You must have heard about Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y and Generation Z. I knew these categories of generations at high level but didn’t know the exact definition. So I found it out. Here it goes:
Gen Y is also called as “millennials”. Many parents of millennials belong to Baby boomer generation. This generation is more likely to lean liberal in their political ideology, less likely to practice religion than previous generations, and grew up in the age of technology and therefore are very versed in technology.
I was born at the fag end of Generation X and beginning of Generation Y – but, technically, as per above definition I fall under Gen X. But there was another classification I came across – Gen X as people born between 1965-1977. So by this definition I am not part of Gen X.
And I am not part of Gen Y too. So who am I? Terrible identity crisis to live with…right?
Not really…in fact I now belong to the exclusive club – a micro-generation of people born between 1977 and 1983! They are called “Xennials“.
The term was coined in 2014, by Sarah Stankorb in Good Magazine. Merriam-Webster even labeled “xennial” one of its “words we’re watching.”
So what is a xennial?
It’s an interesting classification and nicely captures the amazing paradigm shift that this micro-generation witnessed. For example, refer the last two lines in the above image. They experienced analogue childhood, and a digital adulthood – so true!
Here are some more generic traits of xennials across the world:
- Xennials were the first generation to grow up with household computers and have internet access. (‘You’ve got mail!’)
- Xennials are naturals at social media, though they grew up without Facebook, Twitter, or even MySpace (the ancestor of FB)
- Many Xennials didn’t get their first cell phone until they were in their 20s. Instead, they had to call their friends’ homes and talk to their parents first
- By the time Xennials were 20 years old, the music industry had changed completely. Instead of buying cassette tapes, you could download songs on Napster
- Xennials may have been hit hardest by the recession, because of a combination of student loan debt, job losses, and other factors
This is so true! I can relate with each of them.
At home, we Indians who are also xennials make up a very special group who have witnessed many great transformations. Let me recount some of these:
- We have seen the period before satellite Cable TV and when Government owned Door Darshan was the only channel.
- We have seen the period when you had to wait for several days or weeks to get a two-wheeler
- Having a telephone (landline) at home was a big status symbol. The telephone used to be wrapped up in some cover and was cleaned as if it is a piece of art!
- Very few had a PC in their home. It was a real luxury
- Many people had a video game console (Mario and Tennis games etc)
- 1.2 MB Floppy disk was the only media available to carry data. It had enough space to save 3-4 good quality images, or many more poor quality ones. The choice was yours!
- We used to ride bicycle!
- Some of us (like myself) still used a fountain nib pen and disliked ball point pen (Reynolds) and absolutely hated the gel pen
- Sachin Tendulkar had just arrived! I remember reading about this “wonder boy” in Sports magazine.
- Vishwanathan Anand was the only Chess grandmaster and was synonymous with Chess in India! (This was not as typical, but since I used to play chess I knew this)
- We witnessed the rise and rise of each Khan – first Aamir Khan with QSQT, then Salman with MPK and slightly later that obnoxious, arrogant nobody called Shah Rukh in Deewana and Baazigar.
- Jhankar Beats and T-Series ruined the soul of songs but were immensely popular
- Hawa Hawa was a craze. So was Ek Do Teen and Oye Oye and few such songs every year
- Kumar Sanu won 5 straight Filmfare awards! Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayana, Alka Yagnik and Kavita Krishnamurthy were the “Kishore, Rafi, Lata, Asha” of that generation. The default music composers of any movie were either Nadeem Shravan or Anu Malik
- Trend of movie acronyms had just started – QSQT, MPK, HAHK, DDLJ and so on
- For Marathi people, any movie was incomplete without either one of the four – Ashok Saraf, Laxmikant Berde, Sachin, Mahesh Kothare.
- And many more such things…which also changed quickly in subsequent 5-7 years
For some reason if you have forgotten your birth year, then you can take this quiz to check if you are a xennial!
Quiz: Are you a xennial?