Ah, labels. Everyone loves labels. Is there anything better when you want to tar thousands of people with the same brush?
Born between the mid-’80s and the mid-’90s? You’re a Millennial. You like avocados and lattes and will never own property.
Mid-’60s to late-’70s? You’re a Gen-Xer, or part of Generation X. You like apathy and the Smashing Pumpkins.
But what about the group in between. Do we really need a label for those six years or so in between the end of one and the start of another. According to one man, yes.
Dan Woodman, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Melbourne, has coined the word ‘Xennial’ to refer to that group born between 1977 and 1983.
Not a Gen-Xer, not a Millennial, but with the coolest part of both words. And, as MammaMia notes, Professor Woodman was himself born in that time period.
Those who fit into the new category, entering their formative years around the turn of the Millennium, include Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ronaldinho, and both members of mid-2000s psychedelic rock act MGMT. It’s a rich tapestry.
The main thing that separates his micro-generation from Millennials, Woodman, argues, relates to consumption of media and technology.
"We learned to consume media and came of age before there was Facebook and Twitter and Snapchat and all these things where you still watch the evening news or read the newspaper," he told MammaMia.
"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.”
Of course, there will always be individuals in one generation who don’t feel a huge affinity with it, or who think they have more in common with labels attached to older or younger generations.
They have two options in such a scenario: either they can ignore the labels, which can feel empty and meaningless anyway, or they can give themselves a cool new name starting with an X. The choice is theirs.
(Images: Rex Features)