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When discussing societal issues, it’s easy to point fingers at the Boomers.
People often paint them as the culprits for numerous problems our society faces today.
However, if we shift our gaze slightly, we might notice that Gen X, the following generation, has had an equally significant impact.
Perhaps it’s time we considered the role of Gen X in shaping the world as we know it.
Here are some of the key areas where Gen X’s influence might have been more profound than we initially thought.
#1. Trophy Mentality
In the race to give every child a sense of achievement, Boomers initiated the trophy culture.
But it was the Gen X parents who truly embraced this ideology.
Under their watch, the belief that ‘every child deserves a trophy just for participating’ became the norm.
This mentality, while well-intentioned, has often been criticized for failing to prepare children for real-world challenges.
#2. Student Loans
The steep increase in college tuition might have started during the Boomer generation.
Yet, it was Gen X that truly got entangled in the web of student loans.
Rather than opposing the rising debts, many in Gen X accepted them, setting a precedent for the Millennials and Gen Z.
As a result, student loans have become a heavy burden, with Gen X playing a significant role in normalizing this debt culture.
#3. Do Something You Enjoy
The romantic idea of pursuing one’s passion was not exclusive to the Boomers.
Gen X, swayed by the emerging digital age and an evolving pop culture, further popularized the concept of the “dream job.”
They often placed personal fulfillment above financial security, steering younger generations towards the same.
This has arguably given rise to a job market now saturated with aspirants looking for meaning, sometimes at the expense of practicality.
#4. Not Fixing Social Security
It’s no secret that social security has been a looming concern for years.
While Boomers are the favorite target for blame, Gen X has been in positions of power for some time now.
Yet, there have been no necessary changes to the system, and Gen X holds part of the blame.
With such a pressing issue, Gen X leaders haven’t taken strong steps to address and make corrections.
Although Boomers are often labeled entitled, Gen X isn’t exempt from this trait.
Growing up in a transitional period of cultural and technological evolution, Gen X developed a unique blend of skepticism and autonomy.
This often translated to a heightened sense of entitlement, influencing their personal and professional choices.
The result has affected work and society, sometimes causing clashes between older and younger generations.
#6. Climate Change
While the roots of climate started growing earlier, Gen X saw the most evidence.
This generation was present for critical global climate conferences and significant activism.
But a substantial portion remained passive, failing to adopt aggressive change measures even when aware.
Moreover, they were the bridge between technological advancements and environmental consciousness, making their inaction even more impactful.
#7. Minimum Wage
Though Boomers faced criticism for unchanged wages, Gen X watched the income inequality gap expand.
While living costs shot up under their watch, minimum wages often remained stuck.
They held power during pivotal economic shifts, yet broad wage reforms were lacking.
The ripple effects of their decisions now burden younger generations struggling to make ends meet.
Growing with the rise of the digital age, Gen X witnessed consumerism soar.
Influenced by intense advertising and the dawn of online shopping, the idea of constantly buying and upgrading became normalized.
Their era tilted more towards materialism, sometimes sidelining sustainability.
This habit not only strained resources but also fostered a mentality that values quantity over quality.
#9. Downfall of Unions
While unions began their decline earlier, it continued under Gen X’s supervision.
They lived through the shift from collective power to individualistic values in the workforce.
As a result, worker protections and the collective bargaining power of unions diminished.
This decline left many workers vulnerable, compromising their rights and benefits.
#10. Great Recession
Gen X was in their economic prime during the 2008 financial crisis.
Members of this generation held significant roles in institutions directly linked to the meltdown.
Risky financial strategies and oversight lapses that contributed to the crisis mark their era0
This financial catastrophe not only shook economies worldwide but also impacted countless lives, and Gen X had key players in its unfolding.
#11. Tech Dependency
Gen X was the bridge between an analog past and a digital future.
While they didn’t invent the internet or smartphones, they were the first to integrate them into daily life.
The glamor of technological conveniences made them early adopters, setting the stage for the tech-dependent world we live in today.
This often unchecked embrace led to a generation, and those that followed, becoming increasingly tied to screens and devices.
#12. Reality TV
Reality TV might seem omnipresent now, but it blossomed during the Gen X era.
Television shows showcasing real-life drama and personal conflicts became incredibly popular during the time.
Gen X, with their fascination for dramatic content, led networks to produce more shows of this nature.
This shift in entertainment culture paved the way for a society focusing increasingly on fame and personal exhibition.
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