Have you ever been unclear as to which age groups the media or even acquaintances were referring to when talking about a specific generation? Maybe you even questioned whether they were correct in their choice of generation or why we would want to create these categories. Do you know which of them you are part of? You might even be surprised by the answer, so let’s get them cleared up!

Not only does each generation categorize society by the years in which we were born, but these groups have particular characteristics depending on what environmental, social, and technological influences they were born into. These factors affect the way individuals born within different time periods grow up, learn, and socialize.

With its very modern sounding name, you might be surprised to know that Generation X, Gen X, or the “lost” generation, includes all individuals born from 1966 to 1976, those who ranged between 41 and 51 years of age in 2017. This is considered the first generation of “latchkey” kids: those children who were home without adult supervision for some part of their day, usually after school. Most had career-driven parents, attended daycare, and experienced divorce.

Gen Xers did not grow up using computers but saw their introduction in middle or high school. In addition, they saw the emergence of music videos and are, thus, referred to as the MTV generation by some (MTV first launched in 1981).

Generation Y, also known as the Echo Boomers, Millennials or Millenniums, were born between 1977 and 1994, or those who were between 23 and 40 years old in 2017. This group has the largest population since the Baby Boomers, which reflects the large number of births by their parent generation.

American sociologist Kathleen Shaputis labeled Gen Yers as the “Peter Pan” generation due to their tendency to delay some of the steps into adulthood that their forerunners experienced much earlier in life; for example, living independently, starting their career, and getting married.

The Millennials are considered the iPhone, Facebook, Yahoo, Google, and mobile phone generation. In addition, they are sophisticated, technology-wise, and immune to most traditional marketing and sales pitches, probably since they grew up constantly exposed to the media. This group is accustomed to instant access to price comparisons, product information, and product reviews.

Generation Z, or the “Technoholics”, is the most recent generation. Since this group is made up of those born from 1995 and up, there is not as much recorded on this group of individuals. However, what is known is that they are growing up in a highly diverse environment, one which they have never known without technology, the internet, or the media. Their classrooms are more advanced and integrate different forms of technology. Thus, they are considered more expert with regards to technology than the Millennials.