Unlike roses, a generation’s name matters and for those born on the brink of the millennial era, that label stinks. Millennials are defined as being born between 1982 and 2004. However, in an era where technology’s advancements continuously push us forward at lightning speed, two people born on the broadest edge of the millennial spectrum are worlds apart.
Personally, as someone with an 18-year-old nephew who loves Lil Yachty yet has no idea who Lil Wayne is and a Gen X-aged brother, who scoffs at any musician with a “Lil” prefix, being lumped into either category feels wildly off. But where do we all fit in? Where do those people born between 1977 and 1983 — a group that hasn’t fully adapted to Snapchat, and is too young to be lumped into Gen X — fall on the generational curve? They’re Xennials, apparently.
"The idea is there's this micro or in-between generation between the Gen X group – who we think of as the depressed flannelette-shirt-wearing, grunge-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," explained Dan Woodman, Associate Professor of Sociology at The University of Melbourne to lifestyle site Mamamia.
"It was a particularly unique experience. You have a childhood, youth, and adolescence free of having to worry about social media posts and mobile phones...We learned to consume media and came of age before there were Facebook and Twitter and Snapchat and all these things where you still watch the evening news or read the newspaper," Woodman also said.
Though technically the year I was born doesn’t fit snugly within the Xennial category — I can operate Snapchat thankyouverymuch — it gives a little wiggle room. A gray area is much better than the rigid, black and white Millennial vs. Gen x borders.