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Where Is Generation X - Are They Forgotten?

Updated on January 2, 2017
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish has 30 years of successful experience in medicine, psychology, STEM courses, and aerospace education (CAP).


Memories | Source

Generation in the Middle

Rather than being bored within Generation X nostalgia, some pundits report that Generation X is actually The Forgotten Generation.

Sandwiched between the Baby Boomers [1945 - 1964] and the Millennials [circa 1980 - 2000], Generation X (roughly 1965 - 1979) is more like the now-mythical forgotten middle child. Birth order theory was invalidated long ago, but the middle child syndrome advocates have not relaxed their grip on it.

America has 80 million Boomers and 78+ million Millennials, but only 46 million Gen X-ers.

A Generation X-er's Salute to 1990s Nostalgia

Boomers may see X people as "kids", while Millennials might view them as "past it." Thus, both of the larger groups may indeed be tired of Generation X nostalgia, while Gen X is still fighting for a place and recognition in American Society.

Overall, more individuals in America are likely to be tired of the Baby Boomers than of Generation X. Generation X has been plagued by economic recessions at least twice and by other events that have been detrimental to them as as generation.

While this has been occurring, other generations have not focused highly on them because of this and because of the smaller size of Gen X as a group -- Other generations may not pay enough attention to X-ers in order to tire of them and Generation X may largely be tired of everything, in light of the profuse writing extant that points to a pervasive cynicism among X-ers.

At the same time, Generation X has been drawn to nostalgia-themed TV shows (That 70's Show) and VH1 and later MTV for music of the past. Other generations may be, in fact, tired of this nostalgia enjoyed by Generation X (and other individuals), but they can choose not to view it. In many of the X-er's opinions, Boomers, and to a greater extent, the Millennials, are largely hogging the rest of the media with their shows.

The Boomers seem to feel that the Millennials are hogging the market so they (Boomers) have "nothing to watch", except Boston Legal (it was stated on that show, in fact), which has concluded production.

Perhaps the Boomers and X-er's together are more tired of the Millennials than the Millennials are of anybody else.

Tired of Boomer & Generation Y Nostalgia

Many people of Generation X seem to be tired of the Boomers hogging society. They are really tired of hearing about Haight-Ashbury, the Summer of Love, the Beatles, and all the rest of it. I can understand this sentiment, because I am tired of some parts of it myself.

Author Jeff Gordinier declares that he is tired of having these things, as well as Facebook, Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, and other modern contrivances shoved down his throat.

His latest book is called X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft But Can Still Keep Everything From Sucking. Though written tongue-in-cheek, it is provocative.

After the birth of his first child, Gordinier wrote the essay (included in his book) titled Has Generation X Already Peaked? In it, he described how the Boomers and the Millennials were hogging all of society's attention. He was tired of hearing about how the first Boomers were turning 60, then about how they were collecting Social Security but still vibrant and active. At the same time, he felt tortured by daily doses of media coverage for Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and other young celebrities. He felt that Gen-X-ers were receiving no recognition.

A second author, Douglas Rushkoff, wrote the book GenX Reader,describing how Generation X inherited a recession post-1988, the dot-com collapse, and AIDS, had difficulties in obtaining jobs, and rejected adult Boomer/Yuppie philosophies about accumulating wealth.

Generation Y (the Millennials), he and Gordinier both feel, then became completely "stuff" happy - materialistic and greedy celebrity chasers. He would rather hear something about The Greatest Generation, the Boomers' parents -- And this makes sense, since children and their grandparents sometimes have better rapport than children and their parents. Gen X may wish to interact more in-depth with The Greatest Generation before the last of that group expires.

Jeff Gordinier - X Saves the World

Other Opinions

Other writers feel, however, that Generation X was trained in school to analyze Madison Avenue and commercial advertising and not be taken in by it. Some submit that Xers are rather left out of the limelight because they won't play the game that the Y folks enjoy - stuff and money. At the same time, they hold up what they see as Gen X high-level accomplishments: Google, MySpace, YouTube, and, and the innovative films of Quentin Tarantino.

