Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher


How Millennial are you?

posted by Rod Dreher

Via Sullivan, the Pew Center’s online quiz to see how much you have in common with the Millennial Generation (whose members were born starting in 1981). I scored 50; Gen Xers (1965-1980) average a score of 33; 70 is the Millenial score. I think having a cell phone but no landline, and having created a Facebook profile (though I almost never use FB) boosted my score.
Here’s a link to the overview of Pew’s recently released study of the attitudes of the Millennial Generation. In short, they’re really upbeat about their own prospects (given what Don Peck found about joblessness and how it’s likely to linger, I think that’s really unrealistic, and may, as Beck indicates, be what you get when young people have been raised with a sense of “everyone’s a winner” entitlement), significantly less religious than older Americans, and far more liberal (interesting to think about how in my generation, the Xers, conservatism was the rising tide). And there’s this:

Only about six-in-ten were raised by both parents — a smaller share than was the case with older generations. In weighing their own life priorities, Millennials (like older adults) place parenthood and marriage far above career and financial success. But they aren’t rushing to the altar. Just one-in-five Millennials (21%) are married now, half the share of their parents’ generation at the same stage of life. About a third (34%) are parents, according to the Pew Research survey. We estimate that, in 2006, more than a third of 18 to 29 year old women who gave birth were unmarried. This is a far higher share than was the case in earlier generations.

Thoughts? These are the kids of the later Baby Boomers, and they seem to have far less of a chip on their shoulder about the Boomers than we Xers do.



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Elizabeth Anne

posted February 27, 2010 at 6:05 pm


Wow, 73! i’m a cusper, though: born in ’78, I don’t feel like I have much in common with x’ers…



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BAM in RI

posted February 27, 2010 at 6:08 pm


Born in 1942 I scored a 34 (way above my pay-grade).



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Kellen

posted February 27, 2010 at 6:11 pm


Perhaps the later baby boomers were less extreme than their older counterparts, thus their millenial children are less extreme in their feelings towards boomers. This seems true from my experience – I’ve always noticed that people my parents’ age (getting near to 50) are less of the boomer stereotype than people who are closer to 60.



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Jon

posted February 27, 2010 at 6:11 pm


I scored 5o as well.



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dangermom

posted February 27, 2010 at 6:13 pm


How did I get a 21? I’m 36, and I spend too much time on the computer as it is!



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Keljeck

posted February 27, 2010 at 6:26 pm


I got a 37…
But I was born in 1988.
I’m stuck in the wrong generation. -_-



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Peter

posted February 27, 2010 at 6:27 pm


I got 50 but if I had answered yesterday it would have been 76. Seems like I’m millennial during the week and gen x at the weekend.



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MH

posted February 27, 2010 at 6:48 pm


I got a 58 and I’m 45. I haven’t played any video games today otherwise it would have been higher.



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MH

posted February 27, 2010 at 6:55 pm


Also, when the Millenials are older and understand what a mess the Boomers made of things they might view them more harshly. They also didn’t watch the boomers get the drinking age lowered to 18, only to raise it to 21 for the next generation when they came into power.



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Cecelia

posted February 27, 2010 at 6:55 pm


I’m almost embarrased by my score – low even for a boomer. My Facbook page apparently couonted for little.
I don’t think it is unrealistic for the millenials to be positive about their future – 1) they’re younger and youth is a time for optimism 2) if they place family etc as being more important than career – reduced career/earning options won’t be as distressing to them – even in a lousy economy they can still have what is important to them – a good family life etc. As for being less resentful towards boomers – the genx’ers have been sitting underneath the boomers for a long time now – boomers are their bosses, occupy the positions they are waiting for – so of course they have resentment. Poor genxers have also been compared to the boomers too. Millenials don’t have that baggage. Given all the doom and gloom – a little optimism about the future is a welcome change of pace.



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dhoff

posted February 27, 2010 at 7:00 pm


not very
scored 18 (’55 – a boomer through and through i guess)



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Brett R.

posted February 27, 2010 at 7:37 pm


I’m an Xer born in 1972 but I got a 68, which surprised me. If had some tats and piercings, I’d have been a full-on Millennial. My wife has observed that I’m on Facebook as much as the average 14-year-old girl :).



