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So and now, Maria, Gary and I are going to talk about generations, so the representatives of two/three, it’ll depend, generations, here. But you know what? I think that before we talk about generations and, you know, what types of generations there are, what is special about them,
I think it would be useful if we give some kind of information, about ourself. About our background, so that would help to understand that. So, who wants to start?
Well, as the representative of the oldest generation possible to even imagine, I’ll take the liberty of going first, cause I got here first, right, so to speak. And yeah, so I was born in 1954, okay, so I am a baby-boomer is what we call my generation. And of course in the United States, in the great state of Ohio, and what was else? What else am I supposed to say?
Well, what kind of family did you have? What was Ohio like? Cause I think when we talk about generations, we can’t but talk about what kind of a community did we grow up in, what kind of a place did we grow up in.
Okay, alright. My… I’m from a family, my parents… I’m an only child, so my parents are… went into business when I was quite young. My dad was working in industry, he was some kind of a like an office manager and it was a good job, but he was also a musician and so he loved music and he’s a keyboard guy – pianos and organ, the electronic organ, electric organ.
Hammond organ specifically, if anybody knows that, was a thing at that point. And so my parents went into business when I would’ve been 6 years old. And so I kind of grew up around that business in Ohio, and Ohio, this was at the time after the war, after what you call the Great Patriotic war in English, and world war II we call it, and the GIs, that was soldiers, were coming home from the war.
They were getting married, they were having children, and I was one of those children eventually. Not right after the war, but… And so I grew up in America at a time when the country was growing, the economy was very good overall and it was a good time to my parents to go into business and so that’s kinda the way it was.
Where I grew up or where I was born. It was a part of the city, it was a suburb, it was a near suburb to a big city of Cleveland, Ohio, which was at that point an industrial city and a large city, and now it isn’t either of those particularly.
But it was then, and on the edges of the city they were building new housing, it’s like here now there’s areas like this even in Novosibirsk, although it’s kinda elite here. These were not elite, these were democratic you would say, they were for everybody. And everybody included my parents, neighbors, my one neighbor was in the Marine Core in the war.
Now my dad wasn’t in the war. But my neighbor was, my neighbor on the other side, everybody was that generation. They were called the greatest generation, we called them the greatest generation, that won the big one, world war II. And I’m their child.
So was it a quiet and calm neighborhood that you lived in?
It was. It was the time called baby boom, because a lot of babies were born, so there was… I was an only child, I think I was the only, the only only child in the house. There were mall houses, very small, smaller than, they’re not building the houses this size in Novosibirsk outside the city…
Well actually they are. Some of these condominiums, they’re quite small and inexpensive, they’re like the same kind of idea. But anyway. But yeah, it was very quiet, but a lot of kids, just a lot of kids everywhere, you know, including me.
And everybody was roughly the same age and you know, so it was very quiet, very good, very… It was a good time to be a kid, it was a good time to be... It was just in general a pretty successful optimistic time I would say, overall.
And can you tell us what… Well, since it’s one of the points that we want to, we are going to discuss. So what kind of historical events or maybe important event have you witnessed in history, in history of the US probably.
Well, how much time do we have here? This is gonna be the three-hour podcast, I’ll take the first two hours, and then we’ll chat about the rest.
You can take two hours and a half, and then Maria and I can have 15 minutes each, that’ll be okay.
I don’t want it be that way. I’ll just take one thing, okay. How about the cold war? Right? The cold war.
Well one thing you don’t think about. It was thankfully not a hot war, which means a war where armies are shooting each other, but it was a war as we all know, and I grew up with that. There was also of course the atomic problem shall we say, atomic bomb problem, which we have not seen since the end of world war II thankfully.
But the threat of that was part of something that my generation grew up with. The fact that wow, we could blow up the whole world up if we aren’t pretty careful here. Thankfully we were pretty careful. Everybody…
Right, they did a good job for not blowing and managing to hold things together quite well. And so that was just one, but of course, I mean, a lot of other things happened, just historical events, but that was a significant one.
You know, that lasted my entire childhood and I mean, I remember when I went into my university, yeah, when I entered the university. For some reason I had to write an essay, and I think it was either for like an entrance thing or for…
Something. Well, my essay was on, you know, something about the atomic threat and how I’m not sure if we’re going to blow the world up and what we should do about it and such like that. It was on people’s minds actively, at least in America.
Maybe here as well, I don’t know. But anyhow. So we grew up with that. And thankfully that isn’t part of the picture anymore, but a lot of things are that aren’t so always so cheerful, but yeah.
Alright. Thank you. Maria, what about your background?
Well, I was born and raised in the city of Novokuznetsk, which is not far from the city of Novosibirsk, where we are all now. And Novokuznetsk is quite a big industrial city, well, at least it used to be an industrial city.
Now almost, I guess, now almost all the industry is kind of ruined. And well, I was raised in a family of engineers and a doctor. So as I said, Novokuznetsk is an industrial city, that’s why it has a big industrial university. So my father and his parents were engineers.
Well, my father still is an engineer, but he’s retired now. And my mom is a doctor. So, yeah. What was the second question here?
Well, what kind of… Well, you told us what kind of a family… So what kind of a neighborhood did you have? So what kind of surrounding did you have? Maybe education as well?