Barack Obama was born near the end of the Baby Boom Generation and is seen perhaps as more related to Generation X. Journalist Thomas L. Friedman has written that Generation X will inherit the results of the Obama Presidency with its focus on nationalized healthcare and building a green infrastructure to support sustainability industries and thereby spur new economic growth to replace that developed by Big Oil and related entities. He writes about the Bailout of American banks and other industries at The Real Generation X.

Other writers feel that Obama is part of what is known as Generation Jones, born between - or overlapping a section of - the Boomers and X-ers, from roughly 1954 - 1965. In fact, many media analysts have referred to the President Elect as a member of Generation Jones. No matter the reason they do so, using this designation shows that Obama is different from the Boomers as a whole and from the Baby Boom Presidents that came before him. The designation provides hope for positive changes in America.

All this aside, Generation X may be more tired of the Boomers' and Millennials' cultures and histories than anyone is of the X-ers'. Those tired of the X nostalgia, which they deserve to have and promote, can likely avoid it.

Karen McCullough Humor -- Gen X in the Workplace

Down the Generations

Whose nostalgia bores you to distraction?

See results

Generation X, by Douglas Coupland

Author Douglas Coupland also used term Generation X when he write his book Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture. New York: St Martin's Griffin.

Some of the author's definitions in the text encapsulate some beliefs prevalent among a some or large parts of Generation X and are provided below: If you're an Xer and disagree or have others to add, please add them to the comments at the end of the document. 

Historical Overdosing: Addiction to the media, while living in an era when nothing seems to happen.

101-ism: Picking apart in minute detail, all aspects of life using half-understood pop psychology. This refers to looking at everything as a pseudo college course -- Example: Dating 101, George W. Bush 101, Rascism 101.

Air Family: A pretense of a family-type community among office coworkers. (I've experienced this one firsthand.)

Celebrity Schadenfreude: Thrills received from talking about celebrity deaths.

Legislated Nostalgia: Forcing a group of people to have memories they did not live. Example: Boomers forcing their history on Generation X, who are tired of hearing about it. The Boomers complained about their own parents every time they heard the words, "When I was your age..."

McJob - a survival job with low pay, no status, no future, and very often, insulting superiors.

Cult of Aloneness: Those that feel a need for autonomy and self reliance, sometimes to the point of exclusion of long-term relationships.

© 2008 Patty Inglish

Xers and Others, Share Your Opinions

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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 23 months ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thanks very much for your thoughts and comments! I look forward to new developments in the living generations as time goes on.

    • Boomer Music Man profile image

      Boomer Music Man 23 months ago

      Great stuff you have here. Although, I am a boomer but I do appreciate what you have written. My sister in law belongs to the Generation X and sheis a wonderful person.

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 6 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Good hub! I am a Baby Boomer. The glorified generation. However, I shall not digress. I like Generation X or the 13th Generation. Your generation has so been wrongfully maligned. However, I find that your generation is often more mature, pragmatic, aggressive, and tough than either us Baby Boomers and the succeeding Millenials.

      Generation X knows how to make lemonade out of lemons. Your generation is a get up and go generation. They were also the first generation to be computer savvy and there are plenty of entrepeneurs and self-starters among your generation. I have nothing but praise for your generation.

      Yes, you maintain that your generation may be the proverbial middle child to the Baby Boomer's oldest and the Millenial's youngest child. However, the middle child is often THE ROCK, THE GLUE, and THE POWER BEHIND THE THRONE of the family. I appreciate this generation and others should too.

    • profile image

      alice 8 years ago

      Just to remind you that amazing people is born generation after generation, and it doesn´t matter when you were born but what are you doing with your life. So don´t get grumpy ;)

      By the way, I found this site after visiting:

      It has some good articles about Generation Y (that would be mine).

