I spoke to five Gen Z'ers about what they really think about millennials and yeah, you’re about to feel very attacked:
"THEY GROW A BASIC THING, LIKE A FRUIT OR VEGETABLE, AND THEY'RE LIKE, 'WOW I DIDN'T KILL IT'"
They’re old people trying to use social media. They try to fit in with the younger generation but they’re not really the younger generation any more. They try to use all the hashtags and gifs, but they’re not very good at it.
I think they really get caught up in really simple, everyday stuff. They make a BBQ and pretend it’s the best thing in their whole life. They grow a basic thing, like a fruit or vegetable, and they’re like, "wow, I didn’t kill it". They’ll spend the whole day fantasising about that fruit or vegetable. My sister grew beetroot and she’s really happy about it – I don’t really understand it.
They don’t have big ideas because they’re already past their expiry date. For me, I’ve got big ideas in big proportions, but for them, small simple things mean everything. — Hadi, 16, South East London
Danielle, 16: "With my generation, we don’t care about what we post on social media." Photo courtesy of Danielle
"THE WHOLE THING WITH HARRY POTTER – I GREW OUT OF THAT PHASE IN YEAR 7"
Honestly, I just don’t get millennials. The whole thing with Harry Potter, I grew out of that phase in Year 7 but these millennials are still searching for "good Butterbeer recipes" and it’s like – when are you going to grow out of that phase? It’s actually over.
Food trends like charcoal ice cream, acai bowls and avocado toast are so unnecessary. Why do they have to make everything a trend? I think they’re self-obsessed. Millennials are the ones who invented selfies and those travel Instagram pages and stuff that revolves around their lives. They think that’s what everyone else is catching on. They’re obsessed with their image. With my generation, we don’t care about what we post on social media.
Millennials think there’s some great divide between my generation and their generation. They say stuff like "kids today don’t know about this" when realistically, we all grew up with the same things. — Danielle, 16, Essex
Monty, 18: "Millennials are just humourless". Photo courtesy of Monty
"THERE'S ONLY SO MANY BUZZFEED QUIZZES YOU CAN TAKE UNTIL YOU REALLY HAVE TO KNOW YOURSELF"
Millennials are just humourless. Their Facebook status updates are normally them oversharing about personal experiences that no one cares about or can relate to. They laugh at the more simpler things like "Is it wine o’clock yet?" or share Despicable Me memes.
On social media they use the laughing emoji face, but not sarcastically. They’ll say things like Happy Hump Day! No one really understands what that means! They use hashtags like #yoga #toastwithavocado #pastawithsauce or if their son is called Jason, they’ll write #Jason. They don’t understand that hashtags are meant to be a bit more targeted – that’s not actually how it works.
I think they’re having an identity crisis because there’s only so many Buzzfeed quizzes you can take until you really have to know yourself.
They try to gatekeep 90s culture. I’ve never seen an episode of Friends and I don’t have any intentions to do so. I don’t think they even find it that funny, but because they grew up with it, they want to make sure everyone knows it’s the funniest thing.
[Having said that] my sister is 25 and brother is 27, and they both care deeply about political issues like Black Lives Matter and climate change. It’s nice to know millennials understand that more than boomers. — Monty, 18, Greater London
"UNLIKE THE MILLENNIALS, WE'RE NOT IN DENIAL"
Millennials moan a lot and don’t do anything. You find 16-17 year olds on TikTok selling their creativity, whereas I feel millennials are obsessed with a traditional nine to five job because that's the only way to get job security. They’re obsessed with job security. They’re always annoyed at the fact they knew they're going to be renting forever, whereas Gen Zs know we’re just not going to be able to buy a house.
We’re a lot more political than millennials were at our age. I think it’s because things are affecting us more.
On Instagram all millennials do is post pictures of their coffee and like perfect little setups and stuff? This younger generation, we don’t put glitter over things. Unlike the millennials, we’re not in denial. — Heba, 23, Nottingham
Haaniyah, 21: "Middle-class whiteness just became branded with millennials." Photo courtesy of Haaniyah
"IT ALL FEELS LIKE THEY'RE TRYING TO PROLONG THEIR YOUTH"
There’s a lot of intermingling of generational trauma between Gen Z and millennials. The line between us is blurry. People say that remembering 9/11 is a generational divide.
A lot of, mostly white millennials, get really into these strange niches – they love avocados and Harry Potter. It all feels like they’re trying to prolong their youth. You can see it when trends happen, they’re like "I don’t understand this, Vine was so much better." And that’s a distinguisher right there.
People of colour who are millennials aren’t really brought into this conversation, so media representation is important in how we view millennials. When it comes to people of colour and especially Black communities online, there aren’t levels of generational divide between people, like if something is funny - we’re all going to find it funny. There isn’t something like, I found this funny because I’m 28 or 18. Strangely, there seem to be some things that white millennials cling on to. For a long time, Instagram was very white, so the media represented millennial culture as those fruit bowls and travel pages. Middle-class whiteness just became branded with millennials.
I think humour is a big difference, we’re a lot more desensitised. A few weeks ago there was this serial killer and Gen Zs decided to invade his social media pages and comment emojis. Primarily they were flooding him with really weird, overtly happy comments to try make fun of him. I think nothing is really off-limits for us because everything bad that could have happened has already happened.
I definitely think millennials are sensitive, since 2008 they’ve been attacked by people older than them. They were constantly told they’re babies and snowflakes – if that’s the kind of messaging you’re constantly receiving, I guess you might internalise it at some point. — Haaniyah, 21, Buckinghamshire