Today’s Gadget-Obsessed Echos Can Blame Their Baby-Boomer Parents
By Alee Morrison
First and foremost, it appears as though the age group discussed in this CBS 60 Minutes report regarding the Echo Boomer generation, those born in 1982-1995, is slightly off. CBS states that the generation that is “so plugged-in” to the worldwide community that they find it nearly impossible to simply play outdoors without any specific task at hand.
This claim is incorrect in my eyes as I can actually remember getting my first computer in my home at age 12, eight years ago. This computer had no Internet and only two games: solitaire and mine sweep. As a preteen I can guarantee that I had absolutely no interest in playing on the computer all day. Nearly everyday of my life my friends and I would play outside until our mothers would call us in for dinner.
This scenario has changed quite a bit, though. Nowadays it seems as though parents are not allowing their children to merely step outside and play. It is more of a scheduled routine that is forced on these youngsters. It is almost as if parents are wanting their children to grow into adult-like creatures as soon as possible to ensure a successful future.
Childrens’ schedules are oftentimes more hectic than their parents’. In my hometown of Columbus, Ga., it is rare to see a young girl, age 5-18, who is not involved in competitive cheerleading. There are about five cheerleading gyms in a city of about 200,000 people, and all are filled to capacity with young girls practicing this sport. It is completely normal to see 8 year-old girls practicing their tumbling and pouring sweat until 9 p.m. until they get it exactly right. When I was 8, I was definitely in my bed at 9 p.m. dreaming about some far off land. I certainly was not worried about the perfection of my back-handspring.
Some of the girls enjoy all aspects; however, it is clear while sitting among “cheer moms” and watching the practices that this activity is forced upon them. Columbia University student, Nick Summers, was completely accurate when he stated in the report that this generation “tends to be very over-achieving (and) over-managed.”
Perhaps it is the baby boomers’ fault that we are all very goal-oriented and always striving to accomplish anything and everything we set our minds to. Our parents want us to be the very best we can be and we were trained at such a young age to do so, that it is now brainwashed in our heads. The thought of quitting college or never attending in the first place is nonexistent in my brain.
However, I was raised in a household, which consisted of parents lacking college degrees. Although they happen to be very successful now, they always planted in my head the importance of furthering my education. In today’s society, it would be nearly impossible to get a job without a college degree and it scares our generation to think of having to demean ourselves with a low-paying job.
We are, in fact, so used to spending our money and our parents’ money on “goodies” such as clothing, music, and technology that we become petrified to think of the day when we are on our own, supporting ourselves and facing the possibility that all of our luxuries that we are used to may not exist for us anymore, due to our empty wallets. It is true to claim that the echo generation is a thirsty one, but it must be recognized that this is something that cannot be helped. It is the way we are brought up by our baby-boomer parents.
Our grandparents were not able to provide our parents with as many luxuries as they might have wished due to the rough times at hand. They had to go through a depression as well as several wars, making their economical lives quite stressful. Our parents can remember such times and do not want us to know or feel what this is like. It seems as though we were brought up in such a way because our parents want us to have everything that they did not have in order to better our lives.
Perhaps the reason the baby boomers were known as rebels is because they did not have much to occupy their free time. We “echoers”, on the other hand, have too much to do in our free time. In fact it is actually rare that we do have time to ourselves to be young and free like our parents once were.