Do you ever feel left out or overlooked? If so, and if you’re born between 1954 and 1965, then you are part of an often forgotten about cohort known as Generation Jones.
Gen Jones is a (very) special subset of the monstrous mass of Baby Boomers. We’re the younger siblings of those post-war babies who came along into a very different world from the one our older brothers and sisters created. That doesn’t make us any less special, mind. There are plenty of very impressive Gen Jonsers out there (Barak Obama, Madonna, George Clooney, Jodi Foster and the late Michael Jackson).
If you’ve never heard the term Generation Jones, don’t be surprised. It’s a relatively new concept, some might say a little overdue. The term was coined by a demographer called Jonathan Pontell, it can describe a largely anonymous generation and spawned the concept of “keeping up with the Joneses.
What happened was we were children who grew up in an era of great expectations, which, sadly, didn’t quite meet up with the reality we encountered as we hit our teens and adulthood in the mid-to-late 70s and 80s. This left us with a feeling of “jonesing” – a kind of yearning that has propelled us through life.
Our older siblings (actual or figuratively speaking) seemed to have got all the breaks. They had everything they needed and left little for us in terms of resources, jobs, education. Consequently, characteristics of Gen Jones are a general cynicism, distrust of the government (can’t think why) and less optimism than those bouncy boomers.
That doesn’t mean we’re not fun to be around! In fact, we’re witty and clever; we practically invented sarcasm…
Writing in the Huffington Post, Debra Ollivier said, “Like many Gen Jonesers I was born in 1960, when nearly half the population of the United States was under eighteen years of age. I was too young for Woodstock and Civil Rights protests. I was a toddler when JFK was shot. I didn’t take LSD and ‘turn on, tune in, drop out’. Vietnam raged but my peers were far from getting drafted. I remember the slogans — Make Love, Not War. Question Authority. Don’t Trust Anyone Over Thirty – but the reigning popular icon of my day was the Happy Face button, not the Flower Power decal.”
She adds, “I was still infused by the can-do idealism of the sixties, since it was the bedrock of my early childhood. If I’m typical of my generation in any way, it’s safe to say that Gen Jonesers were weaned on a cocktail of both cynicism and yearning.”