Well, I think it was pretty peaceful and, you know, I thought, I used to think that it was peaceful and quiet, but when I grew up, I, for example, I learned that it was quite a big problem with, for example, maniacs and all this stuff, and burglars and so on.
It was like the 1990s, and in there, in Soviet union and the former Soviet union it was quite a big problem, but being a child I just didn’t know about it. Being a teenager also. As a child I just didn’t know because my parents protected me from it, and as a teenager I maybe didn’t care because I cared about other things. But now I know that it was pretty tough.
There were a lot of maniacs.
Yeah. I mean, pretty famous. Famous, not famous, like, well-known.
Yeah, infamous of course.
So wait, so did you know about the, the fall of the soviet union? Cause you must’ve been what.. a child? So you didn’t…
I started school in 1990 I guess. So it was like the decay of the USSR. And I, yeah… For example I didn’t become a pioneer, so I didn’t have time to, but yeah. I remember grandfather Lenin and some short stories we read about him – that’s what I remember.
But I remember this, you know, we call it perestroika, which I witnessed, and it was a tough time in terms of financial issues that my family faced. Because back those days doctors, and my mom’s a doctor, doctors just didn’t get a good salary.
They couldn’t earn good salary. And well, they didn’t go on strikes or something, because, well, they are doctors. They just can’t. And we faced, yeah, these financial issues, so my family didn’t have lots of money. We weren’t a well-off family, yeah. That’s it.
I think I don’t have much to say to be honest, because I was born after the fall of the soviet union, so I don’t remember any of this. I can only, you know, judge by the stories, and I was born and raised in Yakutsk, so it was not a big city. It was basically.
We call it an island, because it’s basically cut off from the rest of Russia. You can only get there by plane. So yeah, and it was, you know, a quiet childhood, quiet school days, nothing much to remember. But we did have a problem.
So my, my mom is an accountant, my dad was a driver, so we did not have much money, so we were quite poor for a very long time. And sometimes we would only have a sack of flour and some pasta, but my parents never showed the difficulty of that to us.
So they would bake something, something sweet, so we would still have something. And then my mom started to work at some kind of a big big big warehouse or a shop, something like that, so she started to bring some toys.
So my sister and I, cause I have an elder sister, never felt, you know, the need.
Yeah. We never felt that. It was just calm life, nothing, you know, nothing big happening. And I think… I would… When I tried to think, you know, of anything that happened, something big that I would remember, I couldn’t.
I couldn’t remember anything. I only know about things like Beslan, but it was widely spoken. But still, I was a child back then, because it was in 2001.
I think it was 2001. So but no. We had the tv on all the time, but I think I was just… I didn’t care.
Speaking of this poverty, or having hard time, of course I didn’t notice. Well, I noticed that at school,, because some children were obviously better well-off than our family was, but I never felt deprived. So I had books. I mean, I was satisfied. And I had friends, so it was okay. Of course we had something to eat, some clothes, because my grandparents helped us a lot.
I think the only difference that I felt, you know, being different from other kids is that we lived in a neighborhood which was not safe at all. So while all the other kids were allowed to, you know, walk and have fun until like 10pm, I had to be home at 8pm and usually when I studied until 7:30pm,
it took some time to get home, and my parents would meet me halfway. And sometimes with a dog, or, you know, flashlights, so that I don’t have to walk alone in the darkness.
Yeah yeah yeah, the same. But I just pursued it like the way it was.
I didn’t think there was something wrong with it, because well, my grandfather used to meet me and yeah.
Alright. So why don’t we talk about the generations now, so what kind of generation we are and in general, what kind of generations, what generations exist. So shall we go from the current and backwards or the other way round?
Yeah, why don’t we go current-backwards.
Is that okay? What do you think?
The latest, like the freshest one, is generation Z I guess.
Yeah, it’s Gen Z, or the Zoomers.
I think that is where my son belongs, yeah. He’s 12.
Oh yeah, definitely. Totally. He’s a zoomer. But now, what are they like? And why are they called zoomers?
I don’t know about this definition of the word, but I know that they are like very aware of technology and how it can be used. And they’re like naturally born with this knowledge of using the technology. They don’t need to be taught. They just know how.
I literally… I think it’s part of their DNA, they are born with a tablet in their hand.
Yeah, I think that the term that’s used is digital native.
Although… Yeah, digital natives and as far as I understand they re called Gen Z or Zoomers because they think about zooming in and zooming out. I have… Well, probably not about your son Masha, but have you maybe noticed little kids who are now..
Well, I do not know, like 3 years old, maybe 204. When they see pictures, I mean like photographs, they do this thing with their fingers trying to zoom in or zoom out. That’s so fun.
Oh wow, that’s bad. It’s an image, I want it bigger, I wanna see the nose on this person.
And you can just see how different it is from us basically. So they live with this knowledge of devices in their heads.
That would be really different, that would be really really really different.
So and what about the year? So Zoomers, what would be the time frame?
The latest two decades, what, no, not two decades. Latest 15 years I guess?
Yeah, so as far as I know it’s usually children who were born in 2003 and later.
These are millennials. No, these are not millennials…
And now we are millennials.
