What everyone is calling social distancing, I call my formative years. I grew up on movies where kids were out exploring, discovering pirate treasure or dead bodies, and having a hell of a time without any parental supervision. By choice and by circumstances, I emulated the lifestyle celebrated in those Gen X movies.
When I was a kid, it meant taking care of my needs when both parents were working, whether that was making a meal or doing laundry. When I got into my teen and young adult years, the pop culture of my time made it very trendy to live in a constant melancholy haze, where I consumed movies like Reality Bites and The Breakfast Club, and the music of Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins to consistently keep that vibe going. And yes, the world is a vampire.
Gen X cred has never been more useful than right now, as our health emergency is forcing cities and governments to ask people to stay away from other people, places, and large gatherings. It became extremely evident after just a few short days into the crisis that many were struggling.
So Gen Xers took to Twitter to remind everyone who came after us latchkey kids that we know a little something about staying away from social situations.
When you’re ready to take on quarantine head on …
Where are my fellow Gen X er’s at ? We are used to staying home sitting in our rooms listing to the radio . Only group that knows how to use tech but can live with out it. Iv been practicing being in quarantine my whole life . We dont fight boomers or millennial’s #genx pic.twitter.com/cXLliuBgxV
— Brent”Big B”Butcher (@Bacongod1977) March 15, 2020
When you fall back on old-school skills …
#GenX will self quarantine like it’s 1999 because we could use some time off from showing our GenZ kids how to write a return address on envelope and helping our parents open attachements from the email address we made for them. pic.twitter.com/KE8lNlThB8
— Nancy?✊??????️??????❤️ (@fineassand) March 15, 2020
When you’re confident in your Gen X generation …
— mikedina (@MikeDina) March 15, 2020
When you reminisce on those great reruns …
Glad I’m a #GenX kid. Im using my skills I picked up as a latchkey kid. Making toaster oven snacks, chillin on the couch. Now if I can find some episodes of Gilligan’s Island, Bewitched, and I Dream of Jeannie I’m set. pic.twitter.com/9FGCs1Cttt
— John Tague (@johnjtague) March 15, 2020
When you just figure it out …
Hey #GenX. It’s our time to lead. We were the neglected #latchkey kids who understand being alone. Forgot how to do it? Recall: get off bus, walk home, head into an empty house, make a snack & get your homework done? (And no one knew you were home until dinner time.)
— Dana Fowle Fox 5 (@danafowlefox5) March 15, 2020
When you remember comic books and the outdoors …
I’m part of that #GenX generation where we had no internet, we had the Dewey Decimal System, libraries, comics, books, biking, swimming, exploring the great outdoors, camping, fishing, and so many things that today’s generation knows NOTHING about.
And we did it in STYLE.
— Her Heart Unchained (60,683/150,000 words) (@SchuylerThorpe) March 15, 2020
When isolation is the least of your worries …
#GenX is trending & we’re reminding everyone as children our generation survived & thrived as latch-key kids in the midst of the Cold War, AIDs, terrorism, rise of the machines, recession & a lot of really bad hair & coffee.
Isolation — we got this. pic.twitter.com/6le2DApbqL
— Cynthia (@cynpark13) March 15, 2020
When dangerous things were just part of childhood …
The life of a #GenX kid:
Wake up and immediately go outside; play with dangerous things in dangerous places.
Show up for dinner 14 hours later; parents are surprised to learn you weren’t home.
Eat fishsticks alone while watching tv.
Read in bed with flashlight.
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) March 15, 2020
When you have plenty of entertainment options …
— Sean Kent (@seankent) March 15, 2020
When, as a Gen X kid, you’re ready to do your part …
Gen-Xers have been training for quarantine our entire lives. No other generation is perfectly happy staying in their room, alone, listening to sad music & watching John Hughes’ complete oeuvre on repeat like us. #coronapocolypse #StopTheSpread #GenX #StayTheFHome #COVIDー19
— Elizabeth Weitz (@ebethhasissues) March 15, 2020
When mixtapes and public television solved all problems …
I spent hours in my younger years hunched in front of the radio, finger at the ready, waiting to catch the songs I liked so I could record them on my $10 cassette player. Or watching Nature on PBS because no cable. Or reading. #CoronaQuarantine ain’t got nothing on me. #GenX
— This is 50 (@biafradenmark) March 15, 2020
When your history with corded technology has prepared you for anything …
This was TV, online gaming, smart phones, and Netflix for #GenX
We’ve been waiting to be told to stay home for years. pic.twitter.com/kJQjQ8djBF
— Andrew Tumilty (@AndrewTumilty) March 15, 2020
So, in other words …
Main image via The Breakfast Club, 1985.