Who are Gen X: An underappreciated and underrated generation
Generation X (also known as Gen X) is the demographic cohort that comes after the Baby Boomers and before the Millennials. While there is no strict consensus on the exact range of birth years that define this group, it is generally accepted that Gen Xers were born between the mid-1960s and the early 1980s.
The term “Generation X” was first coined by Canadian author Douglas Coupland in his 1991 book, “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture.” Coupland used the term to describe the young people he saw in their 20s and 30s who were disillusioned with traditional institutions and the cultural norms of their parents’ generation.
Some of the defining characteristics of Generation X include:
- Independent and self-sufficient: Growing up in an era of dual-income households and latchkey kids, Gen Xers learned to be self-sufficient and independent from a young age.
- Entrepreneurial: Many Gen Xers are entrepreneurial, with a desire to create their own businesses and pursue non-traditional career paths.
- Skeptical of authority: Gen Xers tend to be skeptical of authority and institutions, due in part to growing up during a time of political and social upheaval.
- Technologically savvy: While not digital natives like the Millennials, Gen Xers were the first generation to grow up with personal computers and have embraced technology in their personal and professional lives.
- Pragmatic: Gen Xers tend to be practical and pragmatic in their approach to life, with a focus on getting things done and achieving their goals.
- Diverse: Gen X is a highly diverse generation, with a wide range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
- Family-oriented: Gen Xers tend to value family and work-life balance, often opting for flexible work arrangements and prioritizing time with their loved ones.
- Independent-minded: Gen Xers value individualism and personal freedom, and often reject traditional norms and expectations.
In terms of their impact on society, Gen Xers have played a significant role in shaping culture, politics, and the economy. They were the driving force behind the grunge and alternative music movements of the 1990s, and have been credited with pioneering the use of social media and other digital technologies.
In the workplace, Gen Xers are known for their leadership skills and their ability to bridge the gap between Baby Boomers and Millennials. As they continue to move into positions of power and influence, they will likely play an increasingly important role in shaping the future of society.