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The In-Between Generation: Gen X's Destiny To Be Ignored

The term generation X comes from the novel  Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture by Douglas Coupland. Generation X refers to the generation born between the early-to-mid 1960s and early 1980s and is also called the ‘latchkey’ generation because gen X was left in the house by their working parents. Gen X follows the baby boomers, the generation born between the mid-1940s and mid-1960s, and precedes the millennials, born between the early 1980s and late 1990s. Moreover, Gen Z’s birth period is in between the late 1990s and early 2010s and gen Z mostly consists of children of gen X.


 Gen X was exposed to a radical change in their lifestyles and social values. They could not escape from the effects of wars and also could not get used to technological changes. While there has been a long conflict between millennials and boomers, gen X stays outside of the disagreement because of their stuckness in between. The conflict between boomers and millennials results from the fact that they had completely different circumstances to grow up and shape their personalities. Millennials are the ones who had the first complex and accessible communication channels, which is why they are generally open to new ideas. Contrarily, boomers were in a small circle that was made up of certain people who knew each other. In this case, they did not have a chance to meet other thoughts and lifestyles. A basic example of this conflict is going out for a dinner: While boomers see in-out-dinner as waste and unnecessary use of money because of their life stuck in a limited place, in-out-dinner is a way to set their hearts at rest. Meanwhile, gen X neither rejects the idea of going out for dinner nor is dependent on it. So, gen X is a generation stuck in between two generations, two different ways of living as well as wars and technological changes.


 As it is known that gen Z is mostly composed of gen X’s children, and as we can see, gen Z exhibits a critical approach towards gen X. Gen Z argues that opportunities were as available for gen X as for gen Z, there is no valid reason for their unproductive, simple life. They are the ones who are responsible for that. At this point, the question ‘Did gen X raise gen Z wrongly or did gen Z raise itself through the internet?’ When we have a both-sided look at this issue, these two raising types cannot be independent of each other. Parents, gen X, were supposed to be aware of what is happening around them, and their children; they should not have let their children alone to keep their peace longer, to prevent the discomfort resulting from innovation. They thought that applying their stuckness between wars and technology to their daily life would work out to remain their lives. They were right in a sense but their comfort zone caused gen Z to be alone. Thus, gen Z have become more tend to spend time on the internet to find themselves, to interact with their mutuals, indeed, to ‘be’. Gen Z has met the whole world through the internet, they have realized where they would have been if their parents, genX, were outside the box, which is why they have valid criticism towards gen X.


 On the other hand, did gen Z raise gen X correctly? Gen Z was able to introduce the ‘other’ world, new ways of life, and all the opportunities to their parents, but they have chosen their comfort zone just like gen X. So, who should be blamed for gen X’s stuckness in between if the two generations both chose to be comforted and did not go beyond their limits?

by Beyza KARAKOÇ

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