So, Millennials, I hear you’re in a feud with Generation Z. You might think as a Gen Xer, I would be enjoying a taste of schadenfreude at your expense right now. I’m not. You see, I spent the last year locked in a house with my children; children very much like those currently taunting you on TikTok. I feel your pain.
To be frank, you may never be up for this battle, but I’d still like to help. Since forewarned is forearmed, I’m going to share everything I know about the snarky, cynical wet blankets known as Gen Z.
1. Theirs is a subtle cruelty.
Since they don’t use body type, gender, nationality, or sexual orientation as shorthand insults — even ironically — they got creative. Gen Zers use their observational skills and imaginations. They look deep inside your soul at the broken, silly, insecure parts. And poke until it hurts.
You parted your hair wrong. Who gives a shit? You, apparently. And somehow, the little psychopaths knew you would.
2. The return of low-rise jeans is a setup.
Maybe I’m paranoid, but this feels like a trap. My advice, don’t wear anything until the Gen Zers do it first. Scratch that. Don’t do it then, either, because you’ll look like you’re trying too hard. Actually, don’t do anything. You’ve got a psychological predator in the room — no sudden movements, period.
If you do wear low-rise jeans, don’t let them see your tramp stamp. Your tattoos are “sad.” Oh, and for the love of God, don’t call it a tramp stamp.
3. They will ruin your favorite things.
We raised them to be super woke. (FYI — it’s “embarrassing” when you say “woke.”) Now try watching movies or listening to music with the little killjoys. Nothing you love is safe. Because you know what doesn’t age well? Human behavior. And Austin Powers. Ouch, baby.
Prepare yourselves. They are going to shit on all your favorite things. Eminem, I get. We tried taking him down a peg in the late ’90s. It can’t be done because, as it turns, he’s amazing. Hamilton, though? Lin-Manuel Miranda isn’t good enough for these turds? Why didn’t they figure that out before making their parents listen to them “rap” every lyric the man ever wrote?
4. They have the Boomers wrapped around their fingers.
That’s right, the same Baby Boomers that declared everyone under 50 a spoiled narcissist would take a bullet for their Gen Z grandchildren. Or at least risk catching COVID for the chance to hug them. Cataracts or rose-colored Grandpa glasses have blinded them to any faults in their precious Pipers and Liams. Beware of this unholy alliance.
5. These are the most worldly virgins you’ll ever meet.
They cuss like sailors. They know every possible combination and presentation of human sexuality and gender. My oldest is obsessed with Red, White & Royal Blue. A cis-gender, hetero teenage girl reading a romance novel about two gay men. Oh, how urbane and sophisticated.
Really? Half my friends were knocked up or catching HPV in the back of a minivan at her age. So who’s cool now?
6. They are not cool.
My kids read Twilight a couple of years ago. Before realizing how “problematic” it is, they were all in for Team Jacob. Because, get this: “he’s emotionally available, and Bella’s dad likes him.” What? For all their meanness, there is a goody-two-shoes vibe wafting off the whole generation. Have fun playing up there on the moral high ground, nerds.
7. They have indestructible self-confidence.
Social media was supposed to make everybody feel worse about themselves, but somehow it has callused their egos and made them stronger. Zits, glasses, armpit hair on girls — those were social sideliners in the 1990s. Not only are they not bothered by these things — they’re embracing them. One of my daughter’s friends asked her mom for hearing aids. In middle school!
So far as I can tell, the only thing you can do wrong is be over the age of 25 — that, or Irish. According to my kids, the Irish really suck. This actually makes me a little sad, because my great-grandparents were Irish Quakers. I spent the last few months researching this genealogy project. I was getting excited about… Oh, I see.
Good luck, Millennials. You’re gonna need it.
- Do you want to pass your SAP Certified Application Associate - SAP Transportation Management 9.5 Exam? and looking for reliable SAP C_TM_95.