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mdavid

posted February 27, 2010 at 7:47 pm


These are the kids of the later Baby Boomers, and they seem to have far less of a chip on their shoulder about the Boomers than we Xers do.
I hang out with a lot of Mills, and we ain’t seen nothing yet! Events drive everything, and a whole series of events are changing the lives of the Mills generation. Just like prosperity and the pill created carefree, free-love boomers, and their following divorce and neglect created the angst of the Xers, terrible economic pain will form the Mills into a very angry generation who have no toleration for any of the prior generations who sunk them in the mire. Just wait…
1) Depression: good jobs are slipping away, and the unemployment of Mills is incredibly high, right when they need to be getting experience for their future resumes. In ten years, a majority of Mills will have experienced unemployment or underemployment, along with delayed families and careers. Plus, the sucking sound of jobs going overseas…remember how Japan created the US rust belt? Well, China makes Japan look tiny! Good luck competing with a billion high-IQ, impoverished, hard-working Chinese who are emerging into a new middle class…
2) Taxes: Mills are going to pay for the boomers retirement. It’s gonna be a wild ride watching the first generation to be poorer than their grandparents have to pay through the nose for their retirement due to pay-as-you-go policies of, you guessed it, their grandparents! Remember it will be some time before the boomer population has died out enough to balance the political numbers between the generations, so the Mills will have plenty of time to get real angry before they finally have a chance to lash out politically. Won’t be pretty.
3) Debt: a large number of Mills have student loan debts that are simply not payable. This is the only mainstream type of debt that can never be defaulted – we have a new serf class, and many of these indentured servants are going to lose economic hope in this depression. Besides student loan debts, they face record debts on all fronts: corporate, government, you name it. Some estimates put it at over 500% of GDP when it’s all totaled up. And imagine – they didn’t even create it! Lot of anger here are going to burst when the bills come due.
It will be 3-8 years for all the optimism of youth to fade as the reality sinks in, but one can already see it starting. By 2020, the Mill’s personality and fate will be sealed. It will be a reflection of the mess we left for them.



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Sheree

posted February 27, 2010 at 7:57 pm


I’m 46 and I scored a 53. Probably due to:
–No landline
–Use social media
–Send and receive text messages on occasion (but not signficantly)



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Joe Jr

posted February 27, 2010 at 8:00 pm


My score was 47 and I was born in May of 1981. A borderline score for a borderline year, I suppose.



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AnotherBeliever

posted February 27, 2010 at 8:03 pm


I scored a 64. I’m definitely a cusper, born in 1981. Born to late to be a Gen Xer, but still a little old to be a proper Millenial. My parents were born in 1960, very late Boomers.
I don’t think Millenials will ever have great hatred or disgust towards their parents. I don’t think rebellion is IN most of us born after 1980. We want to please our parents, our bosses. I’ve been mad at my parents, but I was never able to stay mad at them for long. I get along very well with almost everybody in their fifties and early sixties. It’s automatic, comfortable.
Maybe circumstances will change this. We’ll see.



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AnotherBeliever

posted February 27, 2010 at 8:05 pm


I should also mention that I’m an Oldest, which probably also plays into my attitudes towards my parents and bosses. Birth order influences personality, though not to the extent some books make it out to…



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Mary Jo

posted February 27, 2010 at 9:23 pm


Oh, my.
I scored a 7. Yes, a seven
And I was born in 1966.
Of course, I am a stay at home mom and have parents that are still married. I still have a land line (plus a cell) but text messages cost too much on my plan to even think about sending or receiving one.



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Loser

posted February 27, 2010 at 9:32 pm


Okay, among all here who have ‘fessed up their scores, I lose. I got a freakin’ FIVE. I cannot believe it! With a score like that, I shouldn’t have even found my way to the internet to read this blog! I was born in 1960, so I’m a late-ish Boomer. Five is the score of a Silent Gen-er. Like, my parents. Oy.
Cecelia, interesting that you think your Facebook page doesn’t count for much, because I was thinking, maybe that question is weighted and Important and stuff, and I lost a lot of points by not having ever done Facebook. Oh well.



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Matthew H.

posted February 27, 2010 at 9:34 pm


I scored a 22 but was born in ’84, so I’m wayyy out of touch. I blame my parents for being married for 33 years. Doggone them. They’ve raised me as a borderline Boomer/GenXer!



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sj

posted February 27, 2010 at 9:48 pm


I got an 11, which is just right for my ’56 birth. Now, if I had taken the quest yesterday, when I had sent a few text messages within the previous 24 hours and I had answered the importance of religion question to rank it lower than I did, I would have gotten a 23.



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Sherry

posted February 27, 2010 at 10:50 pm


Huh. I thought I would score higher since I’m 27 and on just about every social networking site available. I guess the fact that my parents are still married (like Matthew H’s) for 34 years, I’m married and I work for a newspaper hurls my score downward.



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Sherry

posted February 27, 2010 at 10:51 pm


Forgot to add my score: A 40!



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Kemay

posted February 27, 2010 at 10:54 pm


I scored a 49 (and was born in 1971). One of the questions flummoxed me: “In the past 24 hours, have you read a daily newspaper?” It was not clear to me if they were referring to a traditional paper newspaper, or to online newspapers. I read a variety of foreign newspapers, but I read them online. I answered “yes” to the question, but I wonder if the quiz designers actually meant a paper newspaper rather than a virtual one, in which case, my answer would have been different.



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max

posted February 27, 2010 at 11:10 pm


I am 37 and scored a whopping 5!



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E.B.

posted February 27, 2010 at 11:12 pm


I’m a 40 with a piercing and a tattoo, born in ’81, and married to a 17 born in ’79. We kick it old school.



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Lord Karth

posted February 27, 2010 at 11:20 pm


I was born in ’63. I scored a 5; I must be doing something right.
Your servant,
Lord Karth



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Pauli

posted February 27, 2010 at 11:36 pm


FWIW, I scored 29.



