Discourse on Gen Z vs. Millennial Humor

On all social media platforms lately, I’ve noticed a rampant area of tension lies in the mocking of Millennials, and inversely, Gen Z.

Now, as a Gen Z, I definitely have my own biases about my own generation, and yes – we are superior.

However, there is still more that can be said on both sides, and more to be explored in the situation at hand.

The trend is primarily on Tik Tok, where many Tik Tokers point out certain characteristics that are mostly individual to Millennials. The recurring characteristics that I see mocked are typically a deep side part, and skinny jeans. Not to mention, the different memes that Millennials take part in, like a Buzzfeed quiz or text posts that say “Don’t Talk to Me Until I’ve Had My Morning Coffee” sort of thing. However, I have never really seen these characteristics being mocked by Gen Z, only here-say that there is any mocking of the sort on these platforms. I typically see Millennials responding to these jokes, and so I have to believe that someone is doing it?

Given the context, it makes sense. It’s more likely that you will see Gen Z wearing vintage, baggy Mom jeans (I mean that’s my uniform) than wearing skinny jeans, and middle parts are trendy now among our generation (I also usually wear a middle part). But now, even the most menial trends celebrated by Gen Z are denounced by Millennials. For instance, one viral video on Tik Tok shows a girl demonstrating her curling her hair with a hair straightener. A Millennial woman duets it, and in a shrill voice exclaims how they have been doing this for years. When did fun social media trends become a generational contest?

I do think that our own generation can be too self-aware, which has led to the pervasive cancel culture on social media. However, our generation is self-aware in the most righteous pursuits, such as fighting climate change, trying to educate each other on how to be more inclusive, anti-racist, gender neutral, etc. Our generation seeks to change the world in so many ways, which is lost on older generations. What’s unique about this discourse is that we are seeing this backlash directly on social media, and this type of intergenerational mocking online is fairly new and unheard of.

I think the hostility between Gen Z and Millennials was kind of inevitable, in that the evolution of a new generation always lends itself to generalizing stereotypes, and typically generations before (or above) you look to be praying on your downfall, and blame you for your problems.

One thing that Gen Z and Millennials can both find harmony in, is that higher education has always been criminally expensive for us, finding a job is increasingly hard, and the median sale price of an existing family home is “almost 2.6 times as much as it was 30 years ago” (Pan, 2015). How nice…

 

References:

Millennial Tik Tok: https://twitter.com/jakelhm/status/1366008217462071304

 

https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/housing-prices-gone-up-less-than-mcdonalds-big-mac-in-the-past-30-years/