Born in the 1950s? You might not be a baby boomer… 33



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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.”

Are you Generation Jones? If so, when were you born? Have you heard this term before – and do you think it describes you?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. lol who knew I am a Gen Jones. There you go I am not a Baby Boomer so I am not to blame for everything. I can’t wait to tell my children this. However the bad news is that my dear hubby is a Baby Boomer. So he is to blame for everything. I can have a lot of fun with this.

  2. This is rubbish I just did a web search and I suspect the people saying this are trying to distinguish themselves from baby boomers because Governments around the world have targeted them

  3. What about those of us who are just too old to be baby boomers? Do we have a special term?

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  4. you can’t just take a whole group of people who are over 51 and give them a new name. These people are Baby boomers if they were born between 1946 and 1964

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    • I like being a baby boomer. Gen Jones sounds like someone’s name. Lucky men who fall into this era, lol

    • That is also my belief David because I was shown a chart from 1946-1964, so maybe someone is telling porkies.

  5. Born in ’55 as a middle child, I was always neither one or the other!! Disadvantaged all round. I’m of the Smiley face and Love is ….. era of mini’s, midi’s, maxi’s and boots!!

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