Why Boomers?

Some of you have asked us why Retrospect focuses on baby boomers. Can’t everyone enjoy telling stories about their lives?

Of course they can. And we encourage everyone to come to Retrospect, read and comment on the stories here, and tell some of their own. This is especially true of near-boomers (who share some of the same experiences) and our own families and friends (since our stories constitute their legacy). They may also want to tell their side of the story!

But we think it’s important to focus on one generation at a time, because then we all share similar memories. Other boomers’ experiences are more likely to strike a chord in us and spark our own. Anyone can write about What We Read, but if we write about Dick & Jane (& Sally!) or My Weekly Reader, only boomers will experience that jolt of recognition.

Baby boomers (born 1946–1964) are in a unique position. Unlike younger generations, we have accumulated plenty of life experience and we understand the value of passing it on. Ten thousand of us are retiring every day, so we increasingly have time to tell our stories. And unlike our parents’ generation—whose stories are unfortunately being lost too fast—we’re comfortable with computers and with sharing on social media. (That’s why we often feel motivated to tell our parents’ and grandparents’ stories for them.) As boomers, we have an unprecedented opportunity to compile a social history of an entire generation, as told by the people who experienced it.

There’s one more reason: all three founders of Retrospect are boomers and we understand our generation best. Eventually we absolutely want to expand Retrospect to include other generations as well. But for now, it makes sense to focus on boomers.