Let’s Just Nip This “Xennial” Thing in the Bud Right Now

No one understands me! I'm going to listen to OK Computer a thousand times! Let me know when you're off the phone so I can go on AOL.

Yeah, I played SimCity 2000 in high school. So I’m an “Xennial” now? Gross.

Oh sweet Jesus, I’m an Xennial.

Apparently, anyway. It’s the term du jour for people born roughly between 1976 and 1983, who are both Generation X and Millennial, with “analogue childhoods and digital adulthoods.” In terms of cultural referents, I guess this would be defined as people who laugh in equal measure at Broad City and The State. People who thought Jordan Catalano and Kelly Bundy (OK, maybe) were way hot, but who also know who Luis Fonsi is. But let’s be clear about one thing: Like the eye-roll-worthy “metrosexual” from 13 years ago, “xennial” is a term almost nobody will use with a straight face to refer to themselves or anyone they like.

Is this trend-let happening now because Mandy Moore was cast in a horror movie that’s out right now? Because I found that very confusing.

In almost all other aspects of human identity, fluidity is the way to go. But not here. The fact that I hate the term “Xennial” as much as I do clearly indicates I’m a miserable, cynical Gen Xer at heart. (I should go to Maxfield’s House of Caffeine and stew about it!) But maybe the fact that I’m denouncing it on the internet and might even tweet it out means I’m a Millennial?

Aside from a seven-year military dictatorship in Argentina and Clarissa Explains It All, I can’t think of anything that really unites the Xennial micro-generation. Astrologically speaking, everybody born from 1973 to 1984 has Pluto in Libra, which basically means “the only constant is change,” so that’s no help. I only know that I was conceived under Jimmy Carter and born in that brief window after Ronald Reagan was inaugurated but before he was shot. The No. 1 song when I was born was “I Love a Rainy Night” by Eddie Rabbitt and I don’t even know who that is. I’m all kinds of fucked up, generationally speaking.

Since the internet came out when people my age were young teenagers, here’s a good rule of thumb for determining which generation you were born in: If the first time you masturbated was before the first time you logged on, you’re an Xer. If it’s the other way around, you’re a Millennial. 

View Comments