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Feb. 25 2010 - 11:52 am | 220 views | 0 recommendations | 3 comments

I thought I was a Millennial. Was I wrong?

Young, wired and living life on the digital ed...

Image by TheeErin via Flickr

The Washington Post echoes a post I wrote earlier this week noting how Gen Y-crazy the Pew Research Center has become. I wrote, “Pew certainly seems to have a special fascination with Millennials – this month alone, it has published surveys on our use of social media and mobile Internet; our religious life; and our weakening attachment to the Democratic Party.”

The Post notes that in addition to all that research, Pew has also created a “How Millennial Are You?” survey. Imagine my surprise, then, when after writing for the past several years about my membership in Gen Y (like here, here, here, here, here and here); it turns out I’m not as much of a Millennial as I thought I was – I scored a 63. If it were a test, I’d have failed.

Here, apparently, are some of the reasons that I can’t fully include myself in the generation of which I’d assumed I could claim full-fledged membership: I don’t have a tattoo. I read the newspaper. I send and receive a mere 20-30 texts a day as opposed to 50+, my parents remain married, I have a landline in addition to a cell phone (although to be fair, this is a requirement in my building), and I don’t play video games.

Saving me from being an all-out embarrassment to my peers, are the facts that I have a piercing other than in my earlobe (belly button – I was 15, OK?), I don’t consider my religious life to be extremely important, I don’t have a problem with interracial dating, and I’m a member of at least one social-networking site.

Honestly, the only question on this survey should be the last one: in which you indicate your age range. Generation Y is typically considered to include people born after 1980, and a category that expansive is bound to include people with vastly different tendencies, habits and norms.


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  1. collapse expand

    I got a 90 if you’d like to use me as a source for future articles…

  2. collapse expand

    Sounds like the Post survey was all about cliche. I’m a Gen X member, and I’ll bet a survey would rely on trite stuff like whether I wear grunge-style flannel shirts.

  3. collapse expand

    I took this test a couple days ago. I scored about the same and I’m Gen X and that score had me skew more Millennial. My 60+ year old mom would have probably scored the same, too (she texts way more than I do).

    Don’t put too much stock in these things. It has Boomer written all over it and they have a hard time getting any of the gray areas of Millennials or Gen X. My boss used to say that Xers prefer “fake news” (Jon Stewart) to real news. Don’t think he bothered to watch the show, because he would have realized that if you don’t know what’s going on in the world, you won’t “get” the fake news. Same sort of thing with Millennials and newspapers. If a Millennial picks up a newspaper, wouldn’t they burst into flames?

    -Suzanne, GenerationXpert.com

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    About Me

    I'm a Los Angeles-based writer and editor focusing on pop and politics, race and culture, and where Gen-Yers fit into it all. My writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Christian Science Monitor, WashingtonPost.com, the San Francisco Chronicle and People magazine. Among other things, I'm Oregon-born, hip-hop-addicted, and weirdly optimistic that the journalism business will stay alive.

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    Contributor Since: September 2009
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