Which Generation Am I?

Whether you're a Baby Boomer, Generation X, Y, or Z, Millenial, Xennial or iGen there are certain stereotypical traits associated with your generation. As with anything these stereotypes aren't meant to offend or define but they're a generalisation of a large group - like the stereotypes that men like football and women like shoes. What I find interesting aren't the stereotypes but the differences in how a generation grew up and adapted to their surroundings and how that has impacted their personalities. Confusion comes when you fall into more than one category - like me - so today I'm finding asking... which generation am I?

iGen or Generation Z

Let's start with the most recent, which would be iGen or Generation Z. Born between 1995 and 2012 (although there are disagreements around the start and end of the generations) these are people who are growing up right now. They're aged between 8 and 15 and have had widespread access to mobile phones, most having their first mobile phone before the age of 10. 


In general terms some of the traits a Generation Z person might have are:

  • They're more tolerant of others i.e. different cultures, sexual orientations, races etc
  • They're less likely to take risks
  • They consume alcohol and drugs less often
  • They have lower rates of teen pregnancy
  • They delay having serious romantic relationships
  • They're more likely to use Instagram than Facebook

Of course there's always the opposite side of things and the negative traits associated with iGens are:

  • They're more prone to mental health problems
  • They're more likely to be sleep deprived
  • They spend more time using phones and social media
  • They're less likely to read a book or newspaper
  • They have less face-to-face contact with others

Both my sons fall into this generation, my eldest was born 2004 and my youngest in 2009. While they both got their mobile phones when they made the transition to high school my youngest is definitely more adept at using his phone. I have had to restrict their phone use at night, instigating a "no phones upstairs" rule to stop them using their phones all night and restrictions on gaming is a necessity. But both my boys do well in school and have friends they like to spend time with. As they're still young I have yet to find out how risk averse they are but I definitely like the idea that they'll avoid risk!

Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.

Anne Frank

Millenials or Generation Y

Born between 1980 and 1994 (again there are disagreements here) Millenials grew up in a world where almost every home had an internet connection and a computer. They witnessed the 911 terrorist attacks and have seen unusually severe weather changes due to global warming. Social media companies like Facebook and Twitter arrived and took off and housing prices have skyrocketed pushing home ownership out of most young people's reach.


Traits associated with Millenials include:

  • They are more familiar with technology and the internet sometimes being referred to as "digital natives"
  • They tend to be educated to a higher level
  • They are more aware of what's going on in the world i.e. health, social, economical, and environmental issues
  • They're entrepreneurial
  • They value flexibility, wanting to have flexible working 
  • They're more compassionate

And the negative traits include:

  • They tend to feel entitled
  • They're have a lack of focus
  • They avoid using the phone to make calls
  • They're unable to take or give criticism
  • They can't switch off / disconnect
  • They multitask too much

Being born in 1981 I fall into the Millenial category and after reading a little I can say I definitely relate to some of the traits associated with Millenials. I grew up with social media taking off, I remember where I was when the planes hit the twin towers and I've used a computer almost every day for the last 20 years. Even the negative traits I can nod along and say, "yep, I do that". Yet for some reason I don't think of myself as a Millenial.


This term spans two generations because some people thought it was necessary. It's a "crossover generation" including people born between 1975 and 1985 - plus or minus a few years. The idea is that Xennials are more like the preceding Generation X (below) than they are like Millenials. People born at this time often formed ongoing romantic relationships before social media, they called friends using a landline phone, and when they were asking someone out over the phone they hoped their intended date's parent didn't pick up. They're described as having an analogue childhood and a digital adulthood.

Growing up is losing some illusions, in order to acquire others.

Virginia Woolf

Generation X

Born between 1965 and 1980 (plus or minus a few years) they're the parents of Millenials and some Generation Z. With rising divorce rates and widespread availability of childcare outside the home they had less parental supervision and they grew up in the 80s and 90s during a rise in musical video channels, they were dubbed as the "MTV generation".


Traits associated with Generation X include:

  • They tend to be more direct, appreciating honesty
  • They embrace feedback and don't dwell on criticisms
  • They have a good work-life balance
  • They're technologically adept but don't have to be connected 24/7
  • They're independent, not wanting to rely on anyone else for their success

Negative traits include:

  • They tend to be skeptical
  • They aren't as adept with technology as younger generations
  • They're not keen on being told what to do

The Hubby falls into this category, and depending who you ask so do I. The Hubby grew up when computers didn't exist, he saw the digital age begin and has witnessed the start of a fundamental change in how we live our lives. He was amongst the first group to create computer games and even today helps create the games our children play daily. He, and I, watched music channels when we were kids, we worked hard to get a good job but didn't put that above a family life.

Which Generation Am I?

So as it turns out I could fall into three out of the four generations I've described above, and I can recognise traits of my own in all of the lists. I grew up watching MTV and didn't have a computer at home until I was working and in my 20s. I witnessed the creation and rise of social media and would consider myself technologically adept. I guess the only thing I can say is that I mostly identify with Generation X traits so that's what I am. 

Which generation are YOU?

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