Everybody at birth is assigned a generation. Generations are established groups that link people of similar age to share and create with each other and the world. One’s generation is somewhat of an identifier of who you are as a person. That may mean your characteristics, your beliefs, and even your fashion sense. Regardless of what a generation is composed of, it classifies and defines how you present to others which frequently leads to the development of awkward judgment and tension from previous generations. It’s this unwritten rule that you stick by your age group and dislike the actions of others. Yet, this practice teaches people to be exclusive and often creates a superiority complex within each generation. It’s harmful, and people perceive this exclusivity as a direct attack on their character if they do not adhere to their generation’s “rules.” However, this complexity is exactly why it is so interesting to see the current debate that is unfolding between Millennials and Gen Z on TikTok.
Honestly, adults and older teens fighting over unnecessary drama is entertaining. It’s laughable because we are of an age where this should not happen anymore. Especially if it’s over something as simple as the way we part our hair. I might be a bit biased in this debate since I am from Generation Z where we laugh at everything because we have no other choice but to. However, this small debate stems from a real problem. It’s the picking and choosing of what we deem acceptable or trendy. If one’s choices result in large-scale teasing, it’s understandable that people can get hurt. Millennials have been the butt of the joke from both ends; older generations believe that they are too sensitive while Gen Z believes that Millennial’s stereotypes place a wrong impression on us. It’s a difficult position because no matter what, Millenials lose. That’s why there’s been an influx of Millennials doubling down on their choices and lifestyle. It’s become predominantly performative as a way to defend themselves against the hate. Although, the format in which they express their message is amusing. It’s an interesting choice to pick a hairstyle or the rapper, Eminem, as signifiers of your generation. What makes the fight more engaging is the lack of interest from Generation Z. It seems as though the argument is one-sided and unimportant. I think it’s ill timing to debate about such trivial issues, but the topic uncovers valid feelings. No one likes their identity to be questioned and misrepresented. It’s common sense, yet we seem to break this rule every time.
So, what does this fight say about us as a society? Both parties represent basic human emotions. Millennials feel the need to be defensive of their generation because, ultimately, it’s a direct reflection of them. Gen Z believes that feelings can serve as a means of entertainment and this trivial dual serves as yet another thing that brings our generation together. We all want to do whatever it takes to belong, so we assimilate. Gen Z’s sole intention is not to increase divisiveness, however, we continue to do it. So the next time you think about making a TikTok to bash another generation, maybe don’t.