The New Nation: An “Above Average” Generation
By Laura Matteri
“Over achieving,” “over-managed,” and “very pressured” were some of the sketches that were drawn of us during a 60 Minutes’ segment called “The Echo Boomers.” We, the Echoes, are the coming of age generation that is taking the world by storm.
Our parents, the Baby Boomers, are getting pushed off the map as we enter the big, scary world that we have all been warned about. Our parents have done everything they can to protect us and give us structure in our lives that would turn us into successful adults. Boy, have they done wonders.
We’re beginning to break away from our “self-absorbed, egocentric Baby Boomer parents.” We had an extremely organized childhood that included a different lesson or practice every day of the week. Somehow, I feel like that was a reflection from our parents that they never got to experience that in their own youth. We were pushed to be the best and to reach for the highest of goals so that we will come out on top. However, it seems that we work together to better ourselves as a generation. Teamwork is everything.
Although the segment makes it seem that we want to take over the world, we are really just using the tools that we were taught as children. If you do well in school, you can get into a good college and then get a great job. Okay, so we got the message. That’s why we affect so much in society. We have affected “school construction, college enrollments, product development, and media content.” According to Jim Farley, the head of Toyota’s Scion division, we are also extremely close to affecting “car business.” He said that Toyota “can’t afford” not to appeal to the new generation.
Ranging from grade school age to freshly graduated from college, we know that we’re the head honchos. Our parents have praised us from the start of our lives and now, we want to world to do the same. “Protected and polished, [we] are trophy children in every sense of the word.”
It seems accurate enough. Children from the last decade or two are still on the pedestals that their parents put them on. Whether the bragging rights consist of if their kid scored a goal in the soccer game last week or what college he or she got accepted to, or where in the world he or she is traveling to, it’s not only the parents that love it. We hear the praise and take to it. Our egos are boosted and once again, there’s another reason for us to believe that we are pleasing everyone around us.
Values don’t seem to be entirely changed from previous generations. Family is very important, as well as staying focused to lead a good life. If anything, it’s possible that the Echo Boomers cherish family more than ever. That probably leads back to the praise that we received growing up, but instead of running from our families, we are drawn back. A girl in a study that was aired during the segment even called her parents her “best friends.”
Success isn’t a question with the new generation. We all know that we have been successful until now, whether it is academically or socially. The next step is to become and succeed as adults because let’s face it – only some of us are eligible to vote. The diverse and accepting generation is here and we’re going to raise each other to create a flourishing nation.