In Style + Design

What Is A Xennial And Are You One?

If you missed out on FOMO, fear not, JOMO is the next big thing, and missing out is what it’s all about, according to interior-design guru Darren Palmer

You might think of Darren Palmer as smiling, zesty and unthreatening, but frankly, I found him mildly terrifying.

It was Palmer, you see, who recently informed me of what a Xennial is, and, even more disturbingly, why they’re defined by the term JOMO – Joy Of Missing Out, which is, apparently, the new FOMO.

Darren-Palmer Xennial

Darren Palmer says he’s a Xennial – someone who fits into the gap between Millenials and Gen Xers. Image: LG Signature

Palmer, who was speaking to a room of awe-struck interior-design students and highly caffeinated  journalists, many of them also swooning over him, explained that he, himself, is the personification of a Xennial, which is someone who fits into the almost invisible gap “between Millennials, in their late 30s, and young Gen Xers in their early 40s.”

Palmer is 41, in case that helps, and says that Xennials “tend to act and think and buy in similar ways” and, from the sound of it, they do all of those things without ever getting off the couch.

“JOMO is the new FOMO, it’s all about the Joy Of Missing Out, it’s the desire to nest at home, in their safe spaces, with their screens,” Palmer said.

“I know when I was in my early 30s, I wanted to be out there and doing things, but now, even Millennials, they want to be part of things, but without leaving the house.  They’d rather stay in.

“It’s a huge shift from FOMO.”

Palmer, who was speaking as an LG Signature ambassador and was surrounded by products that these new home-loving bodies might want to buy, warned that, according to his research, this year, for the first time, Millennials will outnumber Baby Boomers. And that, globally, Gen Zs will outnumber millennials by the end of this year.

I tried not to be alarmed by this dystopian vision of a generation of Netflix addicts, shopping for ever-more-impressive white goods (or gun-metal-grey goods) and robotic vacuum cleaners while feasting on Uber Eats.

App Xennial Jomo

Home-loving Xennials like Palmer want are of course keen on electronics. Image: Pixabay / Pexels

Maybe Sydney won’t need a nightlife in the near future anyway, and the NSW Government will look like brilliant forward thinkers.

So, I asked one of the young PR people helping out at the event what she thought of this absurd idea of JOMO – of lives not just half lived, but somehow less than that – and she said that not only did it resonate with her, it was her.

“Oh absolutely, I was laughing with Darren earlier about how my perfect Friday night is not going out dancing or out with friends, it’s staying in, watching TV and getting to bed early, so I can go for a run at 5am – I know exactly what he means by JOMO, that’s me,” she laughed, with just the slightest look of madness in her eyes.

And what will these life-avoiding Xennials spend their money on, as they bring new meaning to the term “living room”? That’s easy, according to Palmer, because the answer is “status kitchens”, and all the goodies that go into keeping them “on trend”.

Palmer says buying a beautiful kitchen, one worth showing off, is just as desirable, to a Xennial, as a Ferrari, and they’d rather spend that money on their ultimate status symbol; their home, than a super car, any day.

“The new midlife-midlife-crisis purchase is the status kitchen, because that’s the focus of the modern home, for both occupants and buyers,” he insisted.

By the end of Palmer’s presentation, I felt truly alarmed, and frightened for my fellow man, but I must admit I also experienced a touch of JOMO myself. The Joy Of Missing Out on being a Xennial.

(Lead image: Darren Palmer / LG Signature) 

Published 12 April, 2019