20 Gen X Habits That Younger Generations Are Sick of Tolerating

Gen X is the generation that founded the internet, and while they can adapt and shift between traditional and non-traditional media, they are notorious for sticking with old-school habits that younger generations simply can’t tolerate. From simple things, such as preferring emails, to more complicated things, such as being entitled and pessimistic, Gen Xers find them hard to shake off! If you’re a Gen Xer, here are some habits you might want to consider letting go of.

Email Is Their Preferred Form of Communication at Work

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Email is one of the most formal means of communication at work today. Though it still exists and is used for more formal office settings or meetings, the younger generations prefer communication platforms such as Slack, Zoom, and Mircosoft Teams much more than traditional email. An article, however, explains that many Gen Xers still prefer email because it offers cover. The article goes, “Much of today’s communication is designed to be transitional in nature, but Gen Xers love that email gives us a record so we can say, ‘See! I did ask you to do this!’”

They Constantly Fear the Possibility of a Data Breach

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Gen Xers fear that someone or a company can breach their privacy. They also fear companies—no matter how secure they may be—are still susceptible to hacking and cyberattacks, leaving their data open for capture. Because of this, they may be hesitant to share anything personal online. Millennials and zoomers understand the fear, but they just don’t get why people have to overthink too much.

They Use Facebook Too Much

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Even if Gen X are afraid of their personal data being taken, it’s ironic that they’re very present on social media platforms like Facebook. In fact, data from World Metrics found that Gen Xers spend more time—around one hour more—on social media than millennials. It’s also found that Facebook is their most-used platform, with around 77% of Gen Xers visiting Facebook daily. Those from the younger generation are even embarrassed when they see their parents—typically Gen Xers—posting online.

They Can Be Resistant to Change

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It’s easy to believe that baby boomers, being some of the oldest, are the most resistant to change. However, in the workplace, Gen X is earning a more negative reputation for being the hardest to work with, especially if it involves any kind of change. Gen X is often described as having high levels of skepticism. This makes them ask, “What’s in it for me?” or, “What good will that bring me?” whenever they face any change or task. They are also notorious for having higher levels of caution and pragmatism, leading them to question authority at times.

They Feel as if They Need to Choose Security Over Peace of Mind

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For many of those who belong to younger generations, a toxic workplace is simply a deal-breaker. However, Gen Xers aren’t as flexible as millennials and Gen Z when it comes to quitting, and they’ll often find themselves sticking to a job—no matter how bad it is—because they need the security. Outsource Accelerator says, “Because they grew up as a sandwich generation, Gen X’s work ethic is said to be centered on pessimism. Gen X prefers stability over risk because they serve as crucial connectors at work and home with their families.”

For Them, the Nine-To-Five Work Culture Is Just Perfect

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Older generations are just fine with working nine-to-five jobs. They think this is all the work-life balance they need. However, this is one of the main differences between them and the younger generations. After all, the latter thrives on flexibility—both in terms of work hours and work areas.

Ironically, They Can Struggle With Some Technological Advancements

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It may seem ironic that the generation that started the internet is one of the most notorious for lacking technological proficiency. This is because some Gen Xers can’t keep up with the speed of technological advancements, especially when it comes to anything involving digital, such as AI. A study revealed, “Baby boomers and Gen X do not share the same exuberance toward generative AI, as 68% of respondents who fell within the baby boomers or Gen X age bracket, born between 1946 and 1980, are ‘non-users.’”

At Times, They Can Be Very Rude and Entitled Customers Compared to Younger Generations

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At the height of the pandemic, a certain kind of person emerged, called a “Karen.” These people—usually middle-aged women—appear overly entitled and rude. However, what’s interesting to note is that these people typically came from Gen X. In fact, some zoomers refer to Gen X as the “Karen Generation!”

There Is a Lack of Climate Change Concerns in Their Generation

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Gen Z is among the “most green” generations, while Gen X is the most indifferent. Climate Access notes, “While Gen Xers are highly educated and scientifically literate, there is a general lack of concern and understanding about, and attention to, climate change.” Compared to younger generations, they aren’t as alarmed as they need to be, and they tend to focus on more immediate personal issues and problems, such as work and their kids’ education.

They Can Appear Hateful and Negative Toward Everyone

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Some key traits that Gen X possess are pragmatism, skepticism, cynicism, and suspiciousness. These are all innate traits most Gen Xers possess, and they are probably influenced by the times and environment they’ve grown in. Sadly, these negative key traits can manifest themselves outward, making Gen X seem hateful and negative toward other people. This, alongside their entitlement, can make Gen Xers appear annoying and frustrating for their younger counterparts, such as millennials and Gen Z.

