
Britney Spears, as we are all forced to know, didn't even have a spare minute to lose her virginity before becoming one of the best-selling female recording artists in history. In , Arlie Hochschild wrote, of Netters: "To be sure, every American decade has fashion marketeers define generational looks and sounds, but probably never before have they so totally hijacked a generation's cultural expression.
When you think of "school shooters," "boy bands," or "American Idol," you're thinking about Netters. One final point: Like "Batman Begins," his franchise reviver, Christopher Nolan's forthcoming movie, "The Dark Knight," will eschew the eccentricity of 's "Batman and Robin" -- one immediately thinks, for example, of the nipples on George Clooney's leather outfit. And if you thought that the anime series "Speed Racer" was too fast-paced and violent for kiddies, then you won't be surprised to learn that the live-action adaptation was directed by the Wachowski Brothers, best known for the ultra-violent, thrill-a-minute "Matrix" trilogy.
A trend emerges: Ironic distance, the sine qua non of superhero flicks and TV shows since Adam West danced the Batusi in , is out. Whereas OGXers and PCers enjoy brooding over the past, assembling fragments of past cultural moments into collages in various media, Netters take a less complicated approach. They just dig the past, and slip it on like a Halloween costume. It's no longer the case that Americans in their 20s and early 30s want their reheated entertainments freshened up with air quotes. These days, they prefer taking it straight. NB: I'm not claiming that Netter revivalists and aficionados are reactionary, or less talented than their predecessors whose style they've appropriated.
And we all know that there's plenty of room for originality when artists choose to operate within strict parameters. I'm merely pointing out that when it comes to venerable pop culture franchises, Netters don't want to brood over them, or mock them. Like vintage videogames, they just want to reboot them. McLean, Justin Guarini. Brainiac: On classifications - OGX, thanks for the nomenclature. I wasn't feeling the boomer thing. Spot on. Not only do I feel undue pressure as someone in between, but I feel the pressure of me performing exactly as my script calls for.
Also, OK Soda was gross. The best, most accurate analysis of the generations i have ever seen in three years. The MTV generational study is good too. However, Netters feel more grateful towards the internet vs taking it for granted because we did not have it during our childhood yrs , but had it as teens and young adults The Net generation should include those born in I was born in by the way.
Wholeheartedly agree with sq I was born in '85 and identify more with the Netters than the Millenials due to the influence of boy bands, Dawson's Creek, and MTV over Disney. Seriously though, the class of 94 was a hell of alot different than the class of 84 and you pointed out some things that made us unique that were definitely pertinent and shouldn't be overlooked if you want to define a group of people.
The cutoff is no earlier than , because of the draft. Anyone born or before spent thier teen years worried about having to go to Vietnam. Those born in were the last to have a lottery, but by the time it was drawn they had announced they would not actually call us up automatically. Good thing. I was But there was no sense of safety in the years when I was 14, 15, 16, I assumed I would have to deal with the draft.
My brother, , was the last year they called up the low numbers. Thankfully, he was To this day, it doesn't matter what a persons politics are: the shared American heritage is fear of the draft. I can relate totally to someone born in - someone born in is very clearly from another generation. I'd say include , because although they didn't have a lottery, for most of their teen years this was at the top of the worries for teens - they were 17 before they learned they were off the hook. If I had to quibble, I'd put the birth ages at , which would lead to rational thinking beginning around That was an era not just of radical global transformation, which was piped directly into our brains as a profound object lesson, but also of a bi-level culture: the mainstream was a wasteland of washed-out decadence and dorky earnestness, but under the radar was the last rich underground, and just as many Netters were clued into that as there were playing Nintendo.
This two-tier culture led to a sort of dual citizenship for Netters. Add to that the birth of the web and the concept of cyberspace, another world opening up within the "real" one, and you've got a recipe for the psychological multidimensionalism that you can see in this generation. If GenX is flexible, I'd say Netters are fluid.
We're less a "lost" generation than a "stealth" one. I think you underestimate our memories of pre-internet days, though.
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Similar to our perceptions of the dying industrial economy, our perceptions of the analog era were that of a child growing up with an old dog--we knew we'd missed some mysterious heyday, we perceived it wouldn't be around much longer, and so we appreciated it. I was born in and I remember pre-computer-popularity and pre-internet days clearly. We didn't necessarily create it, or watch it begin from afar; but we also didn't "wake up" already floating dumbly in a sea of it.
We saw it start, were given opportunities to merge with it, and did so. And the rewards of that adaptation stamp a kind of optimism and possibility on us that Xers seem to lack, and a kind of appreciation and perspective that Yers don't seem to grasp. I will be blogging about this article. Check me out if you want: www. Have a rad day!
It is a mind trip being a Netter, for real. We grew up in a constant state of flux, technologically. Which makes us very fluid in our thinking and perspectives, and highly adaptable. Steyer won. Three years later, Steyer and Lehane teamed up again, to defeat a ballot proposition financed by two Texas oil companies that would have overturned a California law to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.