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Lord Karth

posted February 27, 2010 at 11:46 pm


For whatever it’s worth, here’s my breakdown.
I seldom, if ever, watch television. I live in the real world, and I have a family, a life and a job that require my attention and my efforts.
I have neither tattoos nor piercings. I consider myself a civilized person, and civilized people do not voluntarily mutilate themselves like that.
I do not play video games. “When a man is grown, he puts away the things of a child.”
I neither send nor receive text messages; they are excessively expensive and not justified in terms of either cost or information content. Also, I believe that my time has a value, and that other people’s time has value to them as well. If someone wants to get in touch with me, he or she can pick up the phone and call me. And vice versa.
I read newspapers each day; generally at least 5. Real, printed ones, not just online. (I also read actual books with actual intellectual content to them. Example in point: Mr. Dreher’s book occupies a prominent place on my shelves.)
My parents were married only to each other, and my wife and I have only been married to each other. I don’t even have a by-blow stashed away; by current “standards” I’m probably considered a hopeless prude.
Having said status, in my book, is no bad thing.
My family and I attend Mass at least once a week. My soul and my destination in the hereafter is of great concern to me.
I have a landline as my primary phone; my cellphone is for business and business ONLY.
Finally, I do not (and never will have) a Facebook page, for reasons previously stated on other threads. I was raised to believe in personal dignity and privacy.
What can I say ? I can’t help it if the world’s out of step.
Your servant,
Lord Karth



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TTT

posted February 28, 2010 at 12:23 am


what you get when young people have been raised with a sense of “everyone’s a winner” entitlement
They’ve seen it work for their older siblings and parents, so why not expect the same for themselves? They didn’t invent bubble economies or excessive reliance on credit, and they aren’t ready to invent the new economic landscape that is going to have to be built upon the wreckage. I agree with MDavid that the awakening will be very rude.



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Erin Manning

posted February 28, 2010 at 12:57 am


Though I was born during the Gen X years (at least, as described here), my score was only a 14. Why?
I’m pretty sure that having married parents, strong religious views, conservative political views, and a landline as well as cell phone, in addition to not sending text messages or playing video games, was what kept my score down. In fact, I’m quite sure, because my husband Thad (who is NOT a “baby boomer” but a Generation Jones member), got a 65 when he adjusted his original answers to reflect his work usage of text messaging and a few other things; like several people have noted, the score changes dramatically when “the past 24 hours” includes a normal work day vs. a weekend day (as it might for Millenials, as well).
I tend to agree with my husband that this quiz isn’t as informative as it might be. As he said, a lot of the factors here seem to depend both on what sort of work you do (e.g., in his field he sends and receives text messages frequently, where others in his generation might not use such devices at all) and on temporary realities related to present age and marital status (such as one’s video game usage and other media habits). We don’t really know what Millenials, the oldest of whom are presently 29 or so, will be like when they’ve actually grown up, in other words–will they still shun, say, contact with government officials and be wild about tattoos and piercings, or will they actually mature somewhat?
I recall the same confusion about Generation X: we were slackers! Except we weren’t:
http://www.nytimes.com/1995/06/18/style/the-short-shelf-life-of-generation-x.html?scp=24&sq=generation%20x&st=cse
Then we were superior! Except we weren’t:
http://www.nytimes.com/1996/06/09/opinion/l-are-generation-x-ers-superior-whatever-007510.html?scp=25&sq=generation%20x&st=cse
Then we were forgotten! Except when we weren’t:
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/10/weekinreview/talk-about-generation-gaps-this-one-s-38-million-strong.html?scp=33&sq=generation%20x&st=cse
If the Millenials have one huge advantage over previous generations, it’s that they can see all of the foolish ink that’s been spilled over the last sixty years or so trying to keep everyone in tidy little age-based marketing bands, the better to sell to us with, my dear. There was never room in these bands for my husband’s parents, who loved the music of the previous generation and never got into rock ‘n roll, or for my own parents, with my generationally-incorrect mother who stayed at home and raised her children (and even stayed married to the same man, gasp!), or for me, who dissents widely from the conservative party line these days and yet can’t click the box “moderate” to describe my political views because “moderate” is still code for “never met an abortion I didn’t like.” I bet there’s not a lot of room for my Millenial youngest siblings, either, who have nary a piercing or tattoo, are solidly Catholic and politically conservative, and are not slavish consumers of media, either.



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Edward

posted February 28, 2010 at 5:55 am


I’m 25, and scored 14. I take this as a compliment: I don’t own a TV, have a landline as well as a cell (in fact I want to get rid of my cell), never watch TV or play computer games (life’s too short), was born to married parents (and am married myself), and can think in a straight line for more than 10 seconds.
Unfortunately I have a facebook page, but I rarely use it, and one day I’m going to get round to deleting it.



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Passing Stranger

posted February 28, 2010 at 6:37 am


I got a score of 15. I was born in 1990. These things have little reference to the individual case.