When you get into the older parts…
I’m gonna be, my hand is gonna be up. You’re gonna wanna hear from me, but now I’m just…
So these are zoomers. Before zoomers were…
Y, yeah. Generation Y or millennials. And in here, as far as I know, you found some difference between the…
Well, yeah, because this theory of generations was developed by, as I know, American scientists, or maybe British scientists, I’m not sure. And if it is… If we apply it to Russia, the years will be slightly different, so we are a bit… So America is ahead, and we’re a bit behind in terms of these generations.
So I can belong, depending on the criteria, I can belong to generation X or generation Y. So either the very end of generation X or the very beginning of generation Y.
So, according to the international, at least, the one developed by American sociologists and scientists, so Gen Y would be people who were born between 1982 and 2002. And the one that you found, this is…
Applied to Russia and former Soviet countries I guess.
Ah, the years. It was 1985.
1985. So it’s not a big difference, not really.
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah, of course. It’s like the borderline.
Oh I wish you could see Gary’s face.
Actually, I don’t know what I feel. I mean, if I feel that I belong to some specific generation.
I love the name, Gen Y. It makes you think that this generation has a lot of questions. Like why did that happen? Why did that happen?
But they’re also called millennials…
In Generation X knows are no answers. I wanna cancel the questions. Right.
So then it’s more optimistic to belong to Generation Y.
Yeah right, at least you got questions.
Well another name for it is millennials, and it’s usually so because they, well, millennials were born in the 20th century, but they finished in the 21st century.
Yeah, we became grown ups when this thing, the 3rd century. Not century.
Third millennium. We reckon our ages in millennia.
Which millennia were we born in?
So and what about these, well, millennials. I say these, I am one of them. So or Gen y – what is common for it? What are the characteristics?
I guess we, or they, are quite curious about what is going on in the world. We are also quite… We have this digital literacy, but not maybe, we are not born with it, we are taught. And so maybe we just combine all the features of all generations, I mean all the best features…
Of the millennia, yeah. Name a millennium, and we’re in it.
So if we now compare Gen Y and Gen Z, so Gen Z or zoomers, they have this knowledge about devices in their DNA, so I think that millennials are people who have integrated this technology into their lives. Because for example when I was born and until I was 14 I think we didn’t have any internet, I did not know that this existed.
So until maybe, yeah, 14 I think. We got our first computer when I was 12, and we could only, you know, play games and type. And this is actually what we made some money with – so we were typing different documents that people brought to us, written by hand.
So yeah, and I had to learn how to use that, we had to integrate them into our life. And now I cannot imagine myself without a smartphone, this is my life.
Yeah so it means like the generation…
Okay, okay, I feel like I should react to that in some way. With joy, with pity, I don’t know. I don’t know. I’m only joking.
I feel slightly attacked.
Sorry. I forgot – you’re one of those delicate millennials that you have to… I’m from a generation when we just abused one another.
Yeah now we don’t do that Gary! We don’t do that anymore.
Look what I went and did, right.
Opened my mouth and already destruction.
Pure destruction everywhere, nothing remains. Yes.
But it was interesting to see that most psychologists say that millennials are more spoiled and narcissistic. And often lazy. Which…
You were saying Masha? Were you saying?
And I completely forgot! I think that when we were exposed to this technology we quite quickly learned how to use everything, and so which means that this generation is like pretty fast learning. And we are open to new things I guess.
I think so too. So millennials are actually believed to be more open, more open-minded maybe. At the same time they are believed to be better trained to get a job, just because now, well, people believe that now there is more competition.
And millennials do not want to, you know, get a mediocre job, they want to get the best, or something better and better. And millennials usually are not satisfied with the way things are, with the way the world is. And they are ambitious, and they want to achieve, they want to change the world.
Which kinda works against doing any of those other things.
Yeah, so how can you be ambitious and lazy at the same time? It’s like I want to achieve a lot of things, but I won’t.
You know, I think that it’s not laziness, it’s just lack of motivation. So if we are motivated, if we are interested, we can do anything.
Yeah. I mean, that’s what works for me. I think that maybe it works for others.
Whereas, again, if we compare millennials with Gen Z, they are said to be, again, ambitious, independent, and well, it’s a little bit hard to say right now, because.. Cause zoomers are now what? 17-18 max. But it’s said that they are very demanding consumers. Since they grew, grow up now in the world of…
They’re spoiled. I mean every generation is getting more and more spoiled I would say, right. I mean. I mean, really. I mean I’m certainly spoiled compared to my parents, for example. And I think the next generation was more spoiled because generally the expectations are for things to be better, and so you want more, you can see more, you can desire more.
Well, and more things are produced, more services are offered, so I think it’s inevitable that it’s going to be like that. Unless something else happens so that, you know, it cuts off all the variety and choice, but it’s very unlikely I think.
But I guess that maybe the next generation, every next generation is more spoiled, but also they are more adaptable I guess. That’s what I think.
Adaptable. Maybe competitive as well.
Okay, yeah. I think that there’s also of paradoxes in it, because a person may have more desires, but maybe the way that system works is they may have to be so much more adaptable and maybe fit into… There’s fewer winners now.
One of the problems is with the way technology works is that there tends to be… Winner take all, we say that. Meaning that you don’t have a lot of small companies, you end up with one bigger company, that’s what you’ve got. You’ve got Google, all the technology, you’ve got Apple.
