Thursday, April 28, 2011

X is for Generation X

I'm a member of Generation X, and I've always thought that belonging to this generation could be a serious blow to your self-esteem if you believed the majority of what the media had to say about it.

Supposedly, Generation X includes anyone born between 1965 and 1980. When I did a google search for Gen X, the main words that came up to describe us were "ignored," "forgotten," and, of course, "slackers."

Gen Xers were also described as nothing more than the people who came after the Baby Boomers, as if we were the younger siblings who could never quite measure up. Even the name is pretty sad compared to the far more colorful Boomers and Millennials. Generation X sounds like a bunch of clones or zombies from a science fiction movie.

When people do attempt to provide some sort of identity for the Gen Xers, it's never flattering. I saw this article from the 1990s, and had to laugh at this description of the Generation X stereotype:

"cynical, hopeless, frustrated and unmotivated slackers who wear grunge clothing, listen to alternative music and still live at home because they cannot get real jobs."

Well, okay then.

Except for the grunge and alternative music, which wasn't a negative, I never knew anyone who fit this ridiculous stereotype. The people I knew were going to school and working full-time jobs, and trying to make their way in the world just like young adults of every generation. I never knew any of these hopeless basement dwellers who played video games instead of working, and supposedly defined my generation.

Really I think the whole generation thing is silly anyway, and I wonder why it ever got started, and who came up with these names in the first place.

But even if I do find it silly, I'm glad for the Generation X label in this case, as I couldn't think of a single X word to write about for this post. I'm grateful to my sister for suggesting Gen X, and I'm very glad to be done with this letter.

Two more to go! :)


  1. Great pick for X. We really struggled with this one too. I'm agreeing with you on the cheer for only 2 more to go!

  2. X is a tricky letter, I even ended up opening up my dictionary for ideas and X only has one page. Though I did see something I could write about for today.

    I'm with you on the Gen X thing. I think part of it is just one generation looking down on the next because we don't measure up to their standards. Every generation has a unique culture they grew up in so of course things will be different. That doesn't mean that one generation is better or worse than the other. (Ya, I'm also a Gen Xer and not fond of the negativity - though I do listen to some alternative music).

  3. Lol! I hear you about X - this is a great post. I get frustrated by society boxing us into something that we are not. It is pretty silly.

    Yes...two more! I am actually surprised how fast it went.

    Have a great day!

  4. Awesomely excellent "X" post!

    I liked it - you gave some interesting insight on being part of Gen X - and I agree these labels are silly.
    Obviously "someone" had nothing to do one cold winter's day! Right!

    Super job.
    Cheers, Jenny

  5. Who comes up with this stuff? And why?

    Good choice for X! Especially for a slacker. :)

  6. Oh good word. I'm a Gen Xer too. It would be better if we had a better name. I used to think our generation got a bad deal coming after the Boomers and all but then I think that a lot of us went to college and were able to get decent jobs after college. I think a lot of kids starting out today aren't getting that.

  7. I'm proud to be a Gen-Xer as well! :)

  8. I would call myself a proud Gen Xer. I always enjoyed the slacker stereotype. I knew it wasn't true, quite the opposite actually. When Boomers saw their kids refusing to drink the Kool-aid, they had to make sense of it somehow. Thus was born the unmotivated slacker. I always felt like the joke was on anyone who actually bought that.

  9. I'm glad you did this post because I've never really understood the term. I was born within the period mentioned and as you noted, I also don't know a lot of these slackers who don't or can't hold a job and still live with their parents. And yes, the term always sounded like something out of a Sci-Fi movie.

  10. Yay for your sister, that was a super suggestion - and a good post. I'm glad x-day is over too!

    I’m A-Z Blogging on Langley Writes about Writing and Langley’s Rich and Random Life

  11. You wrote a wonderful letter X post.X is not an easy letter and I for one is glad it's over.


  12. I'm a Gen Xer, too, and the grunge music is certainly the only thing that holds up for me. I believe in the generation thing, but I think they've pegged us wrong. We just haven't bought into the baby-boomer rules, so they want to paint it negative.

  13. I really struggled with this one as well. Whew!

  14. I am also a generation X :)
    I loved growing up in the eighties! Fun times with BIG hair & great music! Love the post!

  15. I'm not a baby boomer and I'm not a gen-xer. I'm not sure what I am - the sad generation right after the baby boomers who always got screwed by them. lol

    It's funny how they try to sum us up so neatly. Like we're all the same.

