14 Reasons It Appears That No One Cares About Gen X

Between loud and proud Baby Boomers and equally vocal Millenials lies a much quieter Gen X, the 13th generation born in the U.S. They are a smaller bunch compared to Boomers and Millenials, and they saw the fall of the Berlin Wall and the rise (and fall) of MTV. Yet, they are often referred to as a “slacker generation.” So, what makes Generation X so seemingly irrelevant compared to other generations? Let’s dive in. 

The numbers work against Gen X 


There are around 65 million Gen Xers in the U.S. More importantly, when it comes to finances, all eyes are on Boomers, who are the richest, Millenials, who are going to inherit Boomers and Gen Y, the country’s future. Gen X doesn’t[have power in numbers or their wallets, which is one of the reasons they’re easily overlooked.

Gen Xers are stuck in the middle 


Gen Xers are more liberal than Boomers and more conservative than Millennials. Boomers brought significant social changes, while Millennials took over the tech world. Gen X adopted these achievements but did not accomplish much. They did, however, listen to the best modern music since they grew up from the late 1970s to the early ’90s.

Self-sufficient generation 


Gen Xers mainly were latchkey children, meaning they had to take themselves to school, go home, and wait for their parents. This taught them to entertain themselves, which led to their being labeled as the least nurtured generation in U.S. history. So, Gen Xers were brought up to get things done and watch MTV, John Hughes movies, and Star Wars. 

Even their name is not original 


WWII photographer Robert Capa initially coined the term Gen X. It described young adults in the 1950s but did not stick. Fast-forward to Canadian writer Douglas Coupland and his novel Generation X, which describes coming of age among friends in the Coachella Valley in southern California, and the term was suitable this time around. 

They are known to be cynical 


Though it is a stereotype that can’t be applied to everyone who belongs to Gen X, there is some truth to calling them cynical. Due to high divorce rates and career-driven parents, many Gen Xers developed specific coping mechanisms. They are the first generation to use “Whatever” as a comeback. You will understand their cynicism and dissatisfaction if you listen to Soundgarden, AIC, or Nirvana, which are bands that Gen Xers love. 

Most do not want to be labeled


While Boomers, Millenials, and Gen Z are easily labeled, Gen X quietly rejects being marked. They are not as vocal regarding issues but are more focused on actions, which is admirable. However, when you have constant fights between other generations, it is easy to get lost if you are unwilling to speak up. 

Media portrayal 


The media portrays Gen Xers as fillers between OK Boomers and avocado-loving Millennials. They are described as independent, self-reliant lone wolves, but rarely anyone talks about their values, beliefs, or struggles. For example, Friends is a Gen X show, but no one talks about it. There is a lack of Gen X representation, but they may not mind it, or so it seems. 

Their style is anti-fashion

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Gen Xers are less likely to be trendchasers compared to other generations. They were always more focused on individuality, so calling Gen X anti-fashion seems appropriate. Even iconic GenXers, like Bjork, Kurt Cobain, or Johnny Depp, became style icons because they played by their own rules. 

No time to waste 


Gen X might be the only generation that has figured out work-life balance. They are juggling aging parents, kids, and work without complaining. This could be because they learned how to set up boundaries early on, so they are not on call 24/7 like Millennials. They also did not want to be overworked like their parents, so Gen Xers are navigating lives with no time to waste. 

Lack of social media presence


Gen Xers are tech-savvy, but they are far from Millennials. They can navigate social networks but remember life before the internet craze. Besides, social networks are divided between the two loudest generations. Since Gen Xers are not so dependent on their phones and like to fly under the radar, they are usually silent networkers. 

Xers don’t see themselves as special 


Boomers and Millennials are unique flowers, but Gen X is rather humble. A 2010 Pew Center survey found that over 60 percent of Millennials and Boomers described their generations as unique. In contrast, Gen Xers, who said they were an exceptional generation, made up around 50 percent, and most had no idea what makes them distinctive.

Stuck between dreams and reality


Gen X lived through the Cold War, the Great Depression of the 2000s, 9/11, the AIDS pandemic, and the rise of technology. With their parenthood, they had to learn to be pragmatic. Gen Xers have strong work ethics, but according to surveys, unlike the majority of Millennials, they would pick a dream job over a highly paid one. 

Masters of self-depreciating humor


To deal with absent parents and world changes while struggling to find their place in the world, Gen Xers became masters of self-deprecating and dark humor. It is direct, honest, often too close to reality and full of nostalgia. They do not want to find humor in today’s political landscape but in real-life situations and frequently listen to stand-up specials by Jerry Seinfeld and Robin Williams. 

Independent in every sense 


A few short years ago, around 44 percent of Gen Xers claimed to be politically independent and were the first to leave political discussions. While they always cared about the environment and diversity, as time went by and Gen Xers became middle-aged, they had even fewer reasons to speak up.  

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