Right. Gigantic companies, and everybody else just isn’t there anymore. And that’s a harder world to realize those zoomer or I don’t know who had the dreams. Millennials? Starting with the millennials to have those kind of dreams, to realize those dreams.
Unless you’re one of those winners, you know. I mean, big winners. You may not experience that, you know, your dreams are one thing, and maybe your abilities to realize them are another. But.
That reminds me of one of the latest podcasts that we had with Maria and Ken about difficulties, especially mental difficulties of living in the 21st century. So that millennials had to achieve more maybe, they had to work more and work harder if they, well, if we want to achieve something. Maybe zoomers will have to work even harder. But that, inevitably, will lead to more stress.
Yeah, I think so. Unfortunately, I think so.
Sometimes we can get lost in this ocean of information and opportunities.
Cause I remember reading about zoomers. Well, for quite a long time I only worked with adults, so people of my age, people older than me, but starting with 2 years ago I started to work with first year students who are what? 18-19, some of them were 17.
So I had to read a little bit about zoomers, cause those 17-18-19, they were the borderline generation between millennials and zoomers. And I was shocked to see that now more than 60% of all the teenagers and school kids have anxiety and depression. 16-17! I don’t think that we had anything like that! It wasn’t that stressful for us.
No, it was not stressful really.
Or maybe now it’s just more people are diagnosed, and more people are aware of this.
Maybe. So, zoomers, millennials. Who was before the millennials? Who was? Who is? Gary?
Well there is another generation, the X generation.
Oh, that’s true, there’s Gen X.
Like, late 60s, yeah, and late 80s. These two decades.
I think it’s mid 60s, cause it’s 1964-1984. So these are Gen X.
Yeah, Gen X. I think the standard way of that generation may look at itself is… Do you know the word, I’m sure you do, the word slacker?
Okay, a slacker is somebody that is like not gonna succeed, just they sort of aren’t gonna put the effort out. They’re kinda discouraged and they’re not trying very hard, and so they’re not succeeding either. And you know, the term slack, like I could try to explain what the word means.
But the idea is that somebody is just sort of kinda failing at it. You know, not very successful. So my generation, right, which is baby boomers, were sort of… We like took all of the goodies, right. Everything went to us, because it was a big generation, and it was after the war and America was kind of at top position.
And the economy was growing and all of these things. And in 1973, talk about things that we remember, there was a big jolt, a big trauma to the economy in form of a Middle East situation, where the Arabs attacked Israel for maybe the third time. And there are a brief war called the 6 day war.
And the result of that was that price of oil went up dramatically, like it tripled. I mean I remember when gasoline was really cheap, which was partly why the economy was good as it was. And well, the Arabs had a monopoly, OPEC, you’ve heard of OPEC.
And so that was one of the cartel, the monopoly was formed, and they raised the prices. Just in kind of in revenge, because they could, right. And so all of a sudden, some of the parts of the economy that were coming together, so that America was doing very well, all of a sudden we’re not doing very well.
And there was inflation which we’d never had, ever, which was the first years I was in business with my dad. I went to work with my dad in business. And those were tough years. And so those kids were coming into that world, right, were born into that world, and the result of that.
And so things just got more difficult and there was some kind of a famous movie that I don’t remember the name of, but it described this sort of attitude of Gen X is sort of like, I don’t know, like a drifter. You drift, you have no direction, you feel like you have no opportunity, you’re not gonna try very hard, just because all of the advantages went to somebody else. Why even try? That was kind of the…
They were like discouraged?
Yeah they were like discouraged of a sort. But and that was… I listen to some podcast, it has participants of that generation, which I don’t really understand, but they resent, they do not love the baby boomers for this reason that I’m describing. Is that all of the advantages, and everything, and not just then, but now, it just continues, you know. We did everything, and for next generation is just like…
I wonder if this generation description would be different in different countries. Because, well, very often the generation characteristics are shaped by the events that happened in the country.
I’m sure it would be different.
Cause I think that for example millennials and Gen Z would be the same no matter what country we’re talking about.
Yeah, because of globalization.
Right, right, right. This was before that.
But Gen X.. cause I was reading a little bit on the topic, but in Britain, in a British article. And they say, they characterize Gen X as very ambitious, workaholics.
There was that too. There was maybe another side of it, yeah. I guess, I don’t… Yeah, there’s a term for that as well. What was… I don’t wanna sound dumb like I can’t remember. Do I sound dumb?
I just want you to know that if I sound dumb and can’t remember.
I don’t want to! It’s not because I want to, but yeah. There was that side of it. Yuppies, they were called yuppies. Young urban professionals.
Oh it’s like in contrast with hippies, who…
Yeah. That was… See, my generation would roughly, would be like the hippie generation overall.
Right. And so you’re not materialistic.
And so the yuppies were one part of this generation X which I did not even remember. I think Generation X has the characteristics that I tried to just describe. But there was this yuppie element that it was a certain look, it was this preppy kind of clothing and you know, like Izod sweaters, brand clothing.
And, you know, that wasn’t a thing when I was a kid. There were no brands. Even Levi’s was barely… It wasn’t even a brand, nothing was a brand, there were no brands. I mean there just no brands at all.
Does that mean that if you say that brands appeared and all these clothes, does that mean that it was the generation of individualism, so they wanted to be different from each other?