They Are Notorious for Being Overly Cautious When Spending Cash

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Several things around you can affect the way you think and act. For Gen X’s money and spending habits, the environment and their experiences growing up in a recession period are significant factors that make them cautious when it comes to money. They are conservative spenders and want to save, save, and save—especially for their retirement.

They Bank on Brand Loyalty

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Aligned with their history with recession, Gen Xers grew up to be skeptical and cautious, especially when it comes to the things they purchase. They want to find the best low-price but high-value options available to them. So, when they’ve found a brand that can offer them both, they tend to stick with them! Stevens & Tate explains, “The good news is that Gen X tends to stick with the brands they love; almost 50% of Gen X survey participants indicated they are extremely loyal or quite loyal to their favorite brands.”

Do-It-Yourself Is Key for Them

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Baby boomers and those from other older generations are more well-versed in DIY. However, though Gen X has less experience in these things, they are certainly more willing to do things themselves. They have more confidence in their DIY capabilities compared to millennials but are aware that older generations, such as their parents, are much better at fixing things themselves.

They Prefer Face-To-Face Conversations

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Gen Xers are direct communicators. Aside from being direct with their thoughts, Gen Xers also prefer talking to people face to face, as they believe it’s more efficient and effective. Unlike millennials and zoomers, who will do all they can so they don’t have to physically meet up with someone, Gen Xers think that building rapport with people will help them get the job done faster and more effectively. Therefore, they prefer face-to-face conversations and direct calls.

They Still Listen to the Radio, Use Their Landline Phones, and Watch Cable TV

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For millennials and zoomers, traditional media, such as radio, cable TV, and landline phones, are a thing of the past. However, Gen Xers still use these things—albeit not as frequently as before. Gen X is known to dabble in both new, more digital platforms and older, more traditional ones, so using the radio, cable TV, and landline phone is still perfectly normal for them.

They Are Big on “Planning Makes Perfect”

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Because of the environment Gen Xers grew up in, they want to ensure they’re prepared for the future and everything in between. They save, prepare, and plan for retirement and everything else they might encounter in life. Some millennials and zoomers can find this too constricting, though, as they are the type to go with the flow. In fact, millennials popularized the saying, “You only live once!”

They Are Obsessed With ‘90s Nostalgia

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It’s normal to reminisce about your favorite younger years and take a trip down memory lane. However, younger generations think enough’s enough when it comes to Gen X’s ‘90s nostalgia. The New York Times Magazine paints a picture of how nostalgia can be so destructive, saying it often makes people—specifically Gen Xers—overlook the era’s problematic aspects while reminiscing. The constant looking back also prevents people from creating new ideas and instead traps us into reliving and recycling old ones.

They Are Notorious for Keeping Extensive Paper Records

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Today, more gadgets and software allow people to organize and track their bills, documents, and more. However, though Gen Xers are good at adapting to both traditional and digital developments, they are known to be more inclined to keep paper trails or records. This is especially relevant to the workplace, as there are times when a hard copy makes more sense! After all, a long, complicated, and word-rich document is much easier to read and digest when it’s printed than when it’s presented on a screen.

They Preach About the Importance of Getting Eight Hours of Sleep

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We get it; when you’re in the thick of the busyness of life, it’s hard to prioritize self-care, most especially getting eight hours of sleep. However, though it’s hard, Gen Xers believe it’s crucial to maintaining good health—and they’re right! Because of this, Gen Xers, especially Gen X parents, want their kids and younger counterparts to get enough sleep daily. However, millennials and zoomers can find this consistent reminder annoying, as they simply want to enjoy all that life has to offer—even if it means staying up till three in the morning to spend some time with friends.

They Put a Big—Maybe Too Much—Importance on Dressing Formally at Work

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Some millennials and many Zoomers seem to have forgotten why proper work attire is important. There are even employers who veer away from hiring Gen Z employees because of how they dress during the hiring process. Well, this is where Gen Xers shine! Gen Xers typically avoid fashion trends that are too flashy and instead opt for classic pieces that’ll stand the test of time.

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20 Things You’re Doing That Make You a Bad Neighbor

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People have different personalities; that’s a fact. When you move somewhere with a tight-knit community, you will get to know many people who will either clash with your personality or make you feel like you’ve found a new friend. However, no matter what it is, remember to establish boundaries. If you don’t, you might soon see a lot of bad blood between you and other people in the community!

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20 Christian Practices That Confuse and Puzzle Others

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All regions differ in some way. Catholics collect saint cards and plan their vacations around religious sights, and Buddhists believe in karma and reincarnation. Like them, Christians also practice some things that are simply unheard of or puzzling for others. They practice tithing, cast out demons, and more!

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Author: Karen Danao


Karen is a writer and also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, she is someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics she loves writing about! However, her true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.