There are a million factors that contribute to who you are and who you become. Your family and friends, your likes and dislikes, how you spend your time, your style, etc. These are all ingredients that blend together to make you the person you are today. One factor, in particular, becomes surprisingly telling as the years go on.
A generation refers to a collective of people born and raised around the same time and place, such as the Baby Boomers or the Millennials. Although your generation doesn’t completely dictate who you are, of course, research has shown that those born in the same generation exhibit similar values, preferences, and characteristics throughout their life.
Who Xennials Are, And Why They’re Different
One generation many don’t know about are the Xennials, which is a microgeneration of people born between 1977 and 1985, overlapping Gen X (1965 – 1980) and Millennials (1981 – 1996). Although many people just group them with the Millennials, if you look closely, there are many differences that really set them apart as their own generation.
#1. Childhood And Parenting
Although we may not always admit it, a lot of who you are depends on your parents. In general, Xennials’ parents tended to be much more relaxed than millennials’ parents. While the parents of a Millennial obsessed over excellence and pushed their child to impossible levels of achievement, Xennials’ parents were much less intense, with more laid-back support of their kids’ successes.
#2. A Youth Of Innocence
The terrible tragedy of 9/11 came as a shock to everyone. But while this event essentially tore Millennials from the innocence of childhood and into the chaos of war, Xennials were able to live their youth in peace and without care.
#3. The Ruthless Recession
Another life-changing event for the world was the recession. Although everyone was affected by it, some people believe the Xennials may have been hit the hardest. Most Millennials were in college with their career decisions still ahead of them, but Xennials had graduated with a mountain of student loans and just entered the workforce, giving them a higher chance of losing their job. However, Xennials didn’t have to worry about losing homes, investments, or retirement savings like the Gen Xers did, so maybe they were spared from hardship a bit.
#4. Social Media
While Millennials all had Myspace and Facebook from a young age, most Xennials made it through their childhood and even teenage years without any type of social media. This means Xennials didn’t have to live through the internet peer pressure of likes and shares.
#5. Cell Phones
Xennials used payphones and landlines for most of their young lives, and most didn’t get a cell phone until their early 20s, whereas Millennials were often given a cell phone as kids or teens. But even though Xennials weren’t as immersed in technology as Millennials were, they were still able to catch on a lot quicker than most people in Generation X.
#6. The Middle Mood
Xennials have a very distinct outlook on life. Millennials, in general, tend to be overly optimistic and confident about the future, and while Xennials aren’t particularly pessimistic, they definitely don’t reach the same heights as Millennials do. Maybe they’ve found the happy medium we all crave?
There are positives and negatives to every generation, but what’s most important is that you be true to who you are inside, no matter how the world around you changes. Which generation are you? Do you feel you fit the description of a Xennial, or do you stand out from these characteristics? Let us know in the comments!