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Feel Like You Don't Fit In Demographically? Maybe You're A 'Xennial'

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Feel Like You Don't Fit In Demographically? Maybe You're A 'Xennial'

Have you ever felt like you might not fit in? If you were born between the years 1977 and 1985, you might look at Gen Xers as old fogeys yet wonder what these whippersnapper millennials are playing at.

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Well, now there might be a generational home for you as you may be part of a newly defined 'micro-generation' called 'Xennials'. Catchy title, eh?

According to Business Insider, the term 'xennial' was coined in 2014 by a writer for Good Magazine and has gained in momentum ever since - so much so that American dictionary guys Merriam-Webster have labelled it one of its 'words we're watching'.

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Merriam-Webster defines the term as referring to people who were born on the cusp between Generation X (early 60s - early 80s) and Generation Y, also known as millennials (early 80s - early 00s).

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The interesting thing about xennials, like other 'micro-generations', is that they are distinct from the generations that came before and after them while having the qualities of both.

For example, xennials were the first generation to grow up with computers at home, even if Internet access wasn't yet a common thing. That's why they're also called the Oregon Trail generation, named after the video game that often came bundled with Apple II computers.

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Xennials' comfort with technology means that, unlike your parents leaving cringe comments on your photos, they're not a total embarrassment over social media - even if half of them probably still have Hotmail accounts.

British 'xennials' would have grown up under Thatcher and Amiga computers. Credit: PA
British 'xennials' would have grown up under Thatcher and Amiga computers. Credit: PA

Most xennials didn't even have mobile phones until they were in their 20s. Instead they had to face the dreaded 'Hi, is X there?' conversation with their friends' parents over the landline - those who remember it will be shuddering in horror.

Not only do xennials have their own relationship with technology, but they also have their own social attitudes that set them apart from other generations.

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Stereotypically they're not quite as bitter as the notoriously cynical Generation X, but aren't as socially liberal or optimistic as the average millennial either. Hey, if the 2008 financial crash derailed your early career, you'd probably be a little cautious, too.

The 2008 financial crash dented a lot of promising careers. Credit: PA
The 2008 financial crash dented a lot of promising careers. Credit: PA

All in all, xennials are an interesting breed with one foot back in the analogue past and the other ahead in the digital future. You can see if you are one by taking a Guardian quiz.

If reading all of this just makes you feel old - at least you're not as messed-up as Generation Z.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Interesting, millennials, Community

Chris Ogden
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