The Xennial generation is distinct in that it experienced a significant technological advance from their analog youth to their digital maturity. They viewed movies on analog VCR tapes as small kids and listened to music on cassette cassettes on portable Walkmans. The Xennial Generation saw digital laser discs and listened to portable CD players as older kids and teenagers.
Beginning in their college years, Xennials listened to music on the first iPods and rented movies on DVD from rental stores.
Xennials are the first generation to have cellphones before they became adults. As young children, they had rotary phones that used a circular dial to one number at a time instead of buttons or speed dial. Mobile phones quickly become available as the Xennial Generation were in high school and college years. Xennials have had every type of cell phone available as they were entering into adulthood as they became a normal part of Western society.
What is the Xennial generation?
The Xennial Generation are a micro generation born between 1977 and 1983 on the cusp of the Gen Xers and Millennials.
Xennials were born between the major generations Generation X and Millennials in the years 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, and 1983.
Xennial Age Range
As of 2023, Xennials range between 40 years old and 46 years old.
Xennials are the bridge between two major generations, Gen Xers and the Millennial Generation, so they have characteristics of both generations. They are less likely to be labeled as pessimistic gen xers as they are known for their open communication. Yet, Xennials may be seen as being from an older age group by Millennials. A formative event for Xennials was that they were the first generation to enter into adulthood during the 9-11 Attack which helps them relate to the slightly younger Millennials. Xennials were raised by Baby Boomer parents who worked long hours, so they came home to an empty house in a similar way to Generation X who are often called the Latchkey Generation.
Being bridge builders between people from different age groups comes naturally to Xennials because they were accustomed to the generational differences as intermediates. This situation helped them develop their unique characteristics as tech savvy, adaptable individuals who were natural mediators.
Xennial Generation Characteristics:
Eager to Learn
Adaptable to technology changes and groups of various generations
Natural Mediators and Bridge Builders
Eager to Learn
Growing up in the Xennial Generation was exciting because a new piece of technology, a new type of cell phone, a new computer game was always being released. With each new technological change came a new learning experience. As the internet expanded, they were connected with people all around the world in ways that a Gen Xer couldn’t have imagined as a child. Xennials group up in a very stimulating environment which left them with an eagerness to learn. They also went to college just before the cost skyrocketed for Millennials and Gen Z, making many young adults and teenagers debate whether getting an advanced degree is financially viable.
Being born on the cusp of two generations, Xennials grew up with friends that were either Gen Xers or Millennials. They were raised by the ambitious Baby Boomers who worked long hours so they became very independent. Combined with the technology leap from analog to digital, change became a normal part of Xennial life, making them highly adaptable in various situations.
Natural Intergeneration Mediators
Xennials excel as intergenerational mediators due to their unique position between Gen X and Millennials. Their blend of analog upbringing and digital integration enables them to bridge generational gaps, facilitating understanding, communication, and cooperation across varying technological and cultural contexts.
Xennials in the Workforce
Xennials in the workforce are bridge builders that are most often seen in roles such as middle management, trainers, counselors, mediators, teachers and project managers. Their adaptability and being born on the cusp of two generations make them a natural choice for conflict resolution and teaching roles.
New technologies entered into Western society as Xennials were growing up. Digital technology began to rise in their childhood and adolescence, setting the stage for modern technology as they first entered their adult years. These technological advances meant the had an adolescence free of social media, but this tech savvy bunch began using MySpace and Facebook as they graduated college. Many Xennials got their first cell phones at the same time they made their first social media posts.
The Xennial Generation are sometimes called the Oregon Trail generation because they grew up during the rise of computer game like The Oregon Trail which later became a card game. The Xennials generation were the first kds to grow up with dedicated game consoles from Japan. They played basic video games such as Pacman, Donkey Kong, and Space Invaders on the Atari and Coleco game systems. This was quickly replaced by the more advanced Nintendo game system that brought such classics at Super Mario Bros. and Zelda. Technology developed so quickly that they were the first generation to have portable Gameboys with such games as Final Fantasy and Tetris. As adolescents, Xennials played Sega, Super Nintendo, and later PlayStation. They were in college as the first Xbox was released, quickly leading to Xbox 360 and several Sony PlayStation versions that set the stage for modern gaming.
Xennials vs Gen X
Generation X (born 1965-1980) who were known as the MTV Generation, grew up in the 1970’s with disco balls and 1980’s as rap, hard rock, and new wave took over the music industry. Xennials came of age to Grunge music and hip-hop after most of Gen Xers had already reached adulthood. Gen X were all adults when the 9-11 Attack happened while Xennials were in college or had just graduated on September 11th, 2001.
Xennials are more open to collaborating in a team, often finding themselves resolving conflicts between team members. Their identity as a bridge build requires that they interact with other people. But like most Gen Xers who came home to an empty house with their own house key, Xennials are independent enough to complete tasks when their team falls behind.
Xennials vs Millennials
Much like Millennials (born 1981 to 1996), Xennials were still in their formative years when the reality of terrorism revealed itself in the 9-11 Attack in NYC. So they grew up with the new awareness that the world is not as stable as it had once seemed before the rise of terrorist attacks. But the younger Millennials were more impacted by the rise of social media as they were younger when it became a part of their lives. So the Millennial identity was more influenced by their online presence during more impressionable ages.
Xennials vs Zennials
Xennials (born 1977 to 1983) and Zennials (born 1993 to 1998) were born on the opposite sides of the Millennial Generation. Xennials are older because they were born on the cusp of elder Millennials and the youngest Gen Xers. Zennials , aka Zillennials, are the youngest Millennials and oldest members of Gen Z born on the cusp of both generations.
Baby Boomers Parents
Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964) are the parents of Xennials. Like Generation X, they grew up with hard working parents that priorities work first and family bonds second. So Xennials learned to adapt to being alone and formed meaningful bonds with their friends of many ages. They often stayed at friends homes playing the latest videos games or watching MTV until late at night instead of spending lots of time with family members. Many Xennials have found a new connection with their Baby Boomer parents as they enter into retirement to rediscover the importance of family. Like both Generation X and the Millennial Generation, Xennials favor a work life balance which was a break from the norm of their Baby Boomer parents.
Am I a Xennial or Millennial?
People born between 1977-1983 are in a special group called Xennials on the cusp of Generation X and the Millennial generation.
The micro-generation Xennials is pronounced Ex-en-ee-als in English.
Is 1981 Millennial?
People born in 1981 are on the cusp of Gen X and Millennials, which are often called Xennials. They are on the Millennial side of the generational cutoff of 1980.
Is 1982 Millennial?
People born in 1982 are on the cusp of Millennials and Gen X, so they are considered part of the micro-generation Xennials. They are on the Millennial side of the 1980 generational cutoff with Gen X.
Is 1983 Millennial?
People born in 1983 are Xennials because they were born on the cusp of Gen X and Millennials. They are on the Millennial side of the cutoff year of 1980 with Gen X.