There might be radical political polarisation going on right now but is anyone talking about the polarisation of generations?
For young people, it matters deeply whether you’re a Millennial or a Gen Z. Two consecutive generations of people that couldn’t be more opposite and are happy to publicly admit so.
On one hand, you’ve got Millennials, the avocado-eating, narcissistic, job-hopping young adults. On the other hand, is Gen Z, the TikTok’ing, screen-dependent, global warming activist teenagers.
By now, we already know that Millennials have a pretty bad reputation. And for some reason, Gen Z is often referred to as the ‘life-saving’ cohort that is going to fix all of the world’s problems. So, when this new micro-generation, Zillennials, started appearing on the internet, it seemed like a pretty nice ‘get out of jail free’ card for anyone looking to quietly hop off the Millennial train.
But maybe there’s some real truth in this. Since no one can seem to agree exactly when Gen Z started being born, that leaves a few of us wondering which side of the treaty line we belong. Those of us born between 1994-97 don’t know whether we should be buying artisanal coffee while earning minimum wage or hitting up Greta Thunberg on Instagram for eco-friendly living advice.
So, you may be wondering why anyone cares. It’s just a way for people to label you into one age group or another – what difference does it make? While it is ultimately irrelevant to the everyday person, from a sociological point of view, it does provide an insight into why we think and act in certain ways.
Every generation will indeed have some crossover years. Those born in between that could be classed as either. In which case, why are Zillenials any different?
Those born in the mid to late nineties have experienced two different worlds. We remember the sound of dial-up internet, yet we were too young to appreciate WiFi being installed at home. We vaguely remember 9/11 but more vividly remember 7/7. We were aware of mobile phones but probably didn’t get our first one until we were in secondary school. We grew up in a time of rapid technology development that has meant we recall a time before smartphones and social media and yet we were placid enough to start using it without any trouble. It’s a sort of twenty-first-century twilight zone.
To put that into context today, Zillennials are between 23 and 26 years old. We have TikTok on our phones, but we just watch and share content we don’t make it. We have Facebook accounts but barely use them anymore. We care passionately about the global warming issue, yet we also indulge in avocado-fuelled bottomless brunches. We’re a sort of hybrid – a Zillennial, if you will.
So, where does that leave us? Well, we mostly sit back and enjoy the never-ending bickering between both generations while not getting involved. After all, it does make for some pretty entertaining TikTok's.
What do you think, did you relate to anything in this article - are Zillnnials a real thing?