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RunningHead:GENERATIONYANDTHE90S1

GenerationYandWhyTheyCantLetGoofthe1990s
TerraFox
MadonnaUniversity

GENERATIONYANDTHE902
Abstract
Althoughpeopleofdifferentgenerationsreflectonthepastdifferently,itisoften
agreedthatthepeoplewithineachgenerationseethingssimilarly.Whilemostpeople
whoexperiencedthe20swouldagreethatitwasalivelyandroaringtime,some
wouldarguethattheGreatDepressionlefttheeraasanythingbut.Everydecadehas
bothgoodandbadfeatureswhichaffectpeopledifferently.Someonewhowasbornin
the70swouldrememberitverydifferentlythansomeonewhowasanadultduringthat
time.Itisacommonagreementthatpeopleborninthe1980sor1990s(oftenreferred
toasGenerationY)viewthe90sasaverynostalgictime.Mostpeoplethatare
currentlybetweentheagesof36and17rememberthe90sasasimplerandmore
relaxedtime,whiletheoldergenerationsrememberitnotonlyforthosefeatures,but
alsoforthestrugglesthatcame.Althoughnoteverythingaboutthe1990swasgreat,
therearedefinitefeaturesthatqualifyitasbeingoneofthemostmemorabledecades.

GENERATIONYANDTHE903

GenerationYandWhyTheyCantLetGoofthe1990s
Withineverydecadetherearepeaksandvalleyswhichdefinehowtheerais
remembered.Eachdecadeisrememberedfordifferentthings,suchasthe1900s
beingrememberedfortheinventionoftheairplaneandthebeginningofsilentmovies.
Whilethe1950sremindpeopleofrecoveringfromwar,anewsymphonicstyleof
music,andthelaunchofSputnik1,italsobringsbackmemoriesoftheKoreanWar,
McCarthyism,andthebeginningofdecolonizationinAsiaandAfrica.The60'sare
oftenrecalledasbeingtheerathattheColdWarheatedupalongwithJohnF.
Kennedy,MartinLutherKing,andthe70sasthehippiedecade.Thepositiveand
negativeeventsofeachdecadeleavesomemorememorablethanothers,aclassic
exampleofthisisthe1990s.
Whenyoungpeoplefirstreflectonthe90s,theythinkoftheNickelodeon
channel,therisingofnewtechnology,andtheoverwhelmingworldoffashion.This
decenniumiswidelyrecognizedforitsupandcomingalternativemediaand
multiculturalismaswellastheriseofgrungeandhiphopwhichwereaidedbythenew
technologiesofcabletelevisionandtheWorldWideWeb.Despitetherebeingplentyof
promisingthingsthathappenedduringthe90s,therearealsoaspectsthatwerentso
favorable.TheWorldTradeCenter,OklahomaCitybombingsandtheRodneyKing
verdictandL.A.riotsarejustsomeofthethingsthatleavepeopletobelievethatthe
90sareanythingbutnostalgic.

GENERATIONYANDTHE904
Althoughpeopleborninthe1980sand1990s(GenerationY)tendtothink
quitepositivelyofthe90s,oldergenerationstendtorememberitinsomewhatofa
negativelight.The90sarereferredtoasthelastgreatgenerationduetotheevents
thatoccurredinthe2000ssuchas9/11andtheoverpoweringadvancementof
technology.Whiletheadultswerewrappedupintheeconomyandpoliticalevents
thatwereoccurringatthistime,youngerpeoplewerebusyenjoyinglifeasitwas
withoutworries.Itwasntuntilthebeginningofthe2000sthattheyrealizedthatlife
wasntsoeasyandthattheydidhavethingstoworryabout,makingthemwanttogo
backtothe90swheretheyrememberlifebeingfarlesscomplicated.Thesimplicityof
lifeandeaseoflivingfortheyouthduringthe1990scausesittonowberegardedas
oneofthemostnostalgicerasinhistorybyGenerationY,althoughsomewhat
unfavorablebyoldergenerations.
Aspreviouslymentioned,eachgenerationhasbothpositiveandnegative
aspects.The90scanbethoughtofasanamazingdecadewherelifewassimpler,the
economywasbooming,andtheWorldWideWebwastakingoff.However,some
peoplecouldarguethatthe90swasfullofracism,controversy,thatbroughtonnew
wavesofterrorism.Whileanalyzingwhatcouldqualifythe1990sasnostalgic,Ifound
multipleeventsthatbothsupportedandarguedmyclaim.Throughouttheriseof
multiculturalismcamemoreacceptancewithintheAfricanAmericancommunity.The
90scouldbedescribedasamarvelousandperiloustimetobeyoungandBlackin
America(Whitaker,29).Theblackcommunitysawthe90sastheirfirstchangeto
opendoorsandreachbacktoprovideamorepositiveimpactonthingssuchasthe

