Gen X is often dominated by millennials and boomers. Born between 1965 and 1980, their beliefs, values, and societal contributions differ within this generation. However, they may be a misunderstood generation; here are 18 reasons why.
In between the millennials and boomers
Gen X shadows two other generations—the boomers (1946–1964) and the millennials’ (1980–1994) tech-savvy generation. Unfortunately, Gen X perspectives have been overlooked because of the unique angles presented within aspects of the workplace and social environments.
The impact of MTV
Growing up as a Gen X kid, it was the norm to experience the excitement of MTV; this helped expose them to certain music and culture. This doesn’t mean they should be stereotyped, as this influence has helped to shape their identity.
Navigating economic challenges
This generation entered a world filled with job market instability, recession, and turmoil and has been facing challenges since then. This helped shape their attitude toward their jobs and careers, and this is often misinterpreted as disloyalty toward their employers.
In comparison to kids who are reliant on their parents, Gen X individuals are known as the ‘latchkey kids:’ they were the more independent ones and stayed at home when their parents were out working. Characterized as the more self-sufficient generation, they can be misunderstood as being an aloof generation.
Technology and the Internet
Generation X children grew up with the internet as well; they were the first technological adopters in many industries and embraced it, in comparison to the Gen Z and millennial generations. However, as they were on the precipice of a time before this advancement, they have a flexible approach to it; their perspectives may be misunderstood.
Balancing their values
Those who belong to the Generation X era tend to embrace ideas more easily and strive to balance both traditional and modern approaches to life. They place their values in things they’re willing to embrace. Sometimes this can be seen as a lack of commitment.
The media misrepresents Gen X
Often, Gen X kids are misrepresented in the media. This could be because of the grunge attitudes they may have; others may have perceived them as lazy or slacking and rebelliously ambivalent about other people’s accomplishments.
Marketing efforts overlook them
Have you ever noticed how advertisements on television and elsewhere often target boomers and millennials and tend to leave out the Gen X populations in their promotional campaigns? This can cause a lot of misunderstanding among the consumer population in terms of preferences and behaviors.
Generation X enjoys more of an independent approach due to the historical context and their upbringing compared to boomers and millennials. Others may think they lack engagement within communities and can be isolated. Compared to millennials, who are seen as team players, Gen X can be more individualistic and independent.
Pioneers of achieving work-life balance
If an opportunity presents positives in aspects such as salary, benefits, independent work habits, and room for growth, Gen X will grab it the first chance they get. They do, however, know how to strike a good work-life balance and are advocates for it. This desire for them to be flexible can come across as a lack of ambition to others.
The overlooked generation in the middle
Discussions such as the impact on different generations and all the characteristics that are associated with it are often overlooked with this generation. They aren’t mentioned as much as the others and tend to end up being the forgotten ‘middle child.’
A pragmatic approach to politics
A common characteristic of the Gen X population is the ability to be moderate and pragmatic when it comes to politics. Judging by the events that took place during their time, it becomes obvious why they’re like this. This can be misunderstood as apathy, however.
A touch of skepticism
This point follows from the previous one; as mentioned, this generation grew up during a time of political upheaval, and events such as the Cold War, Vietnam War, and the Chernobyl disaster helped shape their perspective on life. This brought about some skepticism within them, which is seen as a negative trait by others.
An entrepreneurial mindset
Famous entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey, and Jeff Bezos all belong to Generation X, which goes to show they can be some of the best and smartest at this role and handle things themselves. This is also a reflection of their independent nature, and they can be misunderstood and overshadowed by other generations.
Adaptability is at its core
As one of the most adaptable generations in the world, they tend to be more flexible and can easily adapt to changing times and circumstances. Anything from societal shifts to technological advancements is included in this. However, this trait is often seen as a lack of passion.
Contributions to music and culture
There’s a common concept that states that millennials often take credit for the accomplishments of Generation X culture, fashion, music, and other things. The music of this era comprised genres such as ‘90s hip-hop, grunge, freestyle, etc. However, they’re being used in today’s media and claimed by millennials because they don’t have strong cultural or musical influences.
Unrecognized digital literacy prowess
Gen X is one of the most intelligent generations out there. According to King University, Generation X represents only 16% of the population in America, so it’s no wonder they’re seldom mentioned in the media and are overtaken by millennials and boomers. However, they’re some of the best at digital literacy, and this is often overlooked.
Styles of parenting
Every generation has its own unique set of parenting styles, and Gen X has theirs. Because of their upbringing, ideologies, and experiences, their style is more of a mix of traditional and modern approaches. When compared to other parenting styles, they’re often misunderstood as being too strict.
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