I’m surprised no one has yet named the generation coming up after the incessantly discussed Millennials. This younger set – who are the children of Generation X just as the Millennials are the children of baby-boomers – is right around the corner. In grade school today, they will soon make their entrance onto the broader cultural scene. I’ve chosen to call them Generation X² in reference to their parents who came of age in the 80s and 90s.
For me, Generation X² cannot arrive soon enough. I don’t know a whole lot about them, but what I do know endears me to them. They will be our first truly post-racial generation and view as incomprehensible the single-race enclaves in which the Millennials have holed themselves up. They will eschew ironic social stances and refresh us all with their candor and straightforwardness. They will not hog the spotlight, but operate with a calm, slightly modest sense of themselves. And, of course, they will detest hipsters, who weigh so heavily on current youth culture. Gone will be long scruffy beards and tattoos on men and women. This will be the first digitally-native generation that will understand the poor taste of maintaining a live conversation and a virtual conversation simultaneously. They will quietly police better electronic etiquette, and, in their calm way, nudge us toward a greater sense of self.
Most of you know these young people. They are in grade school today, and have not yet hit college. Aren’t they wonderful? Just think how much more pleasant our entire cultural scene will be when they come into their own. To those Gen Xer's out there – thanks for bringing these young folks along. For the rest of us, rest assured that a brighter day is coming.