GENERATIONYANDTHE905
schools,insteadoffocusingonthehatredofthepast.Whilesomehadapositive
outlookonthefutureofacceptance,eventssuchastheRodneyKingverdictmadeit
difficult.
RodneyKingwasanAfricanAmericanwhowasfilmedbeingbeatenbyLos
AngelesPoliceDepartmentofficersafterahighspeedcarchase.Thefootagewas
airedandcausedfourofficerstobechargedwithassaultwithadeadlyweapon,along
withtheuseofexcessiveforce.Despitethecharges,threeoftheofficerswereletgo
free.Theoneofficerthatwasnotletfreewaschargedwithassaultwithadeadly
weapon,butaverdictwasneverreachedwhenitcametotheuseofexcessiveforce.
Thisledtotheawarenessofpolicemistreatingminorities,whichcausedanoutrage.In
1992therewere53peoplekilledandover2,000peoplethatwereinjuredduringLos
Angelesriots.In1993itwasdecidedthattheeventswereaviolationofKingscivil
rightsandwhentriedagain,twooftheofficerswerefoundguiltyandimprisonedwhile
theothertwowereonceagainacquitted.Whilethismayhavegivensomehopetothe
community,thereisnodoubtthatracismisstillaproblemtoday,eventhoughthe90s
werethebeginningofanew,positiveerathatwasfilledwithhope.
PopulargamessuchasJumanji,Perfection,SuperMarioKart,andalmost
everyothergameonthePlayStationarejustsomeofthebestpartsaboutGeneration
Yschildhood.Passingfoldednotessneakilyinclassandhavingtowaittousethe
phonebecausesomeonewouldntgetofftheinternetarejustsomethingsthathave
goneextinctduetotheprogressivenessoftechnology.Mostpeopledontrealizehow
simplethingshavebecometoday,andtheysometimesmisstakingthetimeto

GENERATIONYANDTHE906
communicatewithpeopleortogetthingsdone.Therapidadvancementoftechnology
hadahugeimpactontheyouthinthe90sbecausemostparentsarentasinterestedin
thebrandnewtoysthatcomeout,nomatterwhatdecadeitis.Thebiggestchangethat
technologycausedisthatitbegantocontrolpeople.Todaywehavetoworryaboutthe
dramaandmiscommunicationsofFacebookpostsortexts,whereasbeforetechnology
evolved,peoplecouldenjoythemomentwithouthavingtoworryaboutcapturingitor
sharingitonsocialmedia.
Thesefewpointsaboutthe90sshowsthatwhileeverythingmightnothavebeen
amazing,thereweredefinitelybenefitsfromtheoutcomes.Despitetheunfortunate
eventsthatoccurredduringthe1990s,theywerepivotalinshapingthegenerationand
showingushowluckywearetohavebeenabletolearnandgrowfromthem.When
theyouthreminisceaboutthe90s,theydonttendtothinkofRodneyKing,BillClinton,
orbombings.Adultsrecallthoseeventsmoreclearlythanteenagerswouldduringthat
time,butpeoplearemorelikelytorememberthegoodoverthebad,eventhough
everythingthathappenedduringthedecadewasimportantinshapingthegeneration.
The1990swereveryimportantincontributingtoculture,aspreviously
discussed,therewereseveraleventswithintheAfricanAmericancommunitythat
affectedtheirculture.The90sbeganwithskepticaloptimism,alargenumberinmy
generationhavebeenlulledintoafalsesenseofsecuritybecausethingsarealittle
moreaccessibleforusthantheywereforourparents.StatedLinnyA.Bailey
(Whitaker,30).Dr.KeithE.Gilmerexplainsthatformostofus,theracismweve
experiencedisnotsomuchamatterof[White]peoplestandinginthedoorwayinhibiting

