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What Does the Media (Fox, CNN, CNBC) Say About Your Generation?

generation stereotypes

Generation stereotypes have existed for thousands of years, going so far back as Socrates (455-399BC) to have said, “The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room.”

Due to the fact that generation stereotypes such as younger children are spoiled while older people are grumpy, have existed for so long, why do we continue to use them? Or a better question, why does major media sources still use them? Many academics have pointed holes in using such a large cohort to explain individual behavior. 

Unfortunately, the simple answer is that generation stereotypes are an easy way to create a polarizing story. By criticizing one generation, this creates friction between generation resulting in media ‘buzz’. 

Below are examples of different generations and what Fox, CNN and CNBC typically says about each one of them. Most of them are backed by data making their viewpoint much more interesting. Do any of these apply to you?

 

Generation Stereotypes Baby Boomers (Born 1946 – 1964)

Fox – 

  • Baby Boomers are not responsible for social security issues (source)
  • Baby Boomers don’t want to stop working as they reach retirement age (source
  • Over 2 million Baby Boomers still have student loan debt (source)
  • Increasing numbers of Baby Boomers are being scammed financially (source)
  • Many Baby Boomers feel uncertain about their financial future and retirement (source

CNN

  • Increasing numbers of Baby Boomers are now smoking marijuana (source)
  • Baby Boomers are quickly adapting to new social technologies (source)
  • Baby Boomers are retaking the White House (source)
  • Baby Boomers politicians don’t care about Millennial votes (source)
  • Baby Boomers taught Generation X the wrong way to have relationships (source)

CNBC

  • Many Baby Boomers have saved nothing for retirement (source)
  • Baby Boomers are twice as likely to be successful business owners for Millennials (source
  • Baby Boomers are not the generation who has taken the most out of social security (source)
  • The hottest startup market is Baby Boomers (source)
  • Baby Boomers don’t have to fight as hard as Millennials to get in the middle class (source)

 

Generation Stereotypes Generation X (Born 1961- 1981) 

Fox 

  • Generation X are ”Latchey kids” who grew up in households where divorce was fairly common (source)
  • Generation X benefitted from a balance of culture from both Baby Boomers and the heroism of the Traditionalist generation. (source)
  • Generation X is lukewarm about global warming (source)
  • Generation X is the most literate and best educated generation in American history (source)
  • Camping is becoming very popular with Generation X (source)

CNN’

  • Generation X is balanced and happy (source)
  • Generation X is less religious than Baby Boomers (source)
  • Generation X is more patriotic than Millennials (source)
  • Generation X supports big government less than Baby Boomers (source)
  • Generation X is often overlooked between self-satisfied Baby Boomers and self-indulgent Millennials (source

CNBC

  • Generation X is changing work more than Millennials (source)
  • Millennials are more vocal about finances than Generation X (source)
  • Generation X has the second most debt compared to Millennials (source)
  • Generation x is the most stressed out generation (source)
  • Generation X is not as good with their money as Millennials (source)

 

Generation Stereotypes Generation Y/Millennials (1980-1996)

Note: they are not the same time frame period, but they are close enough so the media often conflates the two.

Fox 

  • Millennials are more stressed out than the average person (source)
  • Millennials need a dose of reality (source)
  • Millennials like vertical televisions in relation to normal ones (source)\
  • Millennials romance the idea of socialism (source)
  • Millennials are not as patriotic as previous generations (source)

CNN

  • Millennials use of social media is calling for new transparency in politics (source)
  • Millennials can be less healthy than their parents (source)
  • Millennials find money more more stressful than politics (source)
  • Millennials are asking for more transparency than ever before in companies (source)
  • Millennials do not fear the stock market crashing (source

CNBC

  • Millennials continue to struggle in a booming economy (source)
  • Millennials spend too much money on coffee (source)
  • Millennials are prefer to move to suburban areas later on (source)
  • Millennials believe that Bitcoin is the best way to save (source)
  • Millennials are scared of the stock market (source)

 

Generation Stereotypes Generation Z

Fox

  • Generation Z has the potential to be the most progressive generation yet (source)
  • Generation Z prefers a more blurred version of work/life balance with their managers (source)
  • Generation Z is the physically loneslist generation of previous generations (source)
  • Generation Z have the lowest church attendance (source)
  • 50% of Generation Z values lined up with conservative values (source

CNN

  • Generation Z has the most health problems with gun violence as biggest stressors (source)
  • Generation Z won’t be surprised if politicians lack empathy and lash out at each other from ‘Trumpification’ (source)
  • Generation Z believe in global warming less than Millennials (source
  • Generation Z believes in social racial diversity more than Millennials (source)
  • Most Generation Z want to start their own company (source)

CNBC

  • Generation Z believe 3x times more than the employer is responsible for developing their skills (source)
  • Generation Z ‘ghosts’ job offers more than any other generation (source)
  • Generation Z dislike traditional television in comparison to platforms like Youtube (source)
  • More Generation Z employees want to work more atSnapChat than LinkedIn (source)
  • Generation Z have suffered the worst consequences with technology (source)
Jeff Butler

Jeff Butler Internationally respected speaker and consultant, Jeff Butler helps bridge generational gaps between Millennials and companies looking for their talent and patronage. Butler has quickly built his reputation as a memorable presenter with tangible solutions for attracting, retaining, and engaging Millennials as employees and customers. Within just the past three years, he has spoken at two TEDx events and multiple Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Amazon, and LinkedIn.

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