Well, no. It becomes another kind of conformity, right, because everyone needs to have this this Izod. You now, Izod is the alligator symbol, you’ve probably seen it, it’s a famous logo. And it was just appealing to this kind of a look, alright, I live in a city and I wanna go and make money.
Which is the reverse of my generation, which was, you know, trying to find itself and maybe some spiritual kind of journey or something, not material, not materialistic particularly. This part of the next generation. And maybe who the slackers are, part of the same generation, they are the people that still, they don’t want that either.
Right, I mean who wants to just walk, live to an Izod sweater, you know, a branded… to have everything that have a name on it, you know. I mean, it was… They were kinda, partly still had some of the values of the baby boomer gen hippies, the hippy type of mentality, way of thinking.
But, you know, they resented – the baby boomers that were entitled to everything, they felt like they were. And so… But there was an element, yeah, for sure, the yuppies. Young urban professionals.
I wonder now… So when generation changes into another one, it’s not of course an immediate process, but I wonder if this process is slower in rural areas rather than urban areas.
Maybe it… Nobody was a yuppie in a rural area, never.
It’s kinda blurred, the boundary.
Does that mean that sometimes, you know, this theory of… It’s not a theory, is it a theory?
This theory is not really applicable to some places maybe?
Yeah, sure, it’s not gonna fit everything. It’s… I mean, it’s just describing something. And it all happens, right, and then somebody comes in later and says oh, okay, well, that was one generation, now there’s another generation. But while you’re there, you don’t think of it that way.
But of course there are certain circumstances of a particular time, like I described after the war. And that was one world, and then that world kinda broke apart, changed, you know. There’s the world of the Soviet union, there’s the world of after the Soviet Union. And it’s really different, and it would be really different where you were. If you were in Moscow, probably everything happened…
5 years soones, 10 years sooner, I don’t know, how long, much faster.
I guess… Am I interrupting, no? So I think that any theory can’t be applied to its full to, like, all humankind, because we are all different. I think we are more complex that this, than any theory. And lots of factors and criteria should be taken into consideration when we want to understand at least one human.
Right. But it’s a useful description. Cause it does describe at least certain people. I mean there were yuppies, there were slackers, right, at approximately at the same time. Not everybody in the 60s was a hippie Right. I mean, there were big companies, there was big boom.
That was all corporate people no hippies there. And I remember some what we call now culture wars that was long before culture wars. But it was a culture war. You know, between hippies and just normal people basically.
So and what about generation before Gen X?
Now that’s my territory. That’s my kingdom.
Yeah, that’s my… That’s what I know. Yeah the whole idea of these generations – I guess it became a thing already as soon as the next generation was developing. I do remember some of those trends in it. But the generation like I described of the baby boomers – it was a gigantic…
I mean, they had to build schools. Just to, I mean, everything that comes with a big population boom, you know, like, my neighbors on one side, they had three kids. I mean, these were like small houses, really small.
They were I don’t know how many square meters, these are just small houses. But they had, you know, one side they had 3 kids, the other side they had 3 kids, right. Next door, I mean, just everybody had…
There’s two the next door, there’s an old guy, I don’t know what he was doing there, I don’t know. Anyway. But just everybody had at least 2 kids, except for my family and, you know, just big families. And there’s schools, there’s shopping centers was a new thing.
And all of these things that now are just part of life and global, like, and everything. I remember the first mall, right. Can you imagine the time when there’s no mall? Well you can.
In my city, yeah, it appeared after the year 2000…
I actually have a story about malls. Am I allowed to have a little bit of off topic?
Yeah because malls now is a part of a culture.
Yeah, in Novosibirsk, big cities – yes, maybe. But so three years ago when I went on a Fulbright grant to the US, we talked, we had a gathering of all the grantees, so and a lot of them were from small towns.
And then when we went to our adventure to the US, what shocked them most were malls. They’re like can you imagine? It’s a shopping center, so there are shops and the cinema and food places all in one place! Because they had never had such things in their small towns.
Yeah, for example, when several shopping malls were built in Novokuznetsk, I just… It was maybe 2003 or something like this, and there appeared several, and it was a place of concentration for teenagers.
They just spent their time there.
Yeah, that’s what the mall does, yeah. That was the way it was in the United States too. And we…
Yeah, earlier. But I mean we would… I mean, we didn’t go and hang out at the mall, that was another, we’d say hang out… That was a different generation, but we went to the shopping center. I mean I remember when they had a shopping center, and they put a roof over it.
Literally, it took an existing full-blown, where you got nothing but space, you know, I mean, it’s the middle of Ohio, you got space. Just build the stores, keep building them out there, you know until you run into some houses that you’d already built. You can’t build it there.
And, you know, and then the mall, oh my goodness, you put a roof over a hopping center, a part of it actually, just a part of it. And it was kind of a thing. But we didn’t… I understand what hardcore going and hanging out at the mall, you know, where mom drives the kids to the mall and leaves at 10am, and leaves them until like 8pm, you know.
Oh my goodness. For so long!
Yeah, that’s terrible. Yeah, and think they’re not gonna get in some trouble there, I think they will. And anyway, but that wasn’t the part of my world. I could walk to the mall.
I saw the description of baby boomers and I would like to read it cause I found it amazing.
Well, okay. I’ll check it for details.
