Recently, I came across the term "Xennial," which adds to the list of demographic cohorts that have been floating around for some time -- Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y (Millennials), and Gen Z.
It's definitely difficult to put hard boundaries and age ranges on different generations, but it sure is a convenient way to describe a group with similar characteristics and behaviors. It is a bit annoying when you are the only Millennial in a room full of Xennials, however, especially when those Xennials voices their distaste for Millennials rather loudly and publicly.
They separated themselves from me by using the word "Xennials" to describe themselves, which means that they are part of the micro-generation between Gen X and Millennials. This group grew up analog, but can still embrace the digital culture of constant communication today.
Being the cousin of the bride, I was placed at the bridesmaids' table, who were all Xennials. The event had a custom Snapchat filter, so I immediately whipped out my phone and pointed it at everything, from the spacious room with high ceilings to the beautiful party favors on the table. This is when I heard "ugh, millennials" whispered quietly from one end of the table to the other. I brushed it off as a one-time occurrence, but the night was still young.
Somehow, Snapchat became the topic of conversation at our table, and I was surprised that most of the bridesmaids did not know what Snapchat was. I would assume that these thirty-somethings would at least have some kind of knowledge of it, but they were clueless. I proceeded to show them how it works, and they even had fun with some of the filters.
Everything was fine after that...until the music changed from easy listening to late 90s and early 2000s hits. It was the howl that set off the pack howl. They seemed to forget that many MILLENNIALS like myself also enjoy throwbacks. Not only did they assume that I was unfamiliar with QUEEN they openly yelled out "WE ARE NOT MILLENNIALS!!!" to the entire room while they sang along. It was incredibly awkward when someone finally realized that a millennial was present and muttered something along the lines of "oh, but not you, you're an exception". GOODNESS.
It's easy to look at a younger generation and blame them for everything that's wrong with the world, but it's not okay. Just because the culture around you is changing doesn't mean it's fine to bash on the part that's unfamiliar to you.
I know that I'll develop the tendency to look for faults in younger generations once I get older. I'll definitely keep this experience in mind.