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Jon

posted February 28, 2010 at 7:23 am


Re: Mills are going to pay for the boomers retirement
For the most part it will be us Gen Xers footing that bill. We’re the ones who will be at the peak of our careers paying the highest tax rates.
Re: This is the only mainstream type of debt that can never be defaulted
There’s no such thing as a debt that cannot be defaulted on. There are debts that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy and this is one of them, along with back taxes and child support. And the latter type of dent can even put one in jail, something student lenders cannot do to borrowers who default.



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Jon

posted February 28, 2010 at 7:30 am


My higher score (50, again) probably was boosted by the fact that I came from a “broken” family, but one broken the bitter old-fasioned way, by my mother’s death. The quiz did include “widowed” in that question, though how much of a generational mark is it to lose a parent in such a manner?
Also, why is having a cell phone a generational marker at all? My 84 year old aunt had a cell phone before she died. Maybe having only a cell phone and no landline would be a marker of millennials, though I did that when I lived in Ft Lauderdale since it seemed silly to be paying for both, especially since the only calls I had been getting on the landline were from telemarketers. Here in Baltimore we have an alarm system in the house, and it requires a landline (and will beep incessantly if the phone is not functional).
I do have Facebook, but only signed up so I could use it to look up some old friends I had lost touch with. I rarely visit the site.
No piercings or tattoos, I read what’s left of the local newspaper and I go to church. I wonder how I did score so high?



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Bluegrass Up

posted February 28, 2010 at 8:17 am


Born in 1956, which I suppose makes me a Boomer. (In some ways I clearly am, in some ways definitely not.) I scored a 26, and I’m sure the only reason I scored that high is that, yes, for some unfathomable reason I’m on Facebook, plus I do have a cell phone which however I hardly ever use.



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MH

posted February 28, 2010 at 9:54 am


My score dropped from 58 to 45 retaking the test today. I read the page on their scoring system and not all questions are weighted equally. So work behavior in certain fields seems to be a big component of the scoring system.



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sigaliris

posted February 28, 2010 at 10:29 am


Bwah ha ha, aging Boomer here scored 65. And my Millennial son and his wife love me. As do my two Gen X kids and the other one who’s on the cusp between X and Y.



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Hector

posted February 28, 2010 at 10:37 am


I was born in early 1980s- scored 64.
Re: who dissents widely from the conservative party line these days and yet can’t click the box “moderate” to describe my political views because “moderate” is still code for “never met an abortion I didn’t like.
Erin,
You’ll be happy to know (as am I) that while Millenial youth do tend to be liberal, they’re apparently also more likely than the previous generation to be pro-life.



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Andrea

posted February 28, 2010 at 11:03 am


I scored a 26 and I was born in 1971. Oh, well, I’m old-fashioned. I’d consider myself a neo-Luddite, which is apparently gaining some traction as a fashionable movement.



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mdavid

posted February 28, 2010 at 11:26 am


Erin, they can see all of the foolish ink that’s been spilled over the last sixty years or so trying to keep everyone in tidy little age-based marketing bands, the better to sell to us with, my dear.
It’s actually not foolish. There are statistical measurable difference between generations (especially in a modern culture with small, weak families who tend to have more in common with peers than parents than cultures with strong families). Also, one can move the lines around to find where the change between generations occurs most rapidly, and this is where the lines get drawn. It’s not totally arbitrary. Sure, the lines are fuzzy, and there are more similarities than differences, but I don’t think it’s foolish to use broad strokes to gain better understanding of the world.
I grant that one weakness of this game is that as people age, they become less libertarian and desirous of controlling others, so each generation will morph as they age. But again, this direction is predictable, so it isn’t an insurmountable weakness.
Also, regarding all the angst in comments about what questions were on the survey, it’s possible they merely asked a test group a thousand random questions, and then culled out the questions that had the largest difference between the Mills and others. Be easy to do.



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Dan Berger

posted February 28, 2010 at 12:59 pm


Nobody’s beat me yet: I’m a 3. No wonder my kids think I’m a dork.
Let’s see:
I don’t do social media; Despair.com had the best commentary on that, “Harnessing the awesome power of personality disorders.”
I text, but normally only to my children. And only to keep tabs on them.
I have a landline; it’s the most affordable means of internet around here.
I read actual books and newspapers.
My parents would have been married for 55 years by new, if my dad hadn’t died not long before their 47th. For that matter, I’ve been married to the same woman for 24 years next May.
And tattoos and odd piercings are unprofessional.
By the way, I was born in 1961.



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mdavid

posted February 28, 2010 at 2:15 pm


Dan Berger, I don’t do social media; Despair.com had the best commentary on that, “Harnessing the awesome power of personality disorders.
Funny. I do Facebook, but I get your point. My favorite description of social media that it’s the perfect balance between narcissism, stalking, and ADHD.



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Brett R.

posted February 28, 2010 at 3:53 pm


Only among this blog community would there be competition for the lowest score. It’s not a race, people.



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Roberto

posted February 28, 2010 at 4:09 pm


I got a one! Retook it, thinking that I couldn’t be that out of it and got a 2!



