Making The Case For Fringe Millennials
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Making The Case For Fringe Millennials

Too young to be respected, too old to be accepted.

Making The Case For Fringe Millennials
Jay Warrenfells

Officially, the U.S. Census Bureau defines Millennials as children born between 1982 and 2000, although almost every other source claims a variety of dates for possibly the most widely hated generation in history. After Millennials comes Generation Z, born roughly 1996 to 2010. Clearly, these date ranges often overlap, and it's because nobody can really agree when Millennials end and Gen Z begins. The line between these two generations is very blurred, and is made up of Fringe Millennials.

While Millennials are defined by their peaceful childhoods coming to an abrupt halt on September 11, 2001, Gen Z is too young to have any memory of their lives before that day. Thus, the main difference between true Millennials and true Gen Z-ers is this: Millennials remember a time before terrorism and school shootings. Members of Gen Z, however, grew up with these televised tragedies as a fact of life. They aren't very disturbed by these kinds of events because they don't know anything different.

Fringe Millennials are a very small but important generational subgroup. We grew up in the world after large-scale terrorist attacks and school shootings, and we witnessed the rise of today's social media. But we still remember using those thick, square computers in the labs at school and we remember life before smartphones and tablets. We have been pushed out of the 1990s, however, by older Millennials claiming we're too young to possibly appreciate their romanticized dreamland.

The cool thing about Fringe Millennials, though, is that not everyone in our generation has the same combination of Millennial and Gen Z characteristics. We've all lived different lives, of course, and so different events have affected some of us more than others. For example, I'm not nearly as technological as many people around my age because I wasn't raised with an excess of technology. I was a bookworm kid anyway, and on top of that my mom always encouraged me to use my imagination and go outside, while discouraging me from watching television or playing on the computer.

As Fringe Millennials, we have the best of both the Millennial generation and Generation Z: Millennial perspective on life before instant sharing, a healthy level of Gen Z caution, Millennial sense of adventure, and Gen Z creativity. Rather than fading into the line between these two generations, Fringe Millennials need to use that combined genius to our advantage. There's nothing wrong with being in the middle; Fringe Millennials, unite!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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