The new "Generation Gap" seems to a topic with a lot of traction on Twitter in recent days.

As someone who graduated in the 1980s recession, I enjoyed this GenX vs. Millennial discussion with @Mike_FTW, @mat, @slowtext, a podcast:

The discussion flowed out of this piece in New York magazine:

That prompted a broadside from +Mathew Honan a k a @mat.

I took a side trip to this Slate reaction:

It name-checked the fictional "Jordan Catalano" of the brief but fondly remembered show "My So Called Life." I used to watch that in my early 30s. Now many years later I am the father of a girl about to enter that age -- loaded down with gadgets and fully connected. That's karma, or something.

Technically, I am on the tail end of the baby boom, but I have never felt culturally in sync with the Woodstock generation. That was always my brother's show. He was five years older (and even he was too young for Woodstock or Vietnam). I felt more in sync with the trough that is GenX, but they kept defining that one younger, even though I'm younger than Douglas Coupland.

That's the guy who wrote the book that defined that demographically imprecisely thin sliver of slacker downwardly mobile white over-educated children of the middle class.

We Reagan-era grads worried a lot back then and were indeed told that we would never do as well as our parents or the "yuppies" (a new term then), the boomers who flocked to the cities to become white-wine sipping foodies and grab all the good jobs for the next 30 years.

And statistically that may be true. GenX is probably a rung down from earlier generations. Personally, I'm doing a lot better than my parents. But that may not be true for others. Life's a crap shoot.

But all this generational labeling is boring. The best thing individual millennials could do is refuse the label. I didn't own a skateboard, get a tattoo or pierce anything, and while I spent a few months hauling junk, telemarketing, stuffing envelopes and working in warehouses after college, I now look back at that as a badge of honor.

The Grand Generational Label Game was created by baby boomers, with the help from a media controlled by the older "silent generation" (later rebranded as the "greatest generation"). They thought the boomers were spoiled brats.

Well, here's the real deal. Americans are all spoiled. We live in the richest nation on earth, which knows no hunger, has lots of toys, and where even the poorest, bedraggled of our citizens live better than the poorest people around the globe.

My advice, if you have to live in your parents' basement, as I did, do it. Sock your tiny paychecks into the bank. You'll save a lot of money, and you'll learn things about your parents from the perspective of an adult. Later, when they are gone you will have something to say when your kids ask what they were like. What I didn't know living in that basement was that it was one of the last years of my mother's life. Glad I was there. Wish I'd stuck around longer. Youth is impatient.

But don't stick around too long. I quit my first newspaper job. My parents thought I was crazy. You don't quit a paying gig! I'm glad I did it. You have to forget the labels and the advice and seize the world yourself, choose your own path. I had friends who died along the way, and others who survived but pickled themselves in lost hope. I recommend a reading of the Evening Gatha.

It's bracing.

Let me respectfully remind you,
life and death are of supreme importance.
Time swiftly passes by, and opportunity is lost.
Let us awaken, awaken.
Take heed, do not squander your life.

(It may be no coincidence: That's the version they say at the San Francisco zen centers where Steve Jobs spent some time.)

That link above, a piece on Jobs and his Buddhism by +Steve Silberman , was the most worthwhile thing I found to read via Twitter in the last couple of days.
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