Xennial, huh? I’ll talk more on that in a bit but first I’d like to give you a glimpse of a night in the life of me. It goes a lil’ something like this:
10:00 p.m. – Head upstairs, remove makeup, wash face, brush teeth, apply night cream.
10:13 p.m. – Mental pep talk commences: “I have to get more done tomorrow. I’m on my phone way too much. But not tomorrow. Tomorrow’s gonna be the start of the new me. The more productive me. I will only check my social accounts once. And not until after work. This is gonna be great.”
10:16 p.m. – Sleepytime.
2:30 a.m. – Awakened by a cry for Mom. Climb out of bed and go to child’s aid.
2:42 a.m. – Climb back in bed with mind awake. Toss and turn for 30 to 120 minutes.
6:00 a.m. – Awakened by a cry for Mom. Sloth it out of bed. Begin clothing child.
6:25 a.m. – Plop child in my bed, shove cereal filled snap trap in child’s hand, turn on Peppa Pig.
6:30 a.m. – Enter bathroom, pull up Facebook. “F!ck Me in the Goatass!”
Now if you’re an Xennial, most of you will totally get my last expletive. That’s because it’s from Adam Sandler’s second studio album, What the Hell Happened to Me. Released circa ’96 the album was fairly popular among my high school crowd.
But long before roaming the halls of Edgewood Senior High I was an acid wash jeans and jelly shoes wearing, Lisa Frank trapper keeper toting, Hi-C Ecto Cooler drinking student at Winslow Elementary School #1 SON!
Awwwwe yea. Born in 1980 I was the epitome of an ’80s child. I come from the land of Cabbage Patch Kids and cassette tapes. The Garbage Pail Kids were just a stone’s throw away. All I had to do was hop on my Huffy and ride down the street and there I was with my Big League Chew and my big brother telling me to “go home fart face!”
Home life was humble for this ’80s kid who had to get up off her ass, walk across the room and change the channel on the t.v. set that looked like a piece of furniture. And I’ll never forget the year my bro scored an Atari from Santa. I would anxiously wait for him to leave the house each day so I could grab hold of that legendary joystick and have my fill of Q*bert, Pac-Man and Asteroids.
The irony is that very few people understand the experiences listed above. Turns out I’m part of a fringe micro-generation that entered the world after the Boomers but before the Millennials. Originally dubbed the Oregon Trail Generation, Xennials are born between 1977 and 1983. The term was first introduced by writer Sarah Stankorb and recently brought back to light by Dan Woodman, Associate Professor of Sociology at .
Back in June, Woodman told an Australian lifestyle site that Xennials had the unique experience of pre-internet childhoods that led into tech-centered early adulthood.
“It was a particularly unique experience. You have a childhood, youth and adolescence free of having to worry about social media posts and mobile phones. It was a time when we had to organise to catch up with our friends on the weekends using the landline, and actually pick a time and a place and turn up there.”
Well said, mate, well said. I’m still traumatized by the reliance I had on my answering machine during my high school years. I can recount numerous times racing home to hear the evening’s plans only to find out I was too late. Talk about FOMO.
And now, here I am 20 years later crying about all the ways technology has made it easy to know what everyone’s doing at any given time. But herein lies the problem. As an Xennial, I am in a constant tug of war between real life and the pressures of the digital world.
Admittedly the same social media behavior I used to frown upon is sometimes at the core of my current posts and shares. My change in activity is partly due to my job and an effort to evolve with the times if you will. I’ll often research competitors and emerging trends and eventually mosey my way over to my personal page to see what’s up. It’s as if I’ve taken on the “if you can’t beat em’ join em'” mindset…
But now I’m realizing I might have a little bit of a problem and the Internet is the last place I need to look for help. What, with all it’s fake news and click baity subject matter, I’ll be searching for answers for days!
Cripes, I got caught in a video loop on Vogue right in the middle of doing research for this post. Not good for someone who quite possibly has ADHD but was never diagnosed because parents and doctors didn’t have time for that bullshit back in the ’80s.
The answer to my conundrum is actually quite clear. If I could control my hyperactivity throughout my schoolhood years and grow up to be somewhat of a responsible adult, I can most definitely shake the hold Zuckerberg and his developer nerds have on me.
As with most addictions, I do experience withdraw symptoms when away from my phone for extended periods of time. Ironically I’ve been finding comfort in a different device as of late. Her name is Alexa.
She can play millions of songs. These days I’m rocking out to the genre bars and bands pay homage to every night across this great land. I’m talking about the sweet sound of the ’80s. Until I can kick my filthy habit, Alexa will be serenading me with artists such as: Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, A-Ha, George Michael, Prince, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper and of course the one and only Madonna, Madonna, Madonna…
Are you an Xennial lost in this digital world? Scroll wayyyy down, leave a comment and let’s talk it out. Part of a different generation but still a fan of the ’80s? Tell me your favorite ’80’s tune so I can recover quicker! And if you enjoyed this post please share it with your friends and fam. That would be rad.