Incarcerated Writers Series: Millennials vs. Generation X


After being gone four years, I realized a few things. I have no idea how to use Snapchat or Instagram. What in the world are skinny jeans and why do people sag them? I’m too old for the Friday/Saturday nightclubs, but I’m young by the Earth’s standards. I, of course, am a Generation X kid and, yes, it is true that we are in the prime of our lives and careers and such. (I, of course, am behind and need to catch up).

I would be lying if I said I hadn’t taken notice of this new Millennial generation before us. In a way, this generation is like a mad scientist or crazy genius. Generation X was totally different in most ways in our youth but some things remain the same.

I put these two generations together with different categories in a kind of head-to-head battle to see how each fared in each category. Without a doubt, both generations have strengths and weaknesses; my hope is, in the end, we both balance each other out to become great current and future leaders. It’s still early, so we shall see; check out my analysis:

Millennials seem to come out of the womb born with a laptop, tablet, and iPhone strapped to their body. These kids are professional typists by the age of 10. They are very tech-savvy, and have mastered social media by the time they reach high school.

One thing that I absolutely love about Millennials and am envious of is these up-comers taking full advantage of becoming entrepreneurs at a young age. Business-minded, with a minimal fear of failure, these guys and girls are all or nothing. However, I do not understand millennials’ style in clothing! The whole skinny jeans movement looks totally uncomfortable and is beyond me.

The true weakness of the Millennial generation is their music. It is absolutely horrible to listen to. Their hip-hop and rap have no substance! Everybody sounds exactly the same. Lyrical flow and beats have just gone out of the window, and there are very  few with a real message to be heard. R&B is not what is once was. I guess country music still has some real authenticity, but besides that everyone wants to sound like Lil Wayne, Drake, or Taylor Swift.

Generation X was about creating your own style, being different, and bringing the whole world into our world! As I think back to the 1990s and early 2000s, Generation X has to be one of the heavy-weights in the battle of all-time great generations. There were so many historic events and groundbreaking people; it was awesome and brutal at the same time.

Something I greatly appreciated about growing up in Generation X is we never waited for a social injustice to happen to have a movement; we aggressively brought it to our country’s frontlines and we always had a powerful message. The Million Man March was a prime example of us being young activists. It truly was a sight that left the country in awe. I was there—the D.C. area is my hometown. I was a young teenager when I experienced this.

Our style as a whole was unmatched. The hairstyles were a statement. We had high top fades, cornrows, plaits, and braids. Our clothes were fresh, from cross-colors to Doc Martens to Jordans and Vans. Baggy clothes with the pant sag are still in effect.

Of course, the number one category for Generation X is the music. The artists of this generation changed the world’s music landscape and will probably never be seen again or surpassed: N.W.A., Biggie Smalls, Tupac, Nirvana, Guns N Roses, Sublime, Wu-Tang Clan, Mariah Carey, Greenday, Janet Jackson, Jay-Z, etc. It would take me a week just to name the first tier of all-time greats. This generation had some of the best pop stars of all time, singers of all time, and without a doubt the best rappers and storytellers of all time. The man upstairs himself could not mess with Generation X’s arsenal of musical talent and flow.

Our technology was also cool; AOL, Myspace, and Facebook are our claim to fame. Millennials will easily surpass this. The two generations combined have an array of social and political weaponry that I feel will set the bar for future generations to try to surpass. We are still setting foundations and cornerstones for the future. I will soon join in and make my positive influential mark for Generation X. Grab your popcorn because it’s going to be a show to watch as Millennials and Generation X battle for years to come.

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