In the past, our concepts of generations only extended to the developed world.
Generation X was an American phenomenon, and it may have applied to people the same age in Italy, but not in India.
But to the rising generation — teenagers today— culture has no borders. The internet has killed the boundaries. There are still differences between cultures and countries, but they are shaded, not hard lines.
The best example I’ve seen of this was just under one year ago when we were traveling Myanmar and a young server in Mandalay was helping us wearing a Yeezy for president t-shirt.
In another more rural town, we visited there was a teenager wearing a hoodie and knock off Beats headphones.
These young connected Burmese teens are certainly an exception. Most people still dress fairly traditionally, but in a country that has only had widespread access to the internet for 4 years you can see a stark divide between the traditional 22-year-olds and 15-year-olds with skateboards, hoodies, and ripped jeans.
They are from a country that was oppressed and isolated until very recently. The oppression didn’t stop, but the disconnection from the outside world did and people were finally able to access affordable mobile phones and data and tune into culture on the internet.
If your thirty, what country you’re from deeply impacted what you know and what you believe.
If you 14 that is not the case to anywhere near the same extent.
14-year-olds are dressing like Beiber in China, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines.
Kids from Indonesia are learning how to rap like they are from Atlanta.
Kids are watching popular YouTubers no matter where they live. Some speak the same language, some are English, but all are a part of a bigger culture that extends across every single border on earth.
The rising culture is the first truly global generational culture. They are not defined by where they are from, but instead by what they are interested in and identify with.