Millennials consistently get a bad rap, almost entirely to the fact that they happened to be born right on the cusp of the digital age. This age group is consistently characterized as being “lazy” by older generations, despite the fact millennials have proven to be hard workers who rarely take vacation days.
And now, it seems that even older millennials are taking umbrage at being classified under the umbrella term of “millennials.”
A new term has been floating around for older millennials who were born between the years 1977-1983. The term is “Xennial,” a portmanteau of “Millennial” and “Generation X.”
According to, well, the internet, the term is used to classify the subset of millennials who experienced an analog childhood, but converted to digital in early adulthood, and were born during the release of the original Star Wars trilogy.
To which I say: nice try, “Xennials.”
(The fact that this particular viral post misspells “cynicism” perfectly encapsulates my feelings on this matter.)
It seems that this notion is being perpetuated by one particular professor at the University of Melbourne.
“The idea is there’s this micro or in-between generation between the Gen X group – who we think of as the depressed flannelette-shirt-wearing, grunge-listening children that came after the Baby Boomers and the Millennials – who get described as optimistic, tech savvy and maybe a little bit too sure of themselves and too confident,” TR Ashworth Associate Professor of Sociology Dan Woodman tells MammaMia.
“It was a particularly unique experience,” Woodman continues, clearly distanced enough from the situation to have a rational perspective. “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. Then we hit this technology revolution before we were maybe in that frazzled period of our life with kids and no time to learn anything new. We hit it where we could still adopt in a selective way the new technologies.”
While Woodman presents an interesting point when it comes to the notion of sub-generations, the whole thing still smacks of a convenient theory from someone who’s looking to distance themselves from the millennial “brand.” It would be like if I formulated a theory on why pale brunettes are inherently better than other women: the whole thing is decidedly self-serving, and based on little more than personal bias.
But, hey, if you want to go around calling yourself a “Xennial,” be my guest — I’m certainly not going to stop such an entertaining display of obnoxiousness.