GENERATIONYANDTHE907
yourprogress,itspeoplesaying,Youcancomein,butwedontexpectverymuchof
you.(Whitaker,32).Thesestatementsgavethecommunityachancetopursue
equality,eveniftheywerestillcautious.Mostpeoplerecognizedthattheyhadbeen
givenalotofopportunitiesthroughotherpeoplesefforts,anditallowedthemto
reinvestintheircommunitiesandreachout.Theconfidencethatcamewiththe90s
allowedashiftinattitude,whichgavethecommunityachancefortheircultureto
change,inaverypositiveway.Thisgaveevenmoreopportunitiestonotonlythe
youth,buttooldergenerationsaswell.
Whiletherearesomedrawbacksoftechnology,thereareseveralpositive
aspectsthatcamewithitsadvancement.Peoplebecameeasiertocontactincaseof
emergencyandthetechnologyhasallowedformassiveadvancementsinscienceand
medicine.However,therapidadvancementcausespeopletomissthedayswhenyou
interactedmorewithpeoplefacetofaceinsteadofthroughscreens.GenerationY
tendstobemorenostalgicofthisthanolderindividualsbecausetheyarenowshoved
intotheworldoftechnology,andtheresnoescapingit.Aschildren,theygrewup
skateboarding,jumpingrope,playingstreethockey,andcollectingbutterflieswhereas
childrennowhaveatechnologybasedchildhood.ItisbelievedthatGenerationYisthe
generationinthemiddleofthetechnologyadvancementbecausetheirparentswereof
nontechandtheirchildrenoryoungersiblingswillbealltech.
Nostalgiacanbedefinedasasentimentallongingorwistfulaffectionforthe
past,anditisclearthatGenerationYexperiencesmuchnostalgiatowardsthe1990sfor
variousreasons.Theywerethelastgenerationthatgrewupwithallthosebright

GENERATIONYANDTHE908
promisesofworkhard,gotocollege,andyou'llhaveasuccessfullife,onlytofind
thosehopesabruptlydashedwhenthehousingbubbleburst.Millennialshavegrown
upexpectingthatdisappointment,becauseforthem,theproblemhasbeentheresince
dayone.(Geers,figure3).Thiscouldbeagreatfactorinwhyoldergenerationsdont
seemtobeasnostalgictowardsthistime.Theydidntexperiencethepromisesoflife
andtherapidadvancementoftechnologythatGenerationYdid,sonaturallythey
wouldntreminisceaboutthe90sthesameway.
Ireadapostoncethatdescribed90skids(peoplebornbetweentheyears1980
and1992)asthegenerationofnostalgiabecausesomuchtechnologicaladvancement
happenedinsucharapidtimeframewhenweweregrowingupthatwecanclearly
rememberhavingtechnologiesthatarenowobsolete,likegoingfromacordedphoneto
asmallcomputerinyourpocketjustwithinourformativeyearsisamajorthing.It
sparksnostalgiaforourseemlysimplerchildhoodsbecausesomuchrapid
developmentmakesitseemlikeitwasalotlongeragothanitactuallywas.(Geers,
figure2).
ThenostalgiathatGenerationYisexperiencingisntgoingunnoticed.Oneofthe
manyreasonsthatthe90sismissedisbecauseofthetelevisionthatwasairedduring
thattime.Thetelevisionshowsfromthateraseemtohaveabiggermessageand
deeperconnectionstotheaudience,whereasmosttelevisionshowsarefilledwithmore
sexthanlifelessons.Therewassubstanceintheshowsthataired,andgavepeople
somethingtothinkaboutandbeinvestedin.Showssuchas
Friends
,
FullHouse
,and
TheMagicSchoolBus
arestillverypopulartoday.Becausemostoftheshowsareno

GENERATIONYANDTHE909
longerairingneworoldepisodes,itcausesademandforthemtocomeback.
Nickelodeonrecentlylaunchedanewprogrammingblock,The90sAreAllThat!which
willallowfanstorequestcertainseriesandepisodesviasocialmedia,andtheyarent
theonlycompanythatstakingadvantageoftheoverwhelmingloveofthe90s.
Recently,thecreatorsof
FullHouse
launchedasequeltotheoriginalseries,
Fuller
House
.ThenewseriescameoutonNetflixinFebruaryof2016andwassolovedthat
ithasalreadybeenrenewedforasecondseason.
AstudyfromtheGrenobleSchoolofManagementinFrancefoundin2014that
someonemightbemorelikelytobuysomethingwhentheywerefeelingnostalgic
towardsit,whichopensmanydoorsformarketers.Brandshavebeguntofocusonthe
90sbecauseitisthebiggestandmostdiversetimethathaseverexisted,andwith
severalofthepeoplewhogrewupinthe1990snowenteringtheirpeakearningand
spendingyears,itwouldbeahugebusinessmistaketoignoreit.Theyalsofoundthat
nostalgiafromhappymemoriescausespeopletofeelgoodaboutthefutureand
increasetheirselfesteem,whichcancausethemtofeelmoreconnectedtothe
product.Smartmarketersunderstandthatonewaytogetconsumerstopartwiththeir
hardearneddollarsistoremindthemofhappiertimes(Giang2)andthatsexactly
whatbusinessesaredoing.
Whilethe90sareknownforthefashionandtrends,thosearenttheonlythings
affectingourlivestoday.Itwasfoundthatmothersofteenstodayaretreatingtheir
daughtersmorelikepeersandarefocusedonbuildingarelationshiponfriendship,
ratherthanamother/daughterfoundation.Manymothersofgirlsborninthe1990s

