Gen X’s Unhealthy Attachment: 12 Outdated Things They Just Can’t Seem to Let Go Of!

By Krystal Brown

While Gen X is great at embracing the future, we take a look at the things that they still cherish from the past.

Paper Books

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No generation is as passionate about paper books as Gen X. While Boomers embrace paper books still, they are far less worried about the threat of E-books than Gen X who are passionate about fighting for the rights of bookstores! For the Gen X people who do welcome new technology they still like to keep a stash of books in their homes as well as advocating for keeping libraries open. 

Cassette Tapes

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Nothing speaks of Gen X nostalgia than sitting in your bedroom at night recording your favorite songs off the radio so you can play them over and over. Gen X also loved heading to the record store at weekends to buy the latest release from their favorite artist in the time before CDs and streaming. 

Cable TV

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Cable TV was the main source of entertainment for many Gen Xers long before the days of TV streaming services. There was no on-demand or catch-up TV so whatever was broadcasting on each station was all you had. While this may have had its downsides (repeats, siblings fighting over which channel to watch, etc) there were no hours of scrolling hundreds of shows before running out of time to watch the one that you finally chose. 


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When there was nothing to watch on cable TV then Gen X pulled out their favorite film on VHS and popped it into their video player. Having to get up and down to put a film in a machine is something that Gen Z will struggle to fathom but it was a weekly occurrence for earlier generations. While people bought their copies of their favorite movies, a weekly trip to Blockbuster to rent a video was a great treat after a busy week at school and work. 

Film Cameras

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When you want to take a photograph these days you take out your cell phone, switch on a filter and click away until you get the perfect shot. Rewind to the time Gen X wanted to take a snapshot in time there would be a reel of the camera to work through and 10 days later you pick them up from the developers and hope for the best that nobody had their heads cut off or had red eyes. 

Handwritten Letters

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Emails are very handy and all but nothing beats communicating by handwritten letter according to Gen X. The first introduction to handwritten letters was usually in the form of penpals at school and then came the love letters, which many Gen Xers still have in the back of their closet. 

Maps and Atlases

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When we need to get from A to B these days we whip out our smartphones or our satnav and a nice man or woman tells us exactly where to go. In the days of Gen X, it was essential to carry around a large map or an atlas in the car so that you could pull it out and proceed to get the directions wrong for half of your journey. 

90s Sitcoms

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Some millennials and Gen Z hipsters will still watch episodes of Friends on repeat but nobody loves sitcoms such as Seinfeld and Frasier more than Gen X. Unfortunately, Gen X could not binge a whole season in one day but the joy of waiting for the next episode to air each week was unparalleled. 

Family Recipes

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Family recipes that heavily focused on comfort food were the order of the day for Gen X and they will still cook their favorite meals from years gone by. Modern generations are very health conscious and will often opt for a salad with lean meat rather than a comforting casserole so it is no wonder that Gen X are nostalgic when it comes to food. 

CDs and DVDs

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Even though Gen X are very nostalgic about cassette tapes, they did enjoy the arrival of CDs and DVDs to keep them entertained for hours. If you were to check out a home of a Gen Xer you are likely to see a well-preserved collection, despite them hovering in the world of streaming. 

Long Telephone Calls

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Can you believe that people enjoyed having long conversations on the telephone long before the days of people freaking out if their phone was left off silent? Gen Z is the generation of texting and leaving voice notes whereas Gen X would talk for hours to their friends on a landline as this was the only way to converse years ago, other than handwritten notes, of course. 

Playing Outside

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If you ask any Gen X what their favorite childhood activity was and most are likely to say playing outside with their friends. Long summers playing in the park and having picnics, bike rides around the neighborhood, and entertaining yourself until your parents called you in for dinner are some of the most treasured memories for Gen X, something that doesn’t occur as much these days as roads are dangerous, parents are concerned, and children are more entertained by technology. 

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