Xennial is a Dumb Name But It’s Better Than Millennial

My Facebook page exploded last weekwith friends posting about how the media has finally figured out a name for our generation-Xennials. Basically, Generation X thought they were too cool for us, and we’re way too cool to be Millennials, so they created a terribly named “micro-generation” just for us.

Xennial is a Dumb Name But It's Better Than Millennial

If you’re not sure where you sit, if you were born mid-1960’s to the late 1970’s, you’re considered Generation X. Millennials are often considered everyone after that until the late 1990’s, but that’s not really fair to those of us from the late 70s/early 80s. My brother is on the early end of the Millennial trend-he barely remembers a time when we didn’t have a computer, he had his own computer by high school, and he had a landline for about 10 seconds before owning a cell phone. Meanwhile, I was born in 1981-we didn’t have a family computer until I was in high school, I will never forget the sound of AOL dial-up, I remember when my parents first had cell phones and it was a huge deal to me that I had my own computer to take to college AND that my school had ethernet for all the dorms.

The whole concept of breaking people down into these perfectly sliced time periods is a bit ridiculous. It makes some sense from a sociological standpoint, but it falls apart when it becomes a catch-all for marketers or this idea of a brand identity. My mother, a former history teacher, insists that there’s no such thing as a micro-generation, and that I am either an old Millennial or a young Generation Xer, there’s no in between. Given the choice, I think I see myself as more of a young Generation Xer-I adored my older cousins and talked music and culture with them, and I have a distinct memory of being in Hebrew School and our (college age) teacher holding a moment of silence for Kurt Cobain. My experiences were definitely shaped more by Generation X than by the people born after me.

In the end, though, it’s all a weird argument of semantics. I’m 36 years old, and I live in the suburbs with my wife, child, and a dog. I have peers who are single and live in NYC, and I have friends who live in rural New England. Our birth years really don’t matter at this point, because there’s very little that a marketer can find that we would all respond to exactly the same.

Having said that, calling me a millenial is definitely fighting words…

About the Author

Carly Z
Carly has been a gadget fiend for a long time, going back to her first PDA (a Palm M100). She quickly went from researching what PDA to buy to following tech news closely and keeping up with the latest and greatest stuff. She loves writing about ebooks because they combine her two favorite activities; reading anything and everything, and talking about fun new tech toys. What could be better?
  • I am really not sure when the post-Boomers became Gen-Xers … but whatever. I think there are really micro-generations in between all the major ones, and even still the categories are too wide. I mean, my kids and their cousins are just about a decade apart, but they clearly are in different groups even if both are covered theoretically by ‘Millennial’.

    Same for me … I am certainly not a Baby Boomer considering both of my parents were born during WWII, but putting people who saw Star Wars in theaters with their own money in the same group as people born after it was released? Nope 🙂