What Is a Xennial? (And 20 Signs You Are One)

For those of us straddling the line between Generation X and Millennials, generational identity can feel murky. We’re too young to have ever cut our hair like Winona Ryder in Reality Bites (boat = missed), but too old to really “get” Snapchat. Turns out we have a name: We’re the the Xennials. Defined as a “micro generation” born between 1977 and 1983, Xennials are noteworthy because we grew up pre-internet but now live amongst digital natives. We may not be the greatest generation, and we’re not numerous enough to have caused a boom, but hey, it’s nice to be acknowledged. If you recognize these touchstones and milestones, welcome to the club.

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a pink rotary phone mounted on the kitchen wall
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1. You called your friends (“BFF” wasn’t a thing yet) from a pastel rotary phone that was mounted on your kitchen wall, with a spiral cord that could stretch all the way to the living room.

2. And said living room was where your family’s sole screen was located, and where you physically fought your siblings for chance to turn a dial and watch one of four channels.

3. You rode your bike wherever, whenever and never wore a helmet.

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4. You researched your college papers on microfiche.

5. You had an AOL or Hotmail screen name and a Motorola RAZR.

6. You remember the dissonant tune of a dial-up modem followed by the sound of “You’ve got mail!”

7. You can—nay, must—sing every word of Jagged Little Pill.

8. You remember watching “Thriller” and “Like a Virgin” on MTV.

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9. You owned a Pogo Ball, a Glow Worm and between 12 and 40 Cabbage Patch Kid dolls.

10. And thanks to Chucky, they still seem terrifying.

11. You may or may not have kissed someone at a Dave Matthews concert.

12. You were forever traumatized by any number of made-for-TV movies or after-school specials. (Little Girls in Pretty Boxes, anyone?)

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13. You remember when *69 ended your career as a prank caller…and when *67 revived it.

14. You wish you still had your Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper.

15. You learned about drugs from TV commercials via egg metaphors.

16. You saw Pulp Fiction, Titanic (seven times), Boyz n the Hood, The Bodyguard, Forrest Gump and Clueless in a movie theater that did not have plush leather reclining assigned seats. Then you called your dad from the phone booth outside to come pick you up after.

a well organized collection of cassette tapes

17. There was no truer declaration of love than a mix tape.

18. You can rap The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song whilst doing The Carlton.

19. Between us, you would still consider ending your marriage for 90210-era Jason Priestley, Leonardo DiCaprio circa Romeo + Juliet, or sundry members of New Kids on the Block.

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