  16. Whenever I hear the term Generation X I always think of Kevin Smith movies--which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    I wonder how much of the Gen-X label actually has to do with real traits universal to that generation, or if it's more reflective of the age they were when the label was created. Gen-X "qualities" feel more like those things anyone feels when they're in their early twenties and still trying to figure out what to do with their life.

    I enjoyed your post! I can't believe the challenge is almost over.

  17. Great post! I'vwe also read that Generation X'ers will save the Boomers from themselves. This is probably true, as we've been rather (ahem) self-indulgent. But, hey, thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it!

  18. So glad I started on the A-Z challenge as I've had the chance to read some great blogs-including yours. I still have a ways to go to catch up before Saturday but I wanted to let you know I'm enjoying your posts!

  19. The TV show Friends was based on Generation Xers! Then there's John Mayer's song Waiting. And doesn't President Obama belong to the Generation X? And I say, let's be proud of our generation!

  20. and alternative rock rules!

  21. I always thought it sounded cool- GEN X just by itself with no meaning attached, as reminded me of the alternative band X "She had to leave Los Angeles..."

    My friends and I were born in the early 70's and I assure you, that discription is not accurate by our definition. However, if you asked my mom, she was the first to say how lazy we were compared to their day...walking long distances, chores galore, rules/rules/rules.

    HA! We worked our butts off...

  22. hahah- we're not idiots, but I misspelled "description!"

  23. Great post for X and it was nice of you to thank your sister! So glad you're not the generation X
    stereotype! Julie

  24. Great pick for X. I didn't even realize I'm a gen X. I thought it was later. LOL Thanks for stopping by my blog. Love yours!

  25. Yay!! Someone wave the flag proudly for Gen X. I'm one, too and have always thought that the stereotypes were just wrong. Every generation is important and contributes to the circle of life. Great post and thanks for the follow!

  26. Slackers! I'm a Gen x'er, too. And I don't know anyone my age who is a slacker!

  27. @Amy, thanks!

    @Claire, I looked in the dictionary as well and got nowhere. Totally agree on the generations!

    @Tracy Jo, thanks! I think it went fast as well, the month has flown.

    @Jenny, thank you. LOL, you are probably right about someone with nothing better to do!

    @L.G., ha ha thanks! That's what I wonder too, who comes up with all of this?

    @Carrie, oh, that's a great point about kids now. It's so tough for anyone looking for work, they are really coming out of school in tough times.

    @Jeffrey, thanks for coming by! :)

    @Tim, you made me laugh about the kool-aid ha ha. :D

    @J.L., thanks, I totally agree.

    @Langley, thank you! I was dreading X all month, I couldn't think of anything!

    @Yvonne, thank you! :)

    @Hart, yeah, I agree, grunge was the only thing I thought was actually representative.

    @Karen, I seems almost everyone had a rough time with X!

    @Snakesmom, thank you, I loved the 80s too!!

    @MPax, that is a sad state LOL. It really is silly, I agree.

    @Kendal, good point, I think you're probably right. Thanks!

    @Kittie, oh, I've never read that about the Xers saving the Boomers from themselves. Funny!! All of this just makes me laugh really. Thank you!

    @JulieDD, oh, thank you, it's great to meet you! I'm so glad you like my blog, thanks so much. I will look forward to catching up with yours as well. :)

    @Samantha, thank you! :)

    @Kara, agreed on all counts! :D

    @ahhsome, oh that's a good point about the band X, that is cool. I also like the band Generation X from the early 80s. Very true about the older generation, and I wouldn't even have noticed the misspelling LOL LOL.

    @Julie, thanks! I try not to be! :D

    @Ciara, thank you, I think your blog is great!

    @Melissa, you're welcome and thank you too! Great to meet you.

    @Talli, I don't either LOL.

  28. Yes, I am a member of Generation X, too. No one I know in this category fits the description either. Great topic for "X"!

  29. I remember high school, and we were pretty unmotivated back then, so maybe that is where the "slacker" comes in.

    And of course, global warming is all our fault. All that hairspray from the 80s had to go somewhere!

  30. @Susan, thanks! It's great to meet another Gen Xer. :)

    @Not Just Another Mother Blogger, haha, you have a good point about the hairspray! :D Thanks for coming by, it's great to meet you! :)


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