Xennials: The Micro-Generation Between Gen X And Millennials

By this point, we all know that Generation X refers to those born between 1960 and 1980, while Generation Y, or Millennials, groups together anyone born between 1980 and 2000. 

Of course, we're also aware of each label's loosely defined characteristics. The former is described as "disaffected and directionless" and the latter is that emotionally needy internet generation you hear so much about in tabloids. 

But if you've ever felt that you don't quite fit in on either side, we might have just the term for you. Make way for the Xennials.


Claire Danes and Jared Leto in My So-Called Life. (Photo: ABC)

Noticing a gap between the two terms, some older millennials started to make a stand, coming up with a new word that would better describe them. 

Put into practice by Good back in 2014, the magazine defined Xennials as serving "as a bridge between the disaffection of Gen X and the blithe optimism of Millennials." 

A micro-generation gathering those born between 1977 and 1983, Xennials are also referred to as the 'Catalano generation' for Jared Leto's character on the series My So-Called Life

But today, the label is having a second wind thanks to a viral Facebook post from June about the elusive sub-generation. Gathering more than 26,000 shares, the word clearly resonated with people. 

According to Dan Woodman, associate professor of sociology from the University of Melbourne, it all comes down, once again, to technology. In his analysis on Xennials he writes: 

"It was a particularly unique experience. 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."

According to the sociologist, while the labels obviously don't apply to everyone, they are "useful" to remind us of "social context and the experiences that shaped our lives."

If haven't quite sussed it out yet, Mashable has kindly offered a breakdown of the various generations which you can check out below. Otherwise, the Guardian has set out a quiz to sort out the matter once and for all. 

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