GENERATIONYANDTHE90
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discussrulesbeforesettingthemandaremoreopenandhonestwiththemthantheir
motherswerewiththem.Whensurveyed,themajorityofmothersclaimedthattheir
relationshipwiththeirdaughterwasmuchbetterthanwhattheyhadwiththeirown
motheratthatage.Althoughthegenerationgapbetweenmomsandteenshas
narrowedovertheyears,thereisasignificantlylargercloseofthegapbetween
daughtersbornduringthe90s.Thiscanbeattributedtotheattitudethatwassetinthe
1990swhenpeoplerealizedthatthereneededtobechangesmadewithinthe
relationships.
RegardlessofGenerationYwishingtheycouldgobacktothe90s,thereare
definitelypeoplewhowishtheyhadneverhappened.GenerationYrecallsthe90sas
asimplertimewhentheyhadmorecontrolovertheirlives,whereassomeolderpeople
aswellasindividualsfromthatgenerationrememberitasanythingbut.Theolder
generationsdidntcareabouttechnologywhenitstartedtoboomanditdidnttake
controloftheirliveslikeitdidwithyoungergenerations,especiallytoday.
TheOklahomaCityBombingwasoneofthemostmemorablethingsthat
happenedin1995.Thebombingkilled168peopleandinjuredover680,destroyingor
damaging324buildingswithina16blockradius.ThisbombingcausetheU.S.
CongresstopasstheAntiterrorismandEffectiveDeathPenaltyActof1996todeter
terroristattacks.Thisrestrictednuclear,biological,orchemicalweaponsandincreased
penaltiesandcriminalprocedurechangestocriminallawinvolvingterroristsor
explosivesamongotherthings.TheOklahomaCityBombingstruckfearinthepeople
thatwereoldenoughtorealizewhatwashappeningasitwasthedeadliestterrorist

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attackonAmericansoiluntiltheoccurrenceoftheSeptember11thattacks,butremains
thedeadliestdomesticterrorismincidentinthehistoryoftheUnitedStates.
BillClintonwaspresidentwhenthebombingtookplace,andsomewouldargue
thathedidapoorjobaspresident.Therewereconstantscandalsthattookawayfrom
Clintonbeingpresident,suchaswithPaulaJonesandMonicaLewinsky.Hewas
unabletofulfillhispromisestorepealthebanonhomosexualsservinginthemilitary
andhewashesitanttotakeactiontostopthegenocideinRwanda,whichwasgetting
fartoooutofhand.Whilehedidntdoeverythingrightduringhispresidency,hedid
create22.5millionnewjobsthatdroppedunemploymentfrom7.5%to4.0%which
wasthelowestunemploymentratethecountryhadseenin30years.Alongwiththe
unemploymentrate,thecrimeratealsofelleachyearthatClintonwaspresident,putting
itata26yearlowbythetimehewasimpeached.TheUSalsowentfromhavingthe
largestbudgetdeficitinhistory($290billion)tohavingabudgetsurplusof$127billion
bythetimeClintonleftofficein2001.Whileitdidnttakeawayallofthestressfromthe
economy,ithelpedtoeliminatealotofournation'sproblems.
Somepeopleclaimthatmostyoungpeoplejustdontrememberthe90s
correctlyandthatmarketingmadeeverythingappearmuchmorefunthatitactually
was.ItisalsostatedbymanythatGenerationYisjuststuckinthepastbecausethey
startedoutasthehopeforabetterfuture,althoughseveraleventssoonruinedthat
hope.TheSeptember11thterroristattackschangedtheirperspectiveforever,forcing
themtosuddenlyrealizethattheworldwasntassimpleandeasyastheyhadbeen
broughtuptobelieve.