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Geoff G.

posted February 28, 2010 at 4:33 pm


Scored a 65. Probably lost points due to a lack of tattoos, piercings and having married parents.
The main thing I have in common with other Xers (I was born in 1971) is a detestation of the Baby Boomers and all of their works. Although I do have a guilty pleasure for a few Xer cultural touchstones, like Jay and Silent Bob.
While I was in the Army, I was more conservative (or perhaps libertarian), my views have mellowed considerably so that helped boost my millennial score no doubt. Conservatism is too ideological for me now, while I sat out liberalism’s ideological phase in Canada, so I didn’t really live those days when Jesse Jackson was actually a serious contender for President.
Lord Karth:
I do not play video games. “When a man is grown, he puts away the things of a child.”
That’s a typical boomer (and older) attitude. They saw video games as something their kids and grandkids played. Many video games are now, in fact, targeted at adults.
I know of a few boomers who’ve learned to enjoy them, but not many. It’s mostly a Gen X and later thing, and heavily influenced by whether or not you played video games much as a child (I personally had a Commodore 64 in the house, which was a video game system masquerading as a home computer to a large extent)
It’s the same thing as comparing War and Bridge. They’re both card games, but one is childish, the other most certainly is not.
Hector raises a good point, and that is that millenials don’t tend to fall into neat “liberal” vs. “conservative” boxes, and are mostly comfortable with that. This is especially true of the social issues. Plenty of younger conservatives, for instance, have no trouble with gay marriage. Likewise, Hector mentioned the increasing support for a pro-life position.



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Jon

posted February 28, 2010 at 4:51 pm


Re: It’s mostly a Gen X and later thing, and heavily influenced by whether or not you played video games much as a child
I was already a teenager when video games came on the scene big: Space Invaders, Asteroids, PacMan…
I was a real vidiot in my teens, and played various Nintendo games at home in my early 20s. After about age 28 though I lost interest.



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Dan Berger

posted February 28, 2010 at 5:21 pm


@mdavid, My favorite description of social media that it’s the perfect balance between narcissism, stalking, and ADHD.
That was precisely the trio cited by Despair.com. They had a Venn diagram of the three qualities, with different social media in the intersections.
@ Brett R, it is so a race! Roberto has me beat, though. I think the major score-droppers must be not using social media, low rates of texting and still having a land line (again, in my case it’s because we refuse to get cable because broadcast TV works fine, and so we need the land line for internet access).



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Dan Berger

posted February 28, 2010 at 5:43 pm


Oh, and not being pierced in odd places. Or having a tattoo. That means that some old, crusty sailorman is more with-it than I am.



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Mark

posted February 28, 2010 at 6:58 pm


They will grow into the chip about boomers when they start paying Social Security for the boomers retirement and then realize they will never get a dime of it. They just haven’t had to pay for anything yet.



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elizabeth

posted February 28, 2010 at 7:17 pm


what you get when young people have been raised with a sense of “everyone’s a winner” entitlement
What’s the GenX preference – “most of you are already losers?”
Seriously, this is a Warrior Culture and kids absorb that (War on Cancer, War on Drugs, War on Terror). To the extent that the fashion in education was to minimize, among very young children, an emphasis on winning-uber-alles, it was a positive thing. So some five, six and seven-year-olds brought home ribbons that said “participant” from primary school Field Day and continued to be happy to participate, instead of dreading the humiliation of losing and giving up trying. Does that so bum your GenX trip (so to speak)?
One of the many lovely traits I observe in Millennial kids is warm support for friends and classmates. Our son ran cross-country in high school, and the kids showed so much kindness and encouragement to each other at practices and meets. The teasing was kindly humorous and these kids could actually laugh at themselves – in high school (inner city public high school at that).
If anything, the hopefulness that seems to be a dominant personality trait in this crew helps them shrug off setbacks. They pick themselves up and try again. They also seem pretty analytical and are aware that the environment is screwed, but they are making plans to live anyway, not lie down and shriek in despair about how ripped off they were. GenX could learn something from them, frankly.



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elizabeth

posted February 28, 2010 at 7:23 pm


About retirement.
The whole 20-year post-war generation, and the Xers, are financing GG and the SG retirement as we speak. But mostly boomers did it by buying houses at 5-15 times what our elders paid for them in the 40s, 50s and 60s.
My husband and I plan to put our son’s name on the title soon and leave him a paid-for house, to try to balance the generational accounts.
I don’t know any peers (I’m 55) who think they can retire early or expect the golfing life retirement that was advertised to our parents. Most of us hope to continue working for a long time, but unless the economy improves many will not be able to. Deregulation of the financial industries, a 28-year project that started with Reagan and ended with Dubya, has tanked us. My husband may have to start collecting SS at age 62. Sorry about that. But I’m sure voting against abortion, though it never worked, was worth it.



