Image: HBO, Mark Schafer
Millennials are used to being made fun of. I remember the first time I learned that people my age were ruining the diamond industry, housing, and casual dining restaurants. If only I'd stop buying so many $5 lattes and avocado toast! It's easy to brush off a burn from a Boomer, because they're boring, out of touch, and have nearly destroyed the planet. The burns sting a little more when they're coming from Gen Z.
What's important to understand is that generations are fake and created for marketing purposes. Unfortunately, marketing is very successful, and most of the world buys into the idea that you can arbitrarily cordon off one segment of the population from each other based on when they were born. According to the marketing, Millennials are born between 1981 and 1996, like me, and Gen Z was born between 1997 and 2012. I can feel my hair going gray just thinking about the fact that people were born the year I graduated college.Over the weekend, twitter user local__celeb discovered a thread of Gen Z kids roasting Millennials on TikTok. They did not hold back:
Gen Z took aim at Millennials' love of wine, Buzzfeed quizzes, and our inability to do basic adult tasks. "They're worried about their Harry Potter house but live in a one bedroom apartment," one person wrote. "Y'all worried about the wrong houses." Mercifully the screenshots cut off just as someone wrote a comment about Millennials who name their children after video game characters; We sincerely do not have the time to unpack all that.As much as it hurts (I'm a Slytherin and I live in a two bedroom, okay!), these rude children are correct. If you look at the culture that Millennials have produced and consumed, we are preoccupied with nostalgia. We were cut a raw deal in terms of the economy. I entered college during a financial crisis, and when I left things weren't looking too bright either. The Occupy Wall Street movement at first seemed like a promising bid for change, but fizzled out without making much of an impact. Seeking the comfort of our childhoods, knowing that we were ill prepared to be adults, was a natural response. But I also need to never hear the word "adulting" ever again. Just pay your electricity bill, Brittany.
Millennials, for the most part, are taking it with stride, even as Gen Z gets more and more specific with their insults. Oh Michael indeed!
For the most part, Millennials are taking it in stride. We kind of have to. The only other alternative is telling the generation younger than us that they don't know how hard we had it, which is the same thing that Boomers have been telling us since I was old enough to vote. Trust me, it's even lamer when you know the person talking about walking to school uphill both ways is in their thirties. It's not like Gen Z isn't facing an equally hopeless prospect. They're coming of age in the middle of a pandemic. At least when I became old enough to drink I could do it in a bar.
It's not our entire responsibility to have changed things, but Gen Z is about to inherit a pretty shitty world. The least we can do is take the blame for the part in that we have played. I know being responsible for the long term popularity of The Office or creating the phrase "heckin' doggo" aren't exactly perpetuating climate change, but we should take our lumps as they're dished out. To do otherwise would mean becoming as boring and out of touch as my parents.