Did I offend the Baby Boomers?

Damn, I may have put my foot in my mouth again…

Wow, I should have saw this coming, in a recent comment by Margie (BTW, I read every comment, regardless of what post it’s put on) is offended, well downright mad at my post on the impacts of Gen Y and Boomers.

Here’s Margy’s comment in its entirety, she raises some valid points, and they deserved to be brought up, here’s the comment she just left:

“Your blog entry is days old, so you probably won’t see my post here, but it’s taken me days to calm down from your post to sputter anything back. (Jerimiah, you made me mad!) I’m a Boomer but in no way ready (or financially able) to exit any stage. When did Boomer (hate that term, btw) become a pseudonym for old fogey anyway? Here’s how Boomers described ourselves to each other in an iconic (for the time) book-cum-manifesto, “The Apartment Book,” dated 1979. Sounds a little bit like the optimistic twenty-something rhetoric of 2008. “Through most of the seventies [we] struggled to invent and interpret a way of life that did not follow the old patterns. For the first time, because of the radical changes of the sixties, young people were not automatically following their parents’ paths to marriage, children and a house in the suburbs. Rather, they were searching, alone or in paris or in groups for a place to live that would express their own values. The community of young people who were, by God, going to live their own brand of life — even if they weren’t so sure what it was yet. Because we come from various persuasions and backgrounds, we approach our subject matter with new eyes. The only discipline is a shared commitment to making real ideas happen, without …hype or the tyranny of status names.”

I still believe that. And I bet if you went back further and checked on contemporaneous advertising and magazines targeting young college graduates of the early 1950’s post-war generation just entering the workplace, you’d again find that same open-eyed wonder at the opportunities before them.

The ready-for-anything attitude you describe can’t be pigeonholed into tired marketing classifications like Gen X or Gen Y. It doesn’t come and go like actors on a stage or styles in fashion. It’s something that, if we’re lucky, attacks us early and stays with us throughout our lives.”

First of all, I’m sorry for offending you, I sincerely mean that, that was never my intent.

Secondly, the post is based off data, and my duties in my day job, as it’s an accurate observation of what is, and what will happen. In fact, I’m working on a Forrester report looking at how boomers use social media (coming in the next few weeks) so this is top of mind.

As an analyst, it’s my job to categorize, segment, and describe trends, and for what it’s worth we didn’t create the “boomers” classification.

Regardless, Forrester classifies the Boomer generations in two segments, Younger Boomers (42-51) Older Boomers (52-62). My previous post was obviously referring to the older boomers, and I’ll suspect that you Margy are of the younger group.

These aren’t pigeon holes, and nor are they intended to de-personalize the individual. They are useful for those who make decisions to see the big picture, make sense of it, and do the right thing.

The fact of the matter is that some older boomers have already started to retire (congrats!) I’ve former colleagues who retired as early as 60.

So to clear up any misconceptions, in my original post, I should have indicated I was mainly focusing on older boomers, those that are getting nearer to retirement within just a few years.

This post is intended to be an explanation and an apology, I’m concerned it could potentially infuriate others further. I’ll forgo that risk and make a public apology.

Humbly, Margie, (and anyone else) I seek your forgiveness and understanding as I continue to explore these generational issues as it ties to web strategy.