Where do you fit in? This has been the question young people have been asking themselves since the dawn of time, and it’s a question not easily answered. For a lot of people, they are able to identify themselves by belonging to a specific generation, like Baby Boomers, or Millennials. But, what if you don’t fit into any of the well-known categories? Well, it could be that you’re an Xennial.
A what now?! Good question, we’d never heard the term either until recently, but we recently discovered it. And, you’ll find that it’s a pretty good definition of quite a few people out there. So, what exactly are Xennials, and do you qualify as one? Well, the second part of the question is not for us to say, but we can look at the first part. What, or should we say ‘who’ are Xennials?
They’re a micro-generation
Probably the best way of describing Xennials is that they fall into the category of a micro-generation. This means that only a small number of people are classed as being a part of this elite group. To put things more specifically, they are a group of people born between 1977 and 1985. This is the generation to bridge the gap between Generation X and Millennials, but have subtle differences that make them stand out from these other generations. The term did not really come into widespread use until a few years ago but has become more ubiquitous over time.
They have many names
They have a variety of other names aside from Xennials. Another name for this subsection of society is the Catalano Generation, a reference to the character Jordan Catalano from ‘90s TV show My So-Called Life. And, one of the better-known examples is the Oregon Trail Generation. Sound strange? Well, that’s because it’s named after a computer game The Oregon Trail that proved popular when they were growing up. This term was coined by Anna Garvey in an article she wrote for Social Media Week.
They grew up around technology
Unlike Gen X, the Oregon Trail Generation grew up around technology, with household computers pretty common. However, unlike Millennials, these guys didn’t have the latest and greatest technology growing up. Cell phones were not commonplace, the internet was accessed using dial-up broadband, and there was no such thing as social media. However, exposure to household computers and basic technology paved the way for newer technology and made many Xennials tech-savvy.
Different outlook on life
Because they bridge the gap between two generations, Xennials tend to have a slightly different outlook on life to either Generation X or Millennials. In fact, studies prove they tend to be more optimistic and less cynical than the quintessential Generation X-er, but they also seem to be less naive, and slightly more grounded than most Millennials. This balance is probably due to the fact that they have experienced the slow development of the digital world, but have also been hit the hardest by the recession and debt.
So, there you have it, the new generation that you never knew about. The micro-generation stuck between two must more prominent ones. It’s clear that Xennials are more of a minority than any of the two we’ve mentioned, but they certainly played a big role in bridging the gap between them.