So it says this generation was to be envied as they experienced all that young people would have wanted to at that time. So and then it gives examples – they saw how the Beatles were formed, you also experienced the landing of a man on the moon, which we talked about last time.
I mean the Beatles and the man landing on the moon.
The fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, they went through the entire period of technological evolution and the rise and development of the media. As well as enjoying stability in terms of both work and family.
Right. Don’t do that, right.
But, so Masha, you… When we talked about the time frames for each generation, you said that according to one you are more of a millennial, according to another one you are Gen X. So is it, so it the generation something that is based solely on the age and the year you were born in? Or is there something else to that?
I guess, cultural background and political maybe. I mean, what is going on around you. That’s why it’s a bit different in different countries, I mean, in Russia this generation theory is applied to, like, later years. Well.
Does it make any… Is there any kind of a break when shall I, pardon this phrase, Putin came in? Does that represent some kind of a thing?
You mean, like, people changed a lot?
Yeah, or life changed. Seem like life changed a lot, at some level.
Well, I don’t remember how it was before.
Oh, okay. But I remember how… Let me tell you how Russia was.
Well, I remember when Yeltsin was a president, about…
You can ask questions about it.
And I remember it was like my… Because I remember it was right before new year when he said like I quit. But that’s practically all that I remember about him, when he said that he’s going to quit.
It was his finest moment right there.
I was 16, so I didn’t appreciate it a lot. I mean just oh wow, interesting, he quits, okay. That’s a step.
I think it’s not only that. Well, of course, it’s the time when you were born, maybe the political situation, but it’s also the values that you have as a society, cause values were different , well, in some way.
Well, are they? I guess, as a whole, all generations, all humankind shares the same values, cause if we, if people hadn’t shared the same values, we just wouldn’t have survived as a species I guess.
I mean, I think it’s more about the biggest values, something that is different from the common values of, your family, for example.
Yeah, more specifically, yeah.
So they say that the generation that the zoomers and the next generation are more likely to have safety as their primary value, especially now, you know, in term of global pandemic. So that’ll give rise to appreciating safety more, and thus, you know, taking more care of the children maybe.
And it might as well be typical, well, I don’t know how to say that, typical scenarios expected of you. Because, let’s say, earlier, what was the typical scenario of your life? You would graduate from school, go to university, well, if you’re a girl, then get married, give birth to children.
Ta-dam. Whereas now, this is not the scenario for the kids. Do you want to go to university? Do. You don’t want to? Well, it’s your choice. Do you want to start a family? Do. You don’t want to? That’s your choice. So I think that has also changed.
Right. Maybe there is different norms or opportunities, but I, like, lets go back, my parents, right, they would, I think their goals I would say were probably what we would call maybe kinda material on some level, right. Because they were not, I mean, they were…
Neither of my parents, they didn’t go to college, hadn’t gone to the college, they were, I don’t’ know, like, sort of successful high-school students in their own way, but I think that the generation that came back from the war, they wanted to improve their material position.
That’s what they wanted to do, For them, for their kids. Right. That’s what they were doing. And because of those circumstances that I described, and the position of a lot of things in the state of the economy and all that, they were able to do those things.
My generation, and I talk about values, okay, I didn’t and still don’t particularly care about material things. And that’s only because I have all of them, I mean, basically. I mean, what do you need? How much do you need? But and so that was just how we thought about it, which was different from my parents.
I mean, and so I didn’t have to try to do anything, cause I was… A lot of things were handed to me in my case, and maybe to our generation’s case. And then we talked about this situation with the next generation, Generation X. Now there was materialism again. In a different kind of a way, but it was now more of a…
It just had a different character to it, but it was a return of materialism of a certain kind. And then when you get into the generations after that, you know, I’m trying to… I’m listening, cause I don’t really understand it, truthfully.
Even though I know the terms, but I don’t feel them, I don’t feel like okay I’ve got the handle on with that theme to be a millennial – I don’t really understand that. But the earlier generations I do. And you know, the whole… If now the generation Z – I mean, this whole safety, take a safety issue, right.
All of the things that this generation is now reacting against, in terms of how people deal with another person right, attitudes, words that they might use, or you know, how you might bully somebody. What now would be called bullying definitely or you know, all of this.
I mean, I guess we weren’t safe like this generation now understands now, the world understands that. I mean, it was more dangerous I guess. But, you know, it didn’t seem like it. And so I don’t understand the extreme sense of safety need. I don’t understand.
It’s okay to have somebody say a bad thing around you, about you too. Unfortunately, you have to deal with It. Certainly shouldn’t, I’m not encouraging that but. Nor should it be that guaranteed environment where nobody ever says any kind of a, you know, unpleasant word about, you know, anything. That gets to be ridiculous.
Do you mean that modern are raised in a kind of a greenhouse a little bit?
Yeah, like super, you know, super protected. And, you know, we, like you were talking about how your parents would come to meet you on your way back from school, right, that whole thing. You know, I just walked to school, nobody met anybody, nobody was…
You know, it may be also a thing that we are girls.
But I think it’s a general tendency to, you know, overprotect children these days.
It’s very much so, yeah. And you know, I completely don’t understand some of the ways of child rearing now.
But also the world has changed. Maybe we just see more of it, maybe we didn’t think or know much about it back then, but just see how much crime there is and everything, so that’s why we might be more scared for the children.
