Baby Boomers Now In Second Place 

Baby boomers aren’t so big anymore. We used to be the largest living generation in the United States. Now we have been overtaken by the millennials. 

Ouch that hurts. Baby boomers loved being the biggest group.

The Washington Post was among the first to  report the news from Pew Research Center. 

Millennials are the 18 to 34 year olds. There  are now 75.4 million living millennials, a half-million more than the 74.9 million living baby boomers, anyone who is 51 to 69 years old.

The report also said that millennials will peak in 2036 with 81.1 million people. The baby boomer generation peaked in 1999 with 78.8 million living members.

Forever Young, Not

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There are some advantages to getting older. Albeit, not many, but maybe we can capitalize on those that do come our way.

For instance, when Eliot and I went through security at the airport in Cartagena, Columbia yesterday, the officers let us pass right through even though they were questioning everyone else about what they were doing in the country. As we walked to our gate, I remarked to Eliot that apparently the security officers thought we were too old to be terrorists. I find that kind of insulting.

Eliot and I play the old age card as much as we can. We don’t have to try too hard because most of the young folks take one look and start treating us like we are their grandparents. If we take a subway, at least a half a dozen people immediately offer us their seats. That includes pregnant women, the blind, and people on crutches. Apparently, we look more helpless than them.

We just spent the weekend with six considerably younger guys. They too treated us like we were slightly handicapped. They opened the doors, gave us the best seats, carried extra stuff, and made sure we got safely across the street. They may not have been fully aware of what they were doing, but we embraced it.

Coincidently, my brother emailed me a New York Times article today entitled, “When Did We Get So Old?” I read it hoping I was going to learn an alternative to old age. No such luck. It basically says the approximate 77 million baby boomers that are alive today feel like they are on the outside looking in. Click on the Times story to see why we might be more confused than ever about who we are and where we live.

How do you think I feel? Most of my work revolves around Internet activities where the majority of co-workers are 40 years my junior. Sometimes it gives me the creeps, other times I don’t notice it at all.

I wonder what Hillary thinks?


The minute someone over 55 sees a gray hair, a wrinkle, a dark spot, or even a dimple someplace on their body where they have not seen it before, they want to cover it up immediately.  Why is it not the same way with their tech habits?

Many of the nearly 80 million baby boomers (many of them have turned 65 this year) and older seniors are exposing their tech naivety on almost a daily basis. I am not saying that this pertains to every senior person, but it certainly does to many.  I make my fair share of mistakes too, but I have a group of young techies around me constantly that point out my blunders every chance they get.

I wanted to address these fairly simple errors because if we correct them on a united front, then maybe we can achieve the respect we deserve.  As Mashable, one of the best tech blogs, recently pointed out, “As boomers confront old age,” they will certainly defy what we think it means to “get old.” It will challenge us to rethink how we use the web and how we engage older people with newer technologies.

Here is a list of absolute no no’s:

  1. Do not copy your entire email list in the “To” space.  That is what “Bcc” is for.  If you are sending out an email to multiple people who do not know each other, you must blind copy.  Most people do not want their email exposed to strangers.  I recently received an email with Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer and Arianna Huffington copied on it. Do you really think those gals want me to have their email address?  Ha! Don’t answer that.
  2. Just because you are retired and have nothing else to do, don’t send out jokes several times a day, every day, with the subject, “I usually don’t send out jokes but this one is really funny.”   Chances are someone else sent around those jokes already.  I have to clear out my inbox everyday from a certain someone who used to be the CEO of a major company.  He sends out about 20 to 30 jokes a day, even on high holy days.  I don’t have the heart to tell him to stop because he is such a wonderful guy. I picture him sitting at his computer day and night with his trigger finger ready to go.
  3. The one that makes you look like you died or just faded away is your Facebook page without your picture.  Many seniors want to join the world of social media, but just want to test it.  Either you jump in and engage, or delete your account.  You look like you are missing in action.  Some older people have told me that they only joined so they can follow their grandchildren.  Bad move. If they find out that is your main purpose, they know how to de-friend you and you will not know the difference.
  4. Please don’t tell people you don’t check your emails on a frequent basis even if it is true.  You sound like you are telling them you don’t take a shower every day. The Internet is all about instantaneous access.  You should be checking your email everyday or several times a day. To those that say “but no one emails me so why should I be checking.” I answer no one is sending you a check everyday, yet you wait for the mailman like it is your last meal.
  5. When someone sends you and others an email don’t “reply to all” unless your message is that important that others have to see it.  There is nothing worse than 10 people saying “You’re welcome” to the same person.  I make the same mistake when I get a text from my brother because the multiple names are hidden. My nephew Sam is always looking out for me, letting me know the faux pas I committed.   I am much sharper about my responses now.
  6. This is the worst and I want to scream bloody murder when someone forwards an email to me with pages and pages of lists of email addresses that have received the message already.  Why aren’t you cutting and pasting?  All you have to do is “forward” and delete the names of people who were previously copied. Why is it my responsibility to search through pages and pages of email addresses before I get to the content that you wanted me to read?  Honestly, I just delete these emails.  I can’t be bothered anymore.

I hope I am being helpful.  To quote Mashable, “The Boomer generation isn’t just big—it’s made up of people who think and act differently than previous generations.” This means we are suave, sophisticated and savvy.  We have a reputation to uphold.