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Lord Karth

posted February 28, 2010 at 9:39 pm


Geoff G. @ 4:33 PM writes:
” ‘I do not play video games. “When a man is grown, he puts away the things of a child.’
That’s a typical boomer (and older) attitude. They saw video games as something their kids and grandkids played. Many video games are now, in fact, targeted at adults.”
That may well be the case. In fact, I will go so far as to stipulate to that.
However, you misunderstand my basic point. An excessive (or even a very significant) focus on games, frivolities and entertainments in one’s life, at the expense of one’s proper work and family obligations, is the mark of a child.
An adult Human being’s primary concerns should be his immortal soul (whether expressed through his Church or some other outlet), his family and his work. Those are indicators of what economists refer to as “future-orientation”, which is THE primary hallmark of being an adult.
I am well aware of the attractions of such pastimes; I was in college when the first video-console and computer games arrived on the market. However, I am also aware of the dangers that such attractions/distractions can pose. We live in an economically competitive world; being sidetracked by almost ANY distraction—particularly one as potentially engrossing as today’s games are supposed to be—is not only foolish, it is ethically questionable at best, and potentially morally and financially suicidal.
Example in point: I am reliably told that there are many game-players who will spend all night going through scenario after scenario of World of Warcraft or some similar game. I recall a recent article in the Wall Street Journal about how players in China were online in such games for days at a time. Having pulled “all-nighters” for a variety of purposes (everything from court appearances and home-visits to attending family parties and playing games) throughout my life, I can personally attest to the fact that such events are physically very taxing. If said events cause one to downgrade his/her job performance, neglect one’s spiritual/religious responsibilities, or alter the performance of his/her other responsibilities in any other area of life, how can engaging in them for such purposes be considered anything but dereliction of duty and a blatant disregard for one’s obligations—not to mention the people to whom those duties are owed ?
Modern games are also, so I observe, quite costly, particularly in their online forms. Not just the games themselves, but the hardware on which they are run; I am reliably informed that a current-level game-oriented computer can cost $ 3,000-plus. Granted, today’s games are much more sophisticated in their design and programming skill than “Balance of Power” or “Pac-Man” were back in the days of my immaturity. But in a day and age where financial and moral predators (advertisers, the tax authorities, etc.) are only too willing to assist the average person in his/her own destruction, how could expending money on such pastimes (or even on more conventional ones such as going to mercenary-athletic events or artistic performances) conceivably be justified in more than the most trivial amounts ? If done for “business purposes”, or if one works in that particular industry, it might be excusable as an investment in one’s “professional” development (gaming is not and should not be considered a profession; to even use the word in this context is to commit an act of historical illiteracy and gratuitously insult members of true professions. I apologize to any members of said professions who might read this !), but, really, how many such people are there to whom that excuse might apply ?
Also, it seems to me that devoting serious attention (more than a few minutes a month or so) to such pastimes takes time away from one’s dealings with one’s family. If one is single and living in a college dorm, that is (perhaps) one thing, but if one has a family, especially with small children, spending ANY time on such things strikes me as being outrageously irresponsible and probably crossing the line into gross negligence.
If one has graduated from college, started a job and assumed what used to be the normal obligations of adult living, one is best advised to put aside ALL distractions of that sort, and tend to one’s proper business.
When one is a child, one thinks and acts as a child, but when one becomes a man, one puts away the things of a child and takes up the ways of a man. That includes a recognition and understanding of the notion of personal responsibility, the ability to discern appropriate priorities, and the awareness of the need for carrying out one’s proper duties.
That is, if one aspires to be anything even remotely resembling an adult Human being who takes his/her responsibilities at all seriously.
As the current state of the public fisc reveals, there are, by all accounts, far too few people of ANY generation with such aspirations in this culture.
Your servant,
Lord Karth



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MH

posted February 28, 2010 at 10:07 pm


elizabeth, I would talk to an account before transferring ownership of your house to your son. My guess is that would be considered a gift and hit him with a whopper of a tax bill. If you leave it in your name and he inherits the house he gets it at what is called a stepped up cost basis which would reduce his tax liability.



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John M.

posted February 28, 2010 at 10:20 pm


Oy! I’m 48 and got an 18 score. I knew I was an old fart but this is ridiculous!



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Unfrozen Caveman

posted February 28, 2010 at 10:39 pm


I got a negative 38. What is a telephone, anyway? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go club a wooly mammoth for my dinner and drag my wife around by her hair.



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Jon

posted March 1, 2010 at 6:44 am


Re: An excessive (or even a very significant) focus on games, frivolities and entertainments in one’s life, at the expense of one’s proper work and family obligations, is the mark of a child.
Adults do play all sorts if non-video games: card games, chess, various sports. I would agree that someone who fritters away too much of his time on such activities is living a frivolous life, but I see nothing inappropiate in recreation and entertainment in due measure. Of course, many video games do seem to be addictive and people will play them exessively to the exclusion of all else. And unlike other sorts of games the other players (if there are any) are not usually physical present– they may even be on the other side of the planet so ther is something anti-social about video games, unlike other gaming pastimes.
Re: They will grow into the chip about boomers when they start paying Social Security for the boomers retirement and then realize they will never get a dime of it.
Social Security will be around indefinitely (assuming no “2012” style apocalypses). Medicare is what we have to worry about, as it is absolutely not sustainable– and even very minor reforms such as the current healthcare bill have called forth the uglist sort of demogoguery, and more drama than we have seen since the anti-slavery movement.