I think it probably is more dangerous at some level, maybe. I don’t know.
To be honest, I was walking down the street not long ago and there was this kid who was like a 5-year-old. And my first thought was where are your parents? What are you doing here alone? Like, at 6pm walking somewhere, like hey. Whereas when I was 5 it was totally fine to be on the street alone until, you know, relatively late for example.
Well they still play in the yards, in the playgrounds alone. Why not? They still do it.
But it wasn’t, you know, close to the building, it was..
And I didn’t grow up in a city either, and you know, I was in the suburbs, and a lot of houses close together, and everybody knew everybody. And I mean, it was just… It was totally safe, just totally. And you know, I don’t think a boy/girl at that time made any difference and it probably did get more dangerous, I mean actually.
I have a question. So Gary, do you remember you mentioned the what, the podcast and how the podcasters were Gen X and they hate baby boomers.
So why is there such a thing, you know, cause some generations do not understand the next generation, or, you know, the previous generation. So why is that? But sometimes we do get on well with some of the generations. So…
Well, even in the Russian literature we have this generation gap issue, like, remember Turgenev for example.
Yeah, yeah, right. There is a classic example of a real difference.
Because maybe every next generation thinks that they are cleverer and they know more of life.
Yeah. With Generation X the… What to say… I think there was a lot of reaction against the baby boomers, right. So that part of it was the slacker part carried some part of the baby boomer thing forward maybe, actually, but they didn’t love the privileges that the baby boomers had.
It seemed to them. And the yuppie types that were, they didn’t… They resented the non-materialistic, they thought it was just, you know, what’s the purpose here, you know, for being a hippie, if you can live good, right.
And so… I think when the world changes a lot, then maybe you get these differences, generation gaps. You know, it’s like Turgenev, it was a genuine change in social attitudes.
But I think it was forever, it lasts forever. Even in ancient Greece I think there were people who said…
These youngsters are so spoiled.
But you what? I’ve read about a theory that this generation gap, so the generations that don’t like each other are the generations that are neighboring, so baby boomers would dislike Gen X, Gen X would dislike Gen Y, Y would dislike Gen Z, or maybe not understand.
But the generations get on well if there are, you know, two generation between them. So why is then, if we think about it, usually our parents are the representatives of the previous generation, whereas our grandparents are two generation back.
So we have some kind of, you know, sometimes, better relationships with them. But now there is this tendency that people give birth, well, usually they have children later. So and sometimes they are representatives not of the previous generation, but the generation before that, and that’s why they might have, you know, better relationship with their children. So, what do you think about this theory?
When you sound it, when you said it, it kinda make sense. Maybe that’s why we, we deal with our grandparents better. I mean not deal with, but we… appreciate them more and understand them more.
I think with time… Part of what was going on in the 60s, which was a baby boomer thing, was rebellion against material, materialistic values of the war generation, right. But once you get into life, right, know all of those things, you realize, I have no resentment, I have nothing but respect for the generation that was before me because you know, they accomplished a lot.
They won a war, they built a world, and they handed things over in pretty good shape and then maybe we wrecked it. I’m not sure we’ve done well with it, how well we’ve done with it, but you know, so I don’t think… So I think it was a momentary rebellion the way a teenage rebels against the parents, at least in the United States.
It was a standard thing that happens. And then you get a little bit older and you understand your parents better, so nothing in that… And I don’t feel any ill feelings towards generation X as such, but generation X I understand, it does kinda resents, the baby boomers.
Have you ever had any kind of a situation when you felt this generation gap, maybe it was with your parents, grandparents, teachers, students?
Well, yeah, I guess lots of times. Because maybe even with some of my students, I had a couple of students who were like a lot older, and it was a bit challenging to get through maybe, and to find something in common, you know.
Because usually we share the same interests, and with my students I usually discuss lots of things, but with people who are like older, I mean, much older, it can be a bit more difficult to find something that you share. That’s why it’s maybe a bit more challenging to build relationship between a student and a teacher.
When I think of generation gap I think that I feel it, right, when I see how, I don’t know what it would be now, it would be the Generation, Generation Y raising Generation Z, okay. I don’t understand why parents do with their children like they do now. I mean, I really don’t understand it.
I mean, not in every case, but the standard thing is to allow kids now, this is kind of my observation, kids are kinda able to just you know, for example, just a small example, but it’s characteristic. So adults are talking and now it’s okay for a child to just come in there and just break into the conversation with whatever their thing is.
They’ve got a toy and they want your attention. And in our day you just didn’t do that. Right. If you’re a kid, you’re a kid. You played and you did your thing separately, right. And so we used to… The way, the phrase was you spoke when you were spoken to.
So the parents would speak to the child and then the child would speak. But they have, but the adults are having a conversation and the child come in with their thing, whatever it is, and all, everything, the conversation stops, all attention goes to the child, because…
And because the child is doing it for attention, that’s the purpose. It’s not that this is, you know, this is… They’re talking about world politics and I’ve got a new Dhali, right. And so, look at my Dhali. And so this is actually, objectively more important. No. It’s just I want attention. Now in our day, right, you just didn’t do… I mean, you just didn’t do that.
I can see that Masha really wants to say something.
I just see it from lots of different angles. I totally share the idea that, I totally understand what you mean, but also I think that for children their things they are of the same importance as for us our adult things, that’s why they what tot share. I mean.
