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As a millennial, it pains me when I see headlines like TIME magazine’s “Me Me Me Generation” surface. We are, according to the media, a bunch of self-entitled, lazy a-holes, lacking any serious bones in our bodies. Sarcasm is a way of life and irony is our religion. We’ve lost the independent working spirit of Gen X'ers and are happy to just ride the coattails of their past successes.
It’s true: We were told we’re special from the moment we’re born, but don’t call us narcissists. Those who blossomed during the age of Generation X overcame similar obstacles in their youth: a bad economy, an expanding global society, and the introduction of new personal technology. The only advantage millennials have is hindsight, and hopefully the wherewithal to use Gen X'ers as a resource so we don't send the next generation into another recession.
Really, though, what can a millennial learn from a Gen X’er and vice versa? Since the Internet has made just about anything readily available, everything that’s old is still new, and whatever’s new might just be reductive. In terms of culture, the two generations are separated by mere years. And, yet, even in the age of YouTube, significant pieces of Gen X culture — many of which influence the books, movies, music, and television milennials consume today — have been lost to time. Ahead, two R29’ers — one millennial and one Gen X’er, who happen to have the same birthday — share staples of their respective eras with the hope of better understanding just what defines their peer groups. Because, if millennials are, as TIME argues, meant to save the world, it’s essential that they have some support from the generation that came before.