Gen Y is the generation born during the 1980’s and 1990’s. The entire course of their coming of age has been defined by the electronic and digital revolution. Gen Y represents a rise in birth rate leading them to be called “echo boomers.” They are also dubbed “millennials” because of the approach of the new century.
“Gen Y” is the common abbreviation for those born from about 1980 until the end of the 20th century. They are usually termed Generation Y more formally but they have some other nicknames as well. While the period of the preceding Generation X represented much lower birthrates than the baby boomer era, the time of Gen Y represents a resurgence in childbearing.
Because the birthrates were again high, Gen Y is also called the “echo boomers.” In addition to their increase in numbers over Generation X, Gen Y also shares some of the behavioral characteristics of the boomers, including more political activism than was common among the previous group.
So, who pays attention to the Gen Y?
Another designation for Gen Y is the “millennials” as they are the generation that came of age with the onset of the 21st century. Many members of Gen Y were old enough to remember the near hysteria that surrounded the coming of the year 2000 when many predicted disaster due to electronic equipment not being able to cope with the year rolling back to zero. Of course, nothing actually happened.
While baby boomers saw television become common, and Generation X saw color television as the standard, Gen Y saw the advent of digital television and high definition television. Boomers adopted cellular phones and Generation X used them extensively, but Gen Y expected to own cell phones as children and adopted testing as a prime means of communication. Many of them see no purpose for a “land line” telephone and have never had one.
Gen Y is also the first true computer generation when ownership of one or more home computers is the norm. They take the internet completely for granted and can scarcely if at all remember a time when the world was not digitally interconnected. Virtually all of them have attended schools where the use of computers was taught and expected and many have never seen a typewriter but only computer keyboards using word processing software.
In their leisure time, Gen Y also is addicted to the benefits of advanced technology. For them, the word “game” is nearly always associated with “computer.” When they are old enough to purchase their own computers, they tend to want devices with the speed needed to play computer games of all sorts and they are also likely to own and use freestanding electronic gaming devices such as the Play Station, X-Box, and the Wii.
Another term that might well be applied to Gen Y is the digital generation, since the technology of computing has defined their whole lives.