A lot of quoting from Penelope Trunk follows. My answers and score to the quiz are below.
If you want to know how old you really are, look at the media you use rather than the generation you were born into.
Here’s an idea: We should determine our generation not by our age but by how we use media. This comes from Margaret Weigel, who has worked at Harvard and MIT doing research on digital media engagement:* “We should not judge people rigidly by the years they were born,” she says, ”If we want to define people by categories, it should be by behaviors because this is something each of us chooses.”
Another reason to use media engagement to peg someone’s age is that the media we use reflects both the space we live in and the circle of friends we run with. For example, you probably won’t find the Wii at a senior center, and you do what your friends do or you’re out of the loop.
So here is a test (Penelope) put together with the help of an interview with Weigel and an evening reading her blog. Add up your points to figure out what generation you’re really a part of:
Do you have your own web page? (1 point) +1
Have you made a web page for someone else? (2 points)
Do you IM your friends? (1 point) +1
Do you text your friends? (2 points) not as a rule, but I’ll occasionally test/answer texts from my son
Do you watch videos on YouTube? (1 point) +1, but not too often
Do you remix video files from the Internet? (2 points)
Have you paid for and downloaded music from the Internet? (1 point) +1
Do you know where to download free (illegal) music from the Internet? (2 points)
Do you blog for professional reasons? (1 point) no, mostly for fun
Do you blog as a way to keep an online diary? (2 points) +2
Have you visited MySpace at least five times? (1 point)
Do you communicate with friends on Facebook? (2 points)
Do you use email to communicate with your parents? (1 point) n/a – they don’t have e-mail. but I do with my son
Did you text to communicate with your parents? (2 points) n/a
Do you take photos with your phone? (1 point) no, my pocket-size digital camera has much better quality
Do you share your photos from your phone with your friends? (2 points) n/a
Total score = 6. I’m a textbook “Gen Jones”-er (born 1954-1965).
0-1 point – Baby Boomer
2-6 points – Generation Jones
6- 12 points – Generation X
12 or over – Generation Y