generation Q

Thomas L. Friedman wonders what to think of Millennials in an Oct 10 New York Times Op-Ed piece. He seems to pay homage to The Fourth Turning by William Strauss and Neil Howe, when he calls Millennials the “Quiet Generation”. It is not a compliment. Friedman is concerned about what he sees as too much passivity among Millennials: “Generation Q may be too quiet, too online, for its own good, and for the country’s own good.” He wants to see them more angry about what we’ve done to them — saddling them with debt and multiple deficits.

Strauss and Howe use the phrase “New Silent” to describe the cohort to be born from 2005 to 2025, and Silent Generation to describe those born from 1925 to 1942.

To Strauss & Howe, Millennials are anything but Quiet. He calls their group the “Hero” saeculum, and sees them not as passive and lazy, as Friedman seems to feel, but as engaged and sacrificial compared to Boomers whose activity is often accompanied by a quest for power, or at least self-actualization.

My take is that Millennials are more verbal and more confrontational than their parents … and more willing to play a heroic role than either their parents (Boomers) or the constantly cautious Gen X.


One Response

  1. […] about a Revolution that never ended … being met with incredulous smiles by a generation that wasn’t buying their discontent. The boomers are there with Dylan, but today’s younger generation is not […]

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