Among today’s population, Gen-X is often labeled as the odd one out. But what really makes Gen-X tick? What sets this generation apart from all the others? Whether you’re a proud member of Generation X or just curious about it, this blog post dives deep into what it’s like to live life in a generation shaped by unique experiences and attitudes. 

From learning about the major trends and characteristics that help define this special group, to discovering some of their favorite things—get ready for an inside look into what being part of Generation X is all about!

1. Whatever

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One user posted, “Whatever.”

Another replied, “I’m 46 and will take my jaded apathy to the grave; thank you very much. Now everybody leaves [me] alone ’cause everything is bad.”

A third added, “This mindset right here is why I should be Gen X, but by birth, I’m an elder Millennial.”

One user commented, “You may be a xennial by definition. ‘Oregon trail generation’ or ‘analog childhood, digital adulthood.'”

2. Mixtapes

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One user posted, “Mixtapes. Actual cassette tapes recorded on a boombox from songs on the radio. Bonus for Ramones tunes as part of the mix.” Another added, “My dad worked at a record store and promoted for a night club at night, Ramones were opening for Suicidal Tendencies; I was with him and them in their hotel room; he had to run to the club and couldn’t bring me so the Ramones babysat me for about 20 minutes. Joey was the nicest guy you’d ever meet. This was during the Too Tough to Die tour, 1984.”  One exclaimed and added, “This is literally the coolest thing I have ever heard omg.”

3. DJ Talking Over the Mixtape

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One user shared his story with his sister and posted, “I’m just on that border between Gen X and the oldest Millennials, but my sister is 8 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 10x, and you’ve got a nice mixtape.” 

Another added, “Or they talk over your song, and you had to call back later.”

One commenter shared, “Secret was to do this really late at night because this DJ was lonely or sleeping and the advertisers wouldn’t pay for commercials, so you might even get a complete version of ‘Jam On It’. Or the 12-inch version of ‘rapper’s delight’.” 

One Redditor added, “Sprog reminiscing about the forgotten generation, while he/she will be remembered as a staple of the ascendancy of Reddit. Gen Sprog.”

4. Repeated Playlist

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One user posted, “I spent months making a tape that had “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston on repeat (both sides) and gave it to my step-sister as a gift. She listened to the whole thing, hoping for a different song. Cause she hated that one.”

Another added, “An old school Rickroll.”

Another added, “You would have a DJ over the intro and ending of a song ‘Alright, now we have a little Savage Garden for you. Truly, Madly, Deeply. This is KEDG 103.5, The Edge’.”

5. Video Arcade

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One user shared, “Video arcade. 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.”

Another commented, “Putting a $20 into the change machine at the mall arcade felt like dropping a house payment on a Vegas poker table…”

Another responded, “Yea, but Altered Beast and After Burner.”

One concluded, “Between Afterburner, Outrun, and Hang On, Sega were knocking it out of the park in the late ‘80s. If I ever get a big inheritance from a long-lost uncle or something, I’m definitely building a game room with those three in it.”

6. Operation: Thunderbolt

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One Redditor posted, “I’m 45 and I still talk stuff to one of my best friends because [he] used to be able to beat Operation: Thunderbolt with one quarter, and he’d almost beat pretty much any other light gun arcade game with a single quarter too. You went to the arcade with him and you’d burn through your coins or tokens and you still had to wait for him to basically beat Operation: Thunderbolt and Space Gun and Terminator 2 or whatever. Let me tell you, it got old fast. The guy still derives a significant amount of joy from being reminded about us having to wait for his unreasonably skilled [self] while he played those arcade games. On another occasion I got into a fist-fight with some dude I didn’t know because I beat him at Street Fighter II and he got way too salty. The 90’s, man.”

Another user commented, “Younger Gen-Xers had the original NES and Sega.” 

A third replied, “Early X here. 1st home game, Pong. Then came Atari. Mattel Intellivision. Eventually Sega, PS, etc but I was driving by then and was going to the arcade, where the cool [stuff] was the new video games. We dropped pinball and air hockey for Tanks, Asteroids, Space Invaders, Defender, Donkey Kong, Berzerk, Rootbeer Alley, Tempest, Tron, Centipede, Missle Command, Crazy Climber, Qbert, Outrun, Duck Hunt, Elevator Action, Galaga, PacMan, and Ms. Pacman. To name a few. Great days!…

“Also, iirc correctly the pattern on Space Invaders was 23-14-14-14. Meaning you stop after the first 23 shots and wait for the spaceship, which is now worth the max 500 pts. 14 more shots and wait… 500 pt ship, and so on. PacMan had patterns you could follow. Who else remembers patterns and hacks? This was valuable info and remember, there was no internet. This stuff passed like state secrets, via bus stops and candy stores and roller rinks and bowling alleys and pure legend. Any other formerly [great] 13 year olds?” 

7. The Stash

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One user shared, “This really was a thing, I know there was a stash near where I lived and then many years ago a friend told me this was a thing where he grew up too…”

One commenter agreed, “Also confirming forest stash. I think it was a b- camp.”

Another responded, “I had a little alcove in a hedge on my lawn when I was in third grade that no one knew about but me and another buddy. One day, my buddy ratted on me and I remember coming home from school with a stack of mags on the table. Thought I was gonna die.”

8. No Bike Helmets

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A user shared, “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. I forgot to add getting your hair permed curly.”  Another responded, “After seeing Dirty Dancing, I had the great idea to get my hair permed to look like Jennifer Grey. Instead I turned out looking like Richard Simmons. That ended my perm fetish forever.” 

9. MTV

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One user shared, “Watching mtv headbangers ball Saturday morning, ready to rec on the VHS when my favorite bands came on.”

Another replied, “120 Minutes Sunday night.”

One Redditor agreed, “Oh man that brings back memories.”

10. The Crow Movie

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One Redditor shared, “The Crow…movie and soundtrack.”

Another added, “Amazing movie and soundtrack. RIP Brandon Lee. ‘It can’t rain all the time’.”

Another commenter confirmed, “That is the best soundtrack ever. And RIP Brandon Lee.” 

Source: Reddit.

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