Gen X'ers Are Sharing The Things That Define Them, And As A Millennial, I'd Never Considered Some Of These

    "My kid called me a boomer, and when I told him, 'No, I’m Gen X,' he said, 'No one cares.' I couldn’t argue with that."

    If there's one thing I know about Gen X, it's that...well, we don't really talk about Gen X. They're like the Bruno of generations. So, recently, u/ruffffian asked the people of Reddit to share all of the most Gen X things they could think of in one thread. Here's what they had to say:

    1. "My kid called me a boomer, and when I told him, 'No, I’m Gen X,' he said, 'No one cares.' I couldn’t argue with that."

    for the last time I am not a boomer

    2. "Columbia House collection notices."


    3. "Quiet quitting. We've been doing that since the '90s, but they just called it slacking back then."

    gen x teens in the front row at a concert

    4. "Being the last generation to have to walk across the room to change the TV channel. Being able to fix the TV by pounding on it the right way. Getting the brown box for the TV and there only being three stations."


    5. "Always having a pencil in the car for cassettes."

    Someone using a pencil to wind a cassette

    6. "Never getting mentioned in the news. It always goes from Gen Z to millennials to boomers."


    7. "Video arcades. Before Gen X, graphics weren’t good enough, and after Gen X, you’d play the games on your own home console. No other generation claimed them like we did."

    People at an arcade

    8. "I'm just on that border between Gen X and the oldest millennials, but my sister is eight years older than me. We would call the local rock station to request a song, then sit there with a tape at the ready to hit record as soon as they played our song. Repeat that about 10 times, and you've got a nice mixtape."


    9. "Garbage Pail Kids."

    Garbage Pail Kids

    10. "Watching MTV's Headbangers Ball on Saturday morning, ready to record on the VHS when my favorite bands came on."


    11. "Hair crimper, riding bikes with no helmets, buying smokes for my dad at the shop. Putting baby oil on and sunbaking ('cause we were literally baking ourselves, haha), doing whatever I wanted for one to two hours after school by myself 'cause parents were still working. Being allowed to roam the streets until almost dark."

    Kids hanging out outside on their bikes

    12. "Swatch Watches."


    13. "Grunge music. I work with a handful of Gen X'ers, and the only music they can consistently agree on is the Pearl Jam station."

    A musician singing while crowdsurfing

    14. "The Sony Walkman."


    15. "Being old enough to remember (and appreciate) life before the internet and cellphones but being young enough to transition into that world without a hitch."

    a young Victoria Beckham using a clunky 90s computer

    16. "Being the last unreachable generation. There were hours where no one knew where we were, and our parents had zero ways to contact us."


    17. "Massive CD collections neatly stored in binders for easy access."

    CDs in a booklet

    18. "Members Only jackets!"


    19. "The fact that our generation was kind of passed over. When I started my career, they wanted us to be deferential to older, more experienced co-workers, 'pay your dues and wait your turn!' As soon as we became more seasoned, they were like, look at all these amazing millennials and their great ideas! We’re like the Jan Brady of generations."

    20. "Bartles & Jaymes. The original White Claw."


    21. "Blockbuster on a Friday night."

    young man browsing vhs tapes at a rental store

    22. "Remembering phone numbers."


    23. "Going to the mall."

    people riding escalators in a mall in the 80s

    24. "Calling your girlfriend's house and hoping that her dad does not pick up. Kids will never know this fear."


    25. "Sun-In for hair. Feathered bangs. Blue eyeliner. Love's Baby Soft. Jellies."

    a young kirstin dunst wearing jelly shoes to a premiere in the mid 90s

    26. "What defined Gen X growing up was living under the constant threat of nuclear war. If you wonder why Gen X is defined as 'whatever,' it's because we believed that at some point in our future, we'd end up living, or dying, in a nuclear winter."

    "The USSR was the 'evil empire,' and watching the succession of premiers being executed or disappeared confirmed that. So much so, that when Gorbachev actually started the process of Perestroika, I didn't believe it. I thought it was some kind of plot by the Russians to make us let our guard down.

    The threat of nuclear war was constant. The continuation of human life on the planet was not a given.

    I think there are many similarities between Gen X and the current generation (don't think it's Gen Z, but the kids currently going through elementary school). So, another 'whatever' generation growing up during COVID and the whole climate change crisis."


    27. "Blowing inside Nintendo cartridges."

    Nintendo cartridge

    28. "Telephone conversations. Like, calling up your friend and chatting for hours."

    man sitting down in a phone booth having a long conversation

    29. "Valley Girl culture and talk."


    30. "The smoking section in a restaurant."

    man lighting a cigarette inside a restaurant

    31. "Staying out until the street lights came on, riding your bike with a playing card in the spokes. Staring at that sweet IROC-Z down the street. First-generation CD players. Cordless phones. Skate City. FINISH HIM!"


    32. "Beepers. It felt so important to have one, even cooler if you paid extra for the voicemail service."

    beeper in the front pockets of a woman's mom jeans

    33. And finally, "Whatever."