Is the viral post speaking about Xennials or Millennials?
Worldwide – A Zambian Twitter user recently went for viral for his thread on how people born between 1985 and 1995 are “the most unique generation of all time”, but it seems the Millenial has forgotten that there was a group that came before him, that actually had the best of both worlds.
Read his full thread below:
“People born between 1985 and 1995 are the most unique generation of all time. Here’s why…
They are in-between two generations: the one before the internet and technology took over and the generation after.
The generation before us was old school and believed in working hard. The generation after us believes in working smart.
We saw it all: Radio, TV, Mario, Waptrick, Nokia, Nintendo 64, Samsung, iPhone, PS4, Tape, CD, DVD, MIXit, MIG32, Netflix, Snapchat, Emojis, and Virtual reality…
The generation before us can be scammed with simple emails asking for money and offering love. The generation after us knows it’s better to have four emails: one for serious stuff, social media, financial transactions and one for experiments for things you don’t trust
We are the generation that knows tradition and question it… picking from it what makes sense to us. The generation before us knew no questions. The generation after us knows no tradition.
We are the gap between the industrial age and the internet age. We understand both sides from experience. We should be running the world!! The old guys don’t understand what’s going on anymore; the new guys don’t fully understand where what’s going on came from.”
The thread has left the internet divided, but it seems that Zed was actually describing the Xennial age.
We have listed the five most recent ‘Generational Categories’ to fully understand the differences.
The Baby Boomers Generation
1946 – 1964
The Baby Boomer generation got its name because of the ‘boom’ in births after World War II. They were classified as the wealthiest, most active, and most physically fit generation compared to all the ones that came before.
The generational category consists of people who did not grow up with the internet or any form of mobile technology but did get the first televisions.
“The baby boomers found that their music, most notably rock and roll, was another expression of their generational identity. Transistor radios were personal devices that allowed teenagers to listen to The Beatles, the The Motown Sound, and other new musical directions and artists.”
1965 – 1980
As adolescents and young adults, they were dubbed the “MTV Generation” and characterized as slackers and as cynical and disaffected. In midlife, research describes Gen X adults as active, happy, and as achieving a work-life balance.
This generational category was the group with the highest entrepreneurial boom at the time. They consist of people who grew up when the internet was born, but it wasn’t available to the general public.
“Members of Generation X were children during a time of shifting societal values and as children were sometimes called the “latchkey generation”, due to reduced adult supervision compared to previous generations, a result of increasing divorce rates and increased maternal participation in the workforce, prior to widespread availability of childcare options outside of the home.”
1977 – 1985 is a micro-generation, a classification between Gen X and Gen Y (Millennials).
Xennials was reported first to be created and used in a September 2014 article in ‘GOOD magazine’ written by Sarah Stankorb and Jed Oelbaum. Good magazine has described Xennials as “a micro-generation that serves as a bridge between the disaffection of Gen X and the blithe optimism of Millennials”. Dan Woodman, an Australian sociologist, was credited by the Australian media with inventing it but said he did not coin it.
“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. It was a time when we had to organise to catch up with our friends on the weekends using the landline, and actually pick a time and a place and turn up there.” (Source)
This micro-gen is said to have the Gen X cynicism and Gen Y’s optimism and drive!
In 2018, Business Insider described “Xennials” as people who don’t feel like a Generation Xer or a Millennial, using birth dates between 1977 and 1985. Merriam-Webster includes Xennial in “Words We’re Watching.”
Millennials (Gen Y)
1981 – 1996
Millennials get the most attention in the media today, and mostly it’s negatively based. In media, Millennials are often described as entitled and selfish. This generational category consists of people who grew up when the Internet was becoming available to the general public.
“The generation is generally marked by an increased use and familiarity with communications, media, and digital technologies. In most parts of the world, their upbringing was marked by an increase in a liberal approach to politics and economics; the effects of this environment are disputed. The Great Recession has had a major impact on this generation because it has caused historically high levels of unemployment among young people, and has led to speculation about possible long-term economic and social damage to this generation.”
1996 – 2010
Gen Z are the children of Gen X and Millennials. This generational category consists of people who grew up and are still growing up with full access to the Internet in their homes and available on most smart devices.
“A significant aspect of this generation is the widespread usage of the Internet from a young age. Members of Generation Z are typically thought of as being comfortable with technology, and interacting on social media websites for a significant portion of their socialising. Some commentators have suggested that growing up through the Great Recession has given the cohort a feeling of unsettlement and insecurity.”
While the internet and media like to focus on what you are supposed to be because of the generation you were born into, we say you should be exactly who you want to be. We hope this helps to clear up the generational miscommunication that might be present sometimes.