Hello, my name is Caraline and I admittedly belong to Gen Z (shout out to all the 2000s babies!). Gen Z. What an interesting generation we are. Up until Covid-19 hit, we were perceivably the luckiest generation economically. We were practically born with a smartphone in one hand and a textbook in the other, as we are considered to be more educated than prior generations.
However, what really makes me happy to be a part of such a generation isn't how tech-savvy or book smart we seem to be. Nope. The biggest, most beautiful jewel in the Gen Z crown is how diverse and accepting of diversity we are. But (there's always a "but"), I dislike how we take so much for granted. And not just that; how we seem to take so much for granted, then boast about it. Yet, what I think worsens the issue is that there's unequal treatment of boastfulness. Why is it Kim K gets flack for posting about her island gateway for her 40th birthday, yet we praise non-celebrities for their new apartments or their straight-A filled report cards?
The primary rebuttal is that famous, rich people shouldn't flaunt what the vast majority of people don't have. However, the largest flaw in that argument is how hypocritical it is. Many respondents to Kim K's social media post highlighting her extravagant birthday bash argued she shouldn't post so braggadociously while the world is in the middle of a pandemic. Admittedly, I agree that Kim K shouldn't post such things during such a trying time for the entire globe. Yet, I'm not a hypocrite. I hold the same disdain for the Joshs and Rachels that take over my Instagram explore page with their posts about their new ride or purse.
To be blunt, I don't think anyone should be boasting about how "fab" their life is on social media. I have always been the sort of person that is simply satisfied in the fact that I have whatever I had previously coveted - I don't get any gratification from posting about it. I realize in doing so, I've made myself into a social media shadow, liking and praising others' accomplishments, but very rarely sharing my own. With living in a "praise me" culture, boastfulness has gained so much traction that it's normal. I can't say I'm surprised that some people attack Kim K for so frivolously displaying her wealth; yet, I do wonder why some are so keen on condemning her for a behavior our culture has normalized so well that regular, everyday folks do it?
Arguably, the normalization of boastfulness did start with celebrities; it's a normal part of our lives - especially amongst Zoomers. Of course, there's a reason for all our little, dirty habits. In this case, I think Zoomers are so quick to grab their smartphones when they get a new, pretty toy because that's all we know. Gen Z, like prior generations, is driven by pop culture.
Partly, this article is written to inform others on biases we sometimes hold against who is and isn't condemned for social media boasting. Yet, this article is also a call to action for Zoomers. Gen z is arguably a generation that will rear leaders, not followers. I suggest we start now rather than later. For 2021, perhaps our shared goal can be to normalize not participating in "praise me" culture.