GENERATIONYANDTHE90
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Were[GenerationY]notoptimistic,idealisticorbrave.Wereterrified.Weare
agenerationhidingunderthesheets,perpetuallyafraidoftheghostsandghoulsout
parentsandthemediahavewarnedusabout.Thatduvetcoveredhavenwevecreated
ourfantasyisrepresentedinthesupersoaked,frostedtippedmyththatwasthe
90s.(KerrKeller,1)
KerrKellerexplainsthatdespitetheeventsintheMiddleEastandspeculationof
onlinestocks,peoplestillhadhope.WhileeventslikeY2KandthedeathofKurt
Cobaincouldvehelpedtodrasticallymoldtheirpersonalities,itisarguedthatitwas
mostlikelythefallingofthetwintowers.Theywitnessedthefearsoftheirparentsand
hadtolistentothemdiscussthenextDepressionandfinancialmeltdowns.Generation
Ycanberememberedasthegenerationwhocouldntbebotheredtocare,theyhave
becomesousedtotheheadlinesthattheyhavebecomenumb.Thereisnothing
wrongwithalittletripdownmemorylane.Itsnormaltomisschildhood,butsometimes
itpreventsusfromfocusingonwherewereheadedandsendsusdowntheeasiest
roadinthefootstepsofourparents(KerrKeller,1).Whiletherearefewpeoplewho
aretrulythatengrossed,therearemanywhosimplyreflectonthe90severynowand
then.
Allofthesefactorsattributetothe90sbeingregardedasoneofthemost
nostalgicerasinhistorybyGenerationY.Thosepeoplearecaughtbetweenthetimeof
limitedtechnologyandanoverwhelmingamountoftechnologyanditaffectstheway
theyseetheworld.Theywereshapedbysomanytraumaticeventsduringtheir
childhoodsthatitcausesthemtohaveadifferentperceptionoftheworldthanthatof

GENERATIONYANDTHE90
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peoplethatareolderoryoungerthanthem.GenerationYlivedafairlyeasylifeduring
theirchildhoodandwereforcedtoplungeintotherealworldinacruelway.Many
peopleofanyagemightbenostalgicoftheirchildhood,butGenerationYseemstobe
oneofthemostnostalgicgenerations,becauseofallthechangesthatoccurredduring
themostimportantpartsoftheirlives.
Oldergenerationswouldntthinkofthe90sasthatmemorablecomparedtowhat
theygrewupwith,butthatsbecausetheywerentthefocusofthefashionandgames
thatwerepopularduringthattime.Thingsthatwerepopularduringthe1990swere
directedspecificallyatGenerationY,andthatswhytheyhavesuchfondermemoriesof
it.Despiteallofthenegativeeventsthathappenedinthe90s,GenerationYstillthinks
ofitinsuchapositivelightbecausetheywerentexactlyworriedaboutthosethings
duringthattime.TheyweremorefocusedongettinganIMandgoingtothemallthan
onsomebombingthathappenedacrossthecountry,andwhocanblamethemas
children?WhenIwasyounger,eventslikethatwerenteveninmyfocus,children
shouldnthavetoworryaboutthingslikethat.Thatswhywhenthe2000scame
aroundandGenerationYwascomingintotheagerangewhereyoushouldstartto
worryabouteventslike,theywereawestruck.Theycamefromacarefree,easylifeinto
aroughandrealonesoquickly,theybegantofuriouslylongforhowthingswerebefore
theyhadtoworrythismuchabouttheirlives.

Make sure your definitions are


clear.
And why are these 90ers
different from any other and their
decade? Some people hate
nostalgia, why?
Good

writing.

GENERATIONYANDTHE90
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endlesslyobsessedwiththe90s.Retrievedfrom
http://thoughtcatalog.com/jacobgeers/2015/12/thisprofoundtumblrpostexplains
why90skidsareendlesslyobsessedwiththe90s/

Giang,V.(2014,August18).Theylovethe90s:Usingnostalgiatowoomillennials.
AmericanExpress
.Retrievedfrom
https://www.americanexpress.com/us/smallbusiness/openforum/articles/theylove
the90susingnostalgiatowoomillennials/

KerrKeller,R.(2014,May7).Stuckinthepast:Whymillennialscantletgoofthe90s.
Retrievedfrom
http://elitedaily.com/life/stuckinthepastwhymillennialscantletgoofthe90s/

Whitaker,C.(1990,August).Introduction:Thenewgenerationofthe90s.
Ebony,
2932.Retrievedfrom
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