Yeah, that’s the difference.
We don’t want to de-value their, like, issues. For example, you’re crying – oh it’s just something childish or it’s not worth crying for. But it is worth, so they feel the same.
Yeah, right, well this is the difference.
I think our generation I mean, Gen y really has put time and effort into reading about children’s psychology.
Yeah, but I try not to be a fan of my child, no. I’m against, like, all, well…
So you basically don’t put your kid on the pedestal?
No, no, no. Absolutely no.
Which is, I think, very healthy.
I wanna go back on this one, I’ll just be honest – let’s go back. Cause I don’t like that, I mean, it’s not the child doesn’t have anything to say or that it’s not valued or whatever, I mean, it’s not that we’re trying to… It’s just kids have… Kids are doing kids things and should do kids things.
And they should just understand that that should happen, there’s two different circles here. And adults should be respected, including their attention. So you just don’t interrupt, you just don’t do it.
Right, or if you do, you just kinda approach and the adults recognize you, and you just say what you wanna say, but it’s not an attention-getting thing, it’s a just okay, well, I’m here too and can I play with this toy or can I go outside now? Or whatever it is. And you go outside now and you disappear. And you come back at 9pm.
Right, that’s right. So I don’t, I mean, that’s an example. And it is a mystery to me, I mean it is really a mystery to me.
I think aspects like that will always, you know, have people who agree or disagree, even within one generation. Cause this is something very debatable at all times.
Yeah, because for example I didn’t understand some things that my parents used to tell me or my parents, my mom for example used to teach me. But now as a mom I understand it more and better. So I think it’s not about the generation, it’s about the social role you are playing.
So and do you think it’s possible to forecast what the next generation is going to be like and what their needs might be and when?
Well, we’ve got a problem here just on the letter level. We’ve run out of it, we’ve reached the end of it.
When I was reading about this generation theory I noticed that it’s a cycle actually. And there are basically four roles. I don’t remember all fours, it’s like an artist, a nomad, a warrior and some more.
Can we please put off the warrior type of role…
Maybe I don’t remember it well.
And each one is more fantastic than the other one, I mean, it’s not certain like being a kid, and then, you know, being a teenager. It’s… I am a warrior!
Yeah, it’s not like I am a yuppie, an artist or somebody. I mean, they all repeat. It can be a different name, but these roles will repeat.
I actually have read about Gen Z that they are, for them some of the values maybe, or their attention is more on, tends to be more on science and art. So who knows? Maybe they are the artists.
I think yeah, they are the artists.
Before there were nomads I guess, nomads and, yeah.
What’s after the artists? Or is artist the highest?
Yeah, the latest one, yeah.
So we’re going back to the beginning.
We’re going back to warrior.
I mean all the human history is like repeating itself.
Yeah, that’s why I think…
The only thing that I have found about this is that most of the sociologists agree that the next generation would be the children who will be born in 2023-2024, but of course we will only be able to see what they are like…
Yeah I think it’s a frightening thought, it’s a frightening cause…
But that makes sense, cause Gen Z….
Oh wow can you imagine being raised, like, wow, like children that are raised now and then they are raising children? It’s like что-то exponential, что-то как бы, what’s the word? На второй степень. Там что-то.
Well we will only be able to see what this generation after Z is going to be like after what, 15-20-20+ years? After they grow up.
Well, you know, I tend to believe in the humankind.
Yeah because I tend to believe in humanity. And that’s why I think…
And then there’s Gary over here who thinks that…
Well, we need to oppose these two views. Because…
Wait a minute, I’m being…
Let’s come back to one hour before…
Yeah let’s back up a little.
I mean these theories are a bit too over deterministic to me, that’s why…
Well, they’re descriptive, they’re actually descriptive, that’s why…. But they do describe something, for sure, I mean, there are differences between the generations and you know, so they’re valuable.
Well, whatever generation we have to deal with, let’s hope that everyone will be friendly to each other, with no conflict or anything like that. Alright.
All the conflicts are worked out here and during the podcast.
Well you know I wanted to end on a positive note Gary!
Right, it is a positive note. Don’t look at me like I’m not on a positive note!
Alright, well thank you so much! That was a fun conversation! I hope to you too.
Well I feel like I ended up things, I ended up being the warrior here, I don’t like ending up being a warrior.
Maybe I mixed it up, maybe there are no warriors, I just don’t remember.
Well if anyone among, well, anyone among our listeners knows about it, please, let us know.
I’ll come home and google.
We are open to information here, actual information here.
Not any theories, or anything like that. Alright, so that was the BigAppleSchool podcast and today we discussed generations. We talked about baby boomers and Generations X, Y, Z, ta-dam, the end of the alphabet.
So we talked a little bit about the characteristics of each generations, what are the differences between them and our own experience with different generations. So and if you, while listening, have any struggles understanding our conversation, you’re always welcome to our website which is BigAppleSchool.com/podcast where you can find full scripts of each episodes.
So you can listen and read. Also, if you want to have more content which will help you learn English, feel free to visit any social media and find us there. Just again, search our name, which is again, BigAppleSchool. We’re in Telegram, Youtube, Instagram, VK, well, we are everywhere. Alright, so that was Katya, and my guests for today were…
Stay tuned and we’ll see you around.