Gen X: The ‘Jan Brady’ of the generational family
Sandwiched between the two most talked about, studied and fawned over generations ever (the Baby Boomers and Millennials), Gen X is the most forgotten about generation. As a member of Gen X, I sometimes feel like we are the Jan Brady of the family.
Whenever I hear of a new marketing campaign or study about the Boomers or Millennials, part of me wants to shout, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia”!
Think about it. Boomers were the revolutionaries who popularized rock music and gave society the sexual revolution (with all its evils and ills). The Millennials are the cool new kids on the block, the ones we are (rightly) worried have left the church and will never come back.
But what about Gen X? We’re the forgotten ones, to some degree.
Of course, part of the reason is we’re the smallest generation (largely because of abortion and birth control). I did, however, find one cool study about Gen X.
In the Pew Research Forum’s article, “Generation X: America’s neglected ‘middle child’” we see other factors to make us stop and think.
The article says, “Gen Xers are bookended by two much larger generations – the Baby Boomers ahead and the Millennials behind – that are strikingly different from one another. And in most of the ways we take stock of generations – their racial and ethnic makeup; their political, social and religious values; their economic and educational circumstances; their technology usage – Gen Xers are a low-slung, straight-line bridge between two noisy behemoths.”
The piece also that Gen X are in the middle in more ways than one. They are not as politically conservative as Boomers nor as socially liberal as Millennials (could part of this be because of each one’s life stage, I wonder?).
The Pew article also showed we are in the middle when it comes to issues like use of technology, level of education, attitudes toward money and more.
Most importantly, Gen X was a bridge toward being “religiously unaffiliated,” which is a bad development any way you look at it. The article, which dates back a few years, is worth reading, especially if you are a child of the 1980s like me.
All that said, I need to beware generational pride and even envy. After all, we know that while generational studies are important, they only go so far. They are only important insofar as they tell us who we are in God’s Kingdom.
Jesus, after all, did not die for one generation. Jesus died for everyone. Remember: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but shall have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
That promise is for Gen X, Baby Boomers, and Millennials—and for everyone, everywhere!