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Sarah

posted March 1, 2010 at 9:11 am


I was born in 1980, on the cusp between Gen X and the millenials, and I got a 20. I have a Facebook page and get my news from the internet, but I don’t have tattoos or strange piercings, don’t play many video games, have both a cell phone and a landline, and have never sent a text message in my life. My parents are still married. I’m married too, and have two children. I’m Catholic and my religion is one of the most important things to me, though I said my political views are “moderate” for the survey, since although I’m pro-life and generally socially conservative, I tend to lean Democratic on a lot of other issues. I’ve recently taken to calling myself “politically agnostic.”
Anyway, I’d be interested to find out what different generation’s attitudes towards work are. I said having a high-paying job was “not important” to me. Is that typical for my generation or atypical? Which generation is most likely to say a high-paying job is very important?



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Anderson

posted March 1, 2010 at 1:44 pm


33, scored a 66.



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maria

posted March 1, 2010 at 1:51 pm


30 y.o. russian got 75, guess Farmville on Facebook should be blamed



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Anti Dhimmi

posted March 1, 2010 at 3:24 pm


Lord Karth argues that videogames and computer games take people away from life. I respectfully submit that is one reason for the popularity of such among men in their twenties. Family life as it currently is constructed holds little appeal for any man of that age, save for those in culturally and thus theologically conserative religions. Young men increasingly turn to games and Game for their various needs.
Given the fact that the majority of divorce actions are brought by wives, given that custody of children is still pretty much a given to the mother regardless of circumstances, given that any married man can lose house and home in a matter of days, it makes little sense for young men to attempt to settle down with a typical Milli woman of the “Girls Gone Wild” generation. It is an economic loser.
It is fortunate that there are still culturally conservative enclaves where marriage and family are prized to some extent. I must report, however, that the single mother with one or more children is growing in part due to cultural changes going back decades, and that a kind of “marriage strike” among young men is already in progress.
Gaming is, in a very real sense, displacement activity for many young men, and not just the “living in Mom’s basement” type. I see young, single professionals who spend much of their off hours time with gaming, or with Game. And no, this doesn’t bode well for anyone. But that is what I am seeing when I observe the world around me.



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Lord Karth

posted March 1, 2010 at 4:03 pm


Anti Dhimmi, @ 3:24 PM, writes:
“Gaming is, in a very real sense, displacement activity for many young men, and not just the “living in Mom’s basement” type. I see young, single professionals who spend much of their off hours time with gaming, or with Game. And no, this doesn’t bode well for anyone. But that is what I am seeing when I observe the world around me.”
This phenomenon may be cross-cultural. I am reminded of an article I read recently about a similar trend in Japan, where young women are increasingly uninterested in marrying, and young men are increasingly drawn to “virtual girlfriends”, frequently expending considerable time and resources on what are, for all intents and purposes, electronic blow-up dolls.
Inquiry: is anyone aware as to whether something like this is taking place in Europe or China ? If so, how does this aversion to marriage manifest itself there ?
It’s almost enough to make one wonder if this is being deliberately encouraged by outside agencies of some sort. I wish I had the time to be a science-fiction writer; it seems to me that this would make one heck of a story.
Your servant,
Lord Karth



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Anderson

posted March 1, 2010 at 4:11 pm


Also, it seems to me that devoting serious attention (more than a few minutes a month or so) to such pastimes takes time away from one’s dealings with one’s family. If one is single and living in a college dorm, that is (perhaps) one thing, but if one has a family, especially with small children, spending ANY time on such things strikes me as being outrageously irresponsible and probably crossing the line into gross negligence.
Well, I’ve cherished the time I have spent with my five-year-old as we’ve worked our way through Lego Star Wars on Wii. I don’t see it as being much different than working on a jigsaw puzzle or building a model.



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Anti Dhimmi

posted March 1, 2010 at 5:00 pm


Lord Karth writes in reply to me:
This phenomenon may be cross-cultural. I am reminded of an article I read recently about a similar trend in Japan, where young women are increasingly uninterested in marrying, and young men are increasingly drawn to “virtual girlfriends”, frequently expending considerable time and resources on what are, for all intents and purposes, electronic blow-up dolls.
There are people predicting the widespread use of the 3-D CGI techniques from the movie “Avatar” at the home level in 5 years, if not sooner. Contemplating what that means for the next generation of porn is not pleasant.
The Japanese seem to have decided to deal with their declining population via increased use of robots. Contemplating what that means for the next generation of electronic blow up dolls is not pleasant, either. Combining the two (robots and 3-D porn) leads down a lot of mental alleyways.
Inquiry: is anyone aware as to whether something like this is taking place in Europe or China ? If so, how does this aversion to marriage manifest itself there ?
Sketchy reports from China suggest a similar reluctance to marry on the part of the educated women, and obsession with gaming online on the part of the men. Of course there are hundreds of millions of poor in China who don’t bother with
such things. The demographic effects of the Chinese autocrats one-child policy includes a huge imbalance between men and women. Historically, this has led to warfare but I wonder now if it won’t be settled by a lot of young men basically leading extended bachelorhood.
I cannot answer the question with regard to Europe, frankly.
It’s almost enough to make one wonder if this is being deliberately encouraged by outside agencies of some sort. I wish I had the time to be a science-fiction writer; it seems to me that this would make one heck of a story
As tempting as it may be to see a gooberment konspiracy designed to create malleble, declining populations, I question whether anyone in any gooberment has ever been smart enough to actually set such a thing into motion.
One thing that Mark Steyn keeps observing is unquestionably true: the future belongs to those who show up. Those who choose to have children are “voting” on what the future should look like, those who avoid any influence on children are abstaining.



