Millennials … a word we associate with the ungrateful, lazy, easily offended, self-absorbed young adult generation. I'm talking about people who are in their 20s and 30s. But let me say that if you're an 80s baby like myself, you probably cringe at the idea of being called a Millennial. Might you be a 'Xennial' instead? Keep reading to find out.
What is Xennial?
A Xennial is someone who was born in the middle ground between being a Gen-Xer and a Millenial. Suppose you were born from 1977-1985, congrats. You, my friend, are no longer going to be grouped into the shameful category of Millenial. You are now officially a Xennial.
Those of you before 1977 are still considered Gen-X, which used to span from 1965 to 1980. And if you're after 1985 (haha, I just barely make the cut), sorry, but you're still a Millennial, which used to span from 1981-1996. If you're from the late 80s, you're not as much a part of the stereotype as the 90s kids.
While Gen-Xers are known for being cynical and untrusting of any and everyone, Millenials are obsessed with technology and social media. They live their lives in the digital world and think their every move has to be documented on SnapChat.
Millennials have no work ethic and think that everything should be handed to them. They are also very sensitive and get offended over things that have nothing to do with them. We often like to refer to these people as hipsters and liberals. Yeah, you know the type I'm talking about.
Why Are Xennials Different?
Xennials are a special group. We grew up alongside ever-changing technology. While the Millennials may have made texting and social media popular, the Xennials are the pioneers who dealt with the challenges of T9 texting on our clunky, indestructible Nokia cell phones.
We were hanging out in AOL chatrooms and talking with people from around the world using AIM Instant Messaging, years before Facebook was even a concept. I'm talking pre-MySpace days. Yeah, kids, last century - mind blown!
We had to sit through the grueling dial-up process to get online, only to get disconnected when someone tried to use the landline phone. And speaking of phones, tell me you don't remember having to play phone tag with your friends.
How about getting yelled at by your parents for tying up the phone line? What if someone else needed to call? It was a huge technological advancement when we got call waiting. And OMG, the fun we used to have with prank call using *67 and *69. You know what I'm talking about.
Xennials Remember the Struggles
Millennials were born right as technology started to make advancements that would change our lives in multiple ways. But, the younger Millenials can't say that they remember the old days before these new technologies. Xennials remember the struggles.
We had antenna TVs with four channels, long before we experienced the joys of dozens of channels from gigantic satellite dishes that dominated our whole yards. We remember the stress of rushing to Blockbuster on Friday afternoons to get the latest movie release before it's all gone years before Redbox and Netflix were around.
The Craft and Clueless were rights of passage for teenage girls. You crushed on New Kids on the Block long before Backstreet Boys and NSync were popular. The Goonies, Dazed and Confused, and Jurassic Park were "THE" movies to see.
Call of Duty and Fortnite couldn't even be imagined. We were kicking ass at Zelda and Mario Brothers - that was high tech for us. Our favorite computer game was Oregon Trail - yeah, we're that generation. We didn't know anything about The Sims or World of Warcraft.
And when you wanted to hear your favorite song, you had to sit by the radio all day. As soon as you heard the live deejay play it, you had to hit record on your tape player. There was no streaming it from Pandora or looking it up on YouTube. Once we got older, we were lucky enough to get CDs and then years later, LimeWire and Kazaam, which turned out to be illegal.
And Columbine was the only school shooting that occurred. If you're a Xennial, you can remember exactly where you were when it happened and how things changed afterward. It's a day that's still etched into my brain 20 years later. I can recall everything that happened that day.
Are You a Xennial or a Millenial?
I don't know about some of you, but I'm quite relieved to have a new category to belong to instead of being called a Millennial. As a mature female mother in my 30s, I have nothing in common with today's Millennials. As an old soul with years of memories of the good old days, I'm proud to say I'm a Xennial. What are you?