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17 Gen X memes for the generation caught in the middle

Gen X is so forgotten that it's become something of a meme. Here are 17 memes that will resonate with just about anyone born between 1965 and 1980.

SOURCE: TWITTER

"Generation X" got its name in the early '90s from an article turned book by Canadian writer Douglas Coupland. And ever since, they've been fighting or embracing labels like "slacker" and "cynic." That is, until Millennials came of age and all that "you kids today" energy from older generations started to get heaped on them. Slowly, Gen X found they were no longer being called slackers... they weren't even being mentioned at all. And that suits them just fine.

Here are 17 memes that will resonate with just about anyone born between 1965 and 1980.

Gen X basically invented "Whatever."

gen x memesSOURCE: TWITTER


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Family

Those 'carefree' 70s and 80s childhoods weren't the utopia some make them out to be

Let's ditch the rose-colored glasses and acknowledge that Gen X childhoods included a lot of unspoken and unresolved trauma.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Gen X childhood wasn't as "carefree" as it seems.

Everywhere you turn these days, someone is celebrating the simple joys and freedoms of childhood in the 70s and 80s. Indeed, in some ways, Gen X childhood was glorious compared to how kids grow up today. We went outside and rode our bikes without helmets. We went to the park, climbed trees and risked our lives on questionable play equipment. We knocked on our friends’ doors without calling first and spent endless hours in play and adventure without supervision.

We had television and video games, but what we could do with them was limited by the technology itself. We didn’t have social media or cyberbullying or sextortion to worry about. We didn’t have doom and gloom news blasted in our faces 24/7. No cell phones, no GPS tracking, no Life 360. Our parents only had a vague idea of where we were and what we were doing most of the time. And despite staring into the faces of missing children on milk cartons at the breakfast table every morning, we just accepted that benign neglect was a normal aspect of childhood.

But did we, really? As much as Gen Xers love to reminisce about simplicity of our 80s childhoods, evidence suggests it wasn't quite the free-roaming utopia many make it out to be. After all, a lot of Gen Xers turned into “helicopter parents”—the polar opposite of the way they were raised. There's a reason for that.

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The generational caption debate is a big deal.

If you’re a Gen Xer or older, one surprising habit the younger generations developed is their love of subtitles or closed-captioning while watching TV. To older generations, closed-captioning was only for grandparents, the hearing impaired, or when watching the news in a restaurant or gym.

But these days, studies show that Millenials and Gen Z are big fans of captions and regularly turn them on when watching their favorite streaming platforms. A recent study found that more than half of Gen Z and Millenials prefer captions on when watching television.

It’s believed that their preference for subtitles stems from the ubiquity of captioning on social media sites such as TikTok or Instagram.

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TikTok about '80s childhood is a total Gen X flashback.

As a Gen X parent, it's weird to try to describe my childhood to my kids. We're the generation that didn't grow up with the internet or cell phones, yet are raising kids who have never known a world without them. That difference alone is enough to make our 1980s childhoods feel like a completely different planet, but there are other differences too that often get overlooked.

How do you explain the transition from the brown and orange aesthetic of the '70s to the dusty rose and forest green carpeting of the '80s if you didn't experience it? When I tell my kids there were smoking sections in restaurants and airplanes and ashtrays everywhere, they look horrified (and rightfully so—what were we thinking?!). The fact that we went places with our friends with no quick way to get ahold of our parents? Unbelievable.

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