I was born at that really odd time at the edge of two generations. Am I a Millennial? Am I in Gen Z? Hard to tell, especially because each website, book and study says something different. In the end, I find myself relating to both generations in different ways, maybe leaning a bit towards the Millennials. I remember when my family bought our first DVD player, I remember those old Disney Channel shows, too, and I was 12 when my mom finally got rid of her flip phone. But I also spend way too much time watching Tiktoks and got addicted to my smartphone at the ripe old age of fourteen, so I guess I have some things in common with Gen Z too.
This weird hybrid state I find myself in might be fueling this article. As someone who can relate to both of this generations, I remember hearing people a few years older than me complain about how adults just didn't understand them, how Gen X was full of people who just hated on Millennials so much and had no empathy. Didn't they remember being kids? I've felt the same way at points in my life. And that's why it's so confusing to me to see those same Millennials turn and ridicule Gen Z for their trends. The very people who claimed they would never act like this have turned around and started to do exactly what they said they wouldn't. And honestly? Why be surprised?
It's hard to realize you're not cool anymore. And, older Millennials, I hate to break to you, but you're not cool anymore. Ten-year-olds look at you and think you're old and boring. I mean, you don't even know what tea is, or how to get lit. You don't understand the latest memes anymore. What's up with that weird picture of Pikachu everyone's sharing? I mean, really, Gen Z just has really dumb humor, right? They don't say bae anymore, and they think your clothes look stupid, and all those memes you were making in 2010 are so incredibly irrelevant to them. They're the dumb ones, right?
I think this is a struggle every generation has faced. Growing up and realizing that suddenly you aren't the ones dictating what's relevant and cool and what "the kids these days" are into can be a bit of a shocking thing. However, that isn't an excuse. There is absolutely no reason to be hateful towards the innocent things the next generation enjoys.
Millennials acting like the things children and teenagers like now are all stupid is the same as when we were made fun of for silly bands, selfies, Harry Potter, old Disney shows, and other harmless things we enjoyed as children. We shouldn't put down the next generation because they have their own sense of humor. If we do, we're setting ourselves up to be just like the one before us, despite all our promises that we would never be like that, that we'd understand our children.
The truth is, every generation in recent history has had weird fads. Every generation has had its dumb things that don't make sense to the previous ones. And yet look how it all turned out. The vast majority of people grow up to be good, productive members of society. I think we should be less critical of the next generation, and remember that in the end, we're all living on this planet together. We've got to take care of each other because we'll never get anywhere by tearing each other down.
So let the kids do their Fortnite dances. Let the teens say "yeet" every time they do anything. Let the children do what children do best: things that seem dumb to older people, but are infinitely funny to them. It's not hurting you, is it?