I have always chafed at being called a millennial. While my birth year fits the traditional definitions of a millennial, I dislike being lumped in by politicians, professionals, and academics as fitting into this demographic. But for those of us born between 1977 and 1983, there is good news! Experts are now saying we fill the gap of a mini-generation, a bridge so to speak, between Generation X and the Millennials, called Xennials.
I grew up listening to cassette tapes (truth be told, my first experience with music was on my dad's reel-to-reel), and I did not even watch a DVD until I had graduated from high school. When I was in high school all of my written assignments were done with paper and pen, and back in my courting days, my now-husband sent me handwritten love letters – in cursive! I used to work out at the gym at my first college with a bona fide Walkman. I was in my mid-twenties before I owned a cell phone (when I was in my late teens and early twenties I was convinced only drug dealers had cell phones).
I started working at the age of 15 and had been making money babysitting for years before that. No one bought me or any of my friends cars when we turned 16, and I was well aware growing up that I would pay for college myself. Before I graduated high school, I could not only complete my academic requirements, but I also knew how to balance a budget, fill out a tax return and very begrudgingly, I knew how to cook a few basic meals as well.
However, I also was part of this bridge that, while we grew up without technology, we adapted to it very easily once it came along. I met my husband online in 2000, back when that sort of thing was still very novel. These days, I rely on my cell phone to remind me of every deadline or appointment, my Fitbit wakes me up every day and I take all my courses online via one of my laptops. I have all too readily embraced the convenience of modern technology – and often to my own peril. But that is another post for another day.
I was part of a generation that grew up entirely without new technology. I learned to play video games on an Intellivision and was nearly a teenager before we had a cordless phone in the house. But that same generation is now using Uber, buying groceries on Amazon Prime, and one of my goals for this year is to master the use of my drone. It's kind of sad to think that there are currently generations of people that don't have a memory of waiting for a dial-up internet connection! Luckily, they make ringtones of that sound!
I am pleased to be a Xennial!