It’s a funny thing to be a Generation X person, and a wickedly exciting, yet insane and perplexing perspective to have.
We are the bookmarks between two dynamic chapters with wildly differing opinions. Where the Boomers are high touch socially, preferring face to face interaction, Millennials are high tech, mostly hands off conversationalists–not too disturbed by not speaking directly to people’s faces–weaned on a solid diet of cyber connections.
To surf the waves of each is what Gen Xers seem to do best–oftentimes explaining each to the other.
You see, we remember life with and without high tech–playing outside and gaming indoors. We remember and can use card catalogs and Google to research–recollecting with disdain our needing to finish reports before the library closed, because reference books could not be checked out–lamenting that not too many of our friends had shelves of dictionaries and encyclopedias that we could count on to save us after hours.
Because papers were ALWAYS completed at the last minute.
We remember how our Saturdays were cereal and cartoon days, and the very date when video killed the radio star.
We are young enough to see our fads from the 70s and 80s come around again, and old enough to know better than to spend our money on them.
We are fluent in our native tongues, know and embrace grammar, but can speak with emojis and actually understand what we just wrote.
We recall the days when sports heroes didn’t get multimillion dollar deals just to play, and suited up for the love of the game.
We remember when television concluded its broadcasting day, being our family’s first remote control, and the disappointment when our slim hour or two of nightly viewership was ruined by the State of the Union address.
We have dated traditionally and in the age of swiping left and right, and truly understand what excruciatingly slow internet speeds are.
Two words, dial up.
Not only that, we remember no internet and early internet without colors and all of the bells and whistles that make it so entertaining today.
Oh yeah, and those actually floppy disks.
We know music from the album to the iPod, and how a pencil can save your favorite mixtape that you spent hours hovered over the pause and play/record buttons to make from the radio Top Ten.
Yearly Christmas wrestling matches began with our having to have a Cabbage Patch Kid, and if you got one, in your eyes, you realized that your parent had probably sacrificed their mild-mannered self worth to get it.
We remember the wall coming down, before and after Apartheid, and actually seeing Nelson Mandela walk free.
It is a strange brew we are concocted from, and have learned to adapt from the lessons of the Greatest Generation of grandparents and Boomer parents.
We also have learned to navigate this fast paced digital world by taking our fearless knowledge of the early days of computing, and pairing it with the equally fearless strides Millennials make in our increasingly cyber world.
While there are archaic beliefs that no longer serve us and new fangled trends we can see are too ridiculous to embrace, we choose to be the bridge between both worlds.
The Baby Boomers taught us how to be rebels and the Millennials remind why it is important to continue to be–not to rest too easy upon our laurels.
In conclusion, by bridging the gap, Generation X will continue to make our mark as rocks between these two islands of constantly shifting sands–helping to foster understanding and compassion between two distinct, oppositional forces that are increasingly at odds with each other.
One generation making their last stand in a world they see as slipping from their grasp, and the other wanting to blaze a trail and show that they have finally arrived.
With our work as Gen Xers and unique perspective, we hope to noticeably highlight the unmitigated fact that these two often warring factions have treasure troves of worth and value to each other that often goes unnoticed from day to day.
image credit: Pixabay