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Lord Karth

posted March 1, 2010 at 5:02 pm


Anderson @ 4:11 PM writes:
“Well, I’ve cherished the time I have spent with my five-year-old as we’ve worked our way through Lego Star Wars on Wii. I don’t see it as being much different than working on a jigsaw puzzle or building a model.”
It’s one thing to do something like that with someone in your family.
I personally wouldn’t do that, for the simple reason that I’m not wild about the entire concept of having a Wii/Xbox/other gaming system in the house as it is. I believe having it in the house sends a wrong message about what is acceptable and what is not.
But that’s my house; if you want to have Lego Star Wars on a Wii and play it with your son, that’s your affair. I’ll give you credit for using it to spend time with your son, though. And yes, I freely admit that my opinion and $ 1 will get you a copy of Our Nation’s Journal of Scholarly Excellence, USA Today. So go play.
Your servant,
Lord Karth



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Your Name

posted March 1, 2010 at 7:34 pm


Re: The demographic effects of the Chinese autocrats one-child policy includes a huge imbalance between men and women. Historically, this has led to warfare but I wonder now if it won’t be settled by a lot of young men basically leading extended bachelorhood.
In the past those extra men were younger sons who lacked not only wives (often due to polygamy by the better favored classes) but also land and money. Soldiering was about the only option open to those who were too unscholarly for monastic life. Today’s situation is very different. Those Chinese bachelors are apt to be only children; they have less trouble with finding economic opportunities. And they will be very precious to their aging parents. No one (including the men themselves) will want to waste their lives in war. And if the Japanese do perfect lovebots they won’t even be sexually frustrated.
Re: One thing that Mark Steyn keeps observing is unquestionably true: the future belongs to those who show up.
An awful lot of impoverished Africans showed up for this current world, but it assurely does not belong to them. A more meaningful cliche is that “them that has the gold makes the rules”– in any future.



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Julien Peter Benney

posted March 2, 2010 at 4:35 am


I scored only twenty.
Given that I am strongly autistic, I am not surprised given what I expected from Strauss and Howe’s book “Generations”, which I have respect for even if it perhaps misunderstands the aim of the Baby Boomers – which in many ways could be described following Benjamin Wiker as “Epicurean puritanism”, that is, to purify an Epicurean culture form the influence of Christianity.



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Anti Dhimmi

posted March 2, 2010 at 11:24 am


Your Name writes:
In the past those extra men were younger sons who lacked not only wives (often due to polygamy by the better favored classes) but also land and money. Soldiering was about the only option open to those who were too unscholarly for monastic life. Today’s situation is very different. Those Chinese bachelors are apt to be only children; they have less trouble with finding economic opportunities. And they will be very precious to their aging parents. No one (including the men themselves) will want to waste their lives in war. And if the Japanese do perfect lovebots they won’t even be sexually frustrated.
While I’m sure that parents of Little Emperors do not want them to be sent off to liberate Taiwan or on some other insane military adventure, the autocrats of China do not care all that much what their subjects want, when push comes to shove. The PRC is still a rather puritanical place, and thus Japanese lovebots (should they come to be) will likely be difficult to import. The PLA still has rather a lot of influence within the autocracy, and it is itching to challenge Uncle Sam.
I wrote:
One thing that Mark Steyn keeps observing is unquestionably true: the future belongs to those who show up.
An awful lot of impoverished Africans showed up for this current world, but it assurely does not belong to them.
But they are the ones shaping Africa’s future, whatever that may be. Futhermore, the smaller the cohort, the bigger the influence. Those people who choose to have children in North America, in Northern Europe, in Japan, in Australia, etc. will have an influence on the future in those places. The infant / toddler of today is the “young voter” of 15-18 years from now.
A more meaningful cliche is that “them that has the gold makes the rules”– in any future.
That may be meaningful to you. Demographics is destiny, one way or another.



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James Kabala

posted March 2, 2010 at 11:28 am


Erin and Edward: I was born in 1980 and also scored a 14. I wonder if we all gave the exact same answers. (Married parents, no video games, no text messages, no tattoos or piercings, read a daily newspaper, no hour of TV (I do own one though), own a landline, but do have a Facebook page.)



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James Kabala

posted March 2, 2010 at 11:30 am


Oh, and religion is important to me.
If “How much time do you spend on the Internet?” or worse yet, “Do you ever comment on blogs?” had been questions, however, my score would have been much higher.



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