The Try Not To Laugh Challenge: Another Gift From Gen Z's
I think when people complain about "millennials," they really mean Generation Z. The term Millennial applies to anyone born between 1980 and 1995. Generation Z, or Zoomers, by contrast, are people born after 1995.
I was born in 1981, and when I hear older people complain about "Millennials," I know they're not talking about me. And anyway, you Gen Xers raised them. Not me. Leave me out of it. I'm stuck between you 2 goofs and have to deal with you constantly at each other's throats. You've got the most spoiled generation on the planet being dissed by the people spoiling them. How does that make any sense?
When I hear complaints about "kids today," it's usually around them not knowing what a rotary or chorded home telephone is, not knowing life without a cell phone that can customize all their favourite forms of entertainment to their specific preferences at the tap of a finger.
I didn't have a cell phone until I was almost in my 20s. Not everyone lived like The Fresh Prince of Belair or Cher from Clueless in the 90s. And in the 80s, I was using an IBM 386. Internet? What's that? The first time I saw anything like that was in the 1983 Matthew Broderick movie War Games - or maybe it was the John Hughes movie Weird Science. I didn't have the Internet at home until I was well into my late teens and almost graduated.
Maybe it's just me, but I started to notice a market shift in the early 2000s. Sure, we knew kids who had cell phones in the 90s, but they could only make phone calls. I don't even think I got a camera phone with text ability until well into the late 2000s, and that was a cheap Nokia.
In the late 90s, when Yahoo Chat was a thing, I knew plenty of kids who were in the chat rooms, and I was well aware of the dangers they posed, especially when people were openly listing they age and asking if someone under the age of consent wanted to "chat" - or worse. But I didn't know anyone in school who had met someone online who they actually dated - besides myself. Maybe I'll get into that more at another time.
But I'm getting tired of being blamed for things my generation had nothing to do with. At least we had an identity. 80s kids became 90s teens. Both decades, for better or for worse, were identifiable.
Today's generation is like an episode of Seinfeld, even though half of them don't know what that is. They're a generation about nothing. Except maybe blind outrage, cliches and taking credit for things my generation did for them. At least we didn't raise these little shits. That's on you, Gen X. You had an identity, and then you forgot how to pass one on to your kids.