    • profile image

      Tony 9 years ago

      I just turned 40 - the middle of Gen X. I hope the generation that comes into positions of power will be motivated by something more than self-interest and greed. Is it unfortunate that Gen X lived through two recessions and now faces an economic crash, or is the issue that our leaders don't care what their children face, or is it that human nature is what it is and we all need to evolve emotionally? I have seen and heard enough BS in my life. I've read about the 'slackers'. Knowing what I know now, I should have been a slacker and proud of it. What I consider a drain on the economy is the manipulation and greed by those that have more than most. If I have run out of patience as a Gen Xer, I am sure that I am not the only one. Finally, I will say that any trust or respect I had for the parents of my generation is gone and couldn't be earned in a lifetime. I will say the same for big business and politics run by what can only be considered leaders with psychopathic qualities.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thanks for the useful link!

    • webheadfred profile image

      webheadfred 9 years ago from

      I found Generation X!! At least a columnist who is blogging about Gen X going back to 1980 to our present day.... check it out at

      interesting stuff, especially if you're an Xer, and there's an RSS feed to stay up to date with the blog.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Haha! If I write about it, I'll be over it, I'm sure. I'll get it done before Christmas for American History - The Johnson Administration I think it was... And I'm sure it was a tme of heightened crop circle activity and such as well.

    • ajcor profile image

      ajcor 9 years ago from NSW. Australia

      Patty - not a wisecrack - but I am a little shamfaced to admit that I really don't know what the summer of love was/is...but I thought that if you are "over it" so to speak - you would probably know quite a bit about it and could dash something off - and with the inclusion of outer space creatures it could be really

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      ajor - Is that a wisecrack, my friend? LOL :) I COULD put it under American History. Maybe I can put Outer Space creatures into to liven it up.

    • ajcor profile image

      ajcor 9 years ago from NSW. Australia

      Great hub - Patty - just a suggestion - if it is not too boring for you maybe you might like to do a hub on the Summer of Love.... cheers

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thanks for the interesting comments, Everyone! Some of the features of each generation can be annoying as well as fascinating.

    • profile image

      Writer Rider 9 years ago

      Thanks for answering my request. Great hub! I'm right smack in the middle of Gen-X, am a middle child, lunched between the Boomers and Gen-Y. So yes, I'm suffering from middleness syndrom. Unfortunately I do not have the pleasure of hearing about the summer of love because my parents are a decade too old to have lived it. Bummer all the same, since their entire lives revolves around every minute rule known to man.

    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 9 years ago from Neverland

      That's truly sad about the young people who wound up homeless. I think I will stick with my generation's legacy...we have it alright enough.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 9 years ago from Wisconsin

      Very thought provoking. Never thought about it that way. It explains why I'm frustrated with the Baby Boomers in my life and Gen Y's that are around me. I'm getting so upset with materialism.

      Thank you for something to really thing about.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I recently saw a documentary about the Haight-Ashbury "hippie" days and how the area deteriorated form "fun" in just a few weeks to blocks of homeless young people sorry they'd gone out there.

    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 9 years ago from Neverland

      While the Summer of Love does sound like a good time, I am with you!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thanks Ardie! I identify with more of the Xer qualities listed in the Coupland book (dozens of them) than I do with other generations. But I'm SO tired of hearing about the Summer of Love. LOL

    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 9 years ago from Neverland

      Great hub with a lot of information : ) Im at the tail end of the Gen Xer's and I have to say that I am interested in all of the generations. My parent's, mine, and even the ones after me - for all the downfalls we may see. Thanks for digging up the details.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thanks for your insights, Lita. I can easily envison the arm control chair people fo the future. Yucko! Time for a change, alright. Best regards.

    • profile image

      Leta S 9 years ago

      I gotta say, as a Gen X-er, I'm most sick of the Millenials.  If they keep at it (and now I sound like a parent-Boomer), the futuristic world of Wall-E is going to happen--and I'm only partially kidding.  Fatties rolling around with arm control chairs hooked into the net 24/7 and gulping down corn syrup sodas.  Kids are already getting carpal tunnel syndrome, for gosh sake!

      Yep, we include President-elect Obama as a Gen X-er, by outlook, and hopefully, we can save the world!

      Thank you--  Nice overview of the thoughts on the generations.

    • Lgali profile image

      Lgali 9 years ago

      good hub from expert hubber

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      That's good to know, Cris A! Thanks very much for visiting.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 9 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I feell very well represented here sentiment-wise! Great hub as usual! :D


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