On “The Bridge Generation:” Born 1960 – 1980

On “The Bridge Generation:” Born 1960 – 1980

For a while, I have been looking for a new name for people with my life experiences.  Something other than Baby Boomers, Gen X’ers, or later, Millennials.

The unifying principle is those whose lives, the lives of their children, and even grandchildren, span the digital divide.  While exact years are malleable (maybe it should be ’58 – ’78), I have chosen those born from January 1st, 1960 to January 1st, 1980.  I consider all those born in 2000 and beyond to be digital natives.

The name is “The Bridge Generation.”  You heard it here first. If you can google the term and find it in the same context, kindly let me know.  In essence, the Bridge Generation has lived in two worlds with vivid memories and experiences in both lands.

I choose a twenty year period as I think those at both ends still share enough in common.  For all, typewriters, rotary phones, network television and print media would have been the norm for at least part of their formative years.  No internet, of course.

Significantly, for almost all Bridgers, high school, much of college and even graduate school are before the divide. Most began their working careers pre-digital and — earlier or later — adapted to digital technology or fell by the wayside. (Unreconstructed luddites aside.)

The majority of their children are born securely as digital non-natives. These Bridgers have watched their children, and for a few their grandchildren, make the transition, often crossing the bridge together. Smoothly or not.  At the latter end of the generation, their children are digital natives.

On one end, born in the Eisenhower Administration (1960) and first eligible for a Presidential election, Reagan vs. Carter, in 1980. On the other, born under Carter (1980) and first eligible for a Presidential election, Bush vs. Gore, in 2000. All Bridgers probably have at least some recollection of the collapse and end of the Soviet Union and the first Gulf War.

Wondering if I am onto something.

For earlier reference to the “Bridge Generation.”  Wired Generation is missing out  The Daily Messenger January, 2012

Here I argue: “I think my generation — the ‘bridge generation’ — has had the best of both worlds. We were educated pre-digital yet have enjoyed the fruits of the new.” See also Then and Now Brown Alumni Magazine  March/April, 2012

What Millennials think of the Bridge Generation at Lux Lounge.

About The Author

dkramer3@naz.edu

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, and the CITY.  My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.

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