What Is This Echo Generation?
By Emily Yetter
A new phenomenon called the Echo generation, comprising children born from 1982 to 1995 is said to be the largest generation of young people since the ‘baby boom’ generation. A generation where children have everything at their fingertips, including new ridiculous technologies that their baby boomer parents are not capable of understanding.
Children thriving to learn and become overachievers to please anyone they come in contact with. From the time they were little, they were kept busy, enrolled in activities their parents made them do. So many rules as to what is acceptable and how one should act, the pressure of being just as good as the other kids. According to the CBS 60 Minutes article titled "The Echo Boomers," the Echo generation is said to be the next dominant generation of Americans.
Is this really how almost every single Echo generation child is, a perfect citizen that is blowing up the economy? I was born in 1987, right in the middle of the Echo generation. Sure my parents enrolled me in activities, but in no way did they program me.
I chose what I wanted to be apart of, whether it was dance or soccer, or if I wanted to do both and decided against one after I had tried it. It did not matter, it was my choice not my parents. I had structure to my childhood, but not this over dramatic lifestyle where I wouldn’t know what to do if my parents left me alone. Heck, I would play dress up or school with my stuffed animals and would want my parents to leave me alone. My parents did not neglect me one bit, they were always there, but they let me do things on my own, figure things out for myself. I was raised in a laid back community in Marin County, California, which I’m positive affected the way my parents brought me up.
Growing up in New York City would have been a completely different experience, where kids might not have ever ridden a bike without a helmet, or would not know what to do if left alone outside to play. But most children in this generation know who to navigate the internet and chat on AIM with people.
The growth in electronics is one of the main differences between the ‘baby boom’ generation and the Echo generation. The electronics are out of control, always something new being released to one-up the latest technologies. A website that has become popular with this generation is MySpace. It allows you to show yourself how you really want to be and not how you might be. You can chat with people across the world and gain online relationships. But is this healthy for kids? In fact, it’s scary.
Recently in the news there have been many abducted, raped, even murdered children that have created online relationships over MySpace and Aim. They have taken this virtual relationship, that would never have existed in the baby boom generation because of the lack of electronics, and made them reality. This does not show that children are sophisticated, but rather naive to the fact that they are dealing with real life situations.
It is obvious that this generation will affect clothing and beverages and car business. Products become trendy and soon everyone is after what everyone else has. This Echo generation may have a huge impact on the economy, but they have been raised in a way that they are naive to what the real world is and many feel that they should have things handed to them on a silver platter. When I listen to the news I hear stories of teenage drug dealers, teenage shootings and teenage abductions. What is more important, the economy that the Echo generation is creating or the intuition, intelligence and safety of these children?
I would hope it would be the intelligence and safety.