As a person born in 1980, I have found myself relating with both the Generation X and Millennial generations. As the definition states, I should be labeled properly as a “millennial,” but growing up in a time before the boom of technology (or at least on its cusp), leaves me lamenting for a simpler time when one’s validation wasn’t based on how quickly he or she can update their phone’s operating system.
My generation grew up with technology but it definitely wasn’t at our access in the very early 80’s. With the birth of Nintendo, and the constant evolution of phones and other devices that guard our lives, I have become quickly accustomed to the necessity of online dating, social media and texting our loved ones instead of calling them.
We didn’t have phones that took our photos, nor did we have an endless source for viewing and entertainment; instead we had a limited number of television channels and a VCR…good luck finding what you wanted to watch with those two mediums. We never missed an episode of Martin or A Different World because we didn’t DVR wasn’t even a thing (Remember TiVo? That didn’t exist either).
“Then we hit this technology revolution before we were maybe in that frazzled period of our life with kids and no time to learn anything new,” Says Dan Woodman of University of Melbourne. “We hit it where we could still adopt — in a selective way– the new technologies.”
If you find yourself agreeing with many of the (now) oddities mentioned above, then there’s a possibility that you were born between the years 1977 and 1983. An while this is a small bracket of individuals, there is something that we all have in common: we are the bridge between Generation Xers and Millennials! We are the closers of the gap between “analog and digital,” and we are the last of a dying breed that remembers the encyclopedia; for this reason, Woodman, Associate Professor of Sociology, is now classifying us as Xennials (pronounced Zee-KNEE-uls).
“The idea is there’s a micro or in-between generation between the Gen X group—who we think of as the depressed flannelette shirt-wearing, early hip hop-listening children that came after the Baby Boomers and the Millennials—who get described as optimistic, tech savvy and maybe a little bit too sure of themselves and too confident,” says Woodman.
Here is a proper definition of a Xennial: “a micro generation born during the cusp years of Gen-Xers and Millennials (i.e. between 1977-1983,). Xennials experienced an analogue childhood and a digital adulthood and possess both Gen X cynicism and Millennial optimism and drive.” If you’re born between those appointed years, then do you agree with the definition?
by: Jarrett Milton