As a Zillennial growing, I’ve always been caught between the cusp of of experiences that define Gen Z and Millennials. I often felt that I couldn’t identify with hip group of gamers, tiktokers, graphic designers and the instagram-obsessed travel fomo selfies, wanting to choose a one generation over the other to resolve my identity. Of course I secretly want to be in this group of high energy youths and deny the fact that I am concomitantly aging. Having the hodge podge experiences of both generations, it served as an enabler for me as an outsider, to be essential bridge that facilitate understanding of these disparate groups of people.
I remember going into Discord in an Anime group just to be greeted, as a twenty-five year old as a Boomer. I was shocked. One of the off-putting unsavory phrases that cause a rift between Millennials and Zoomers is “ok boomer”. It’s mainly used when one is frustrated with lengthy explanations or the feeling of misunderstanding of an elder generation being bossy or entitled from their experience. Yet between friends, it’s a phrase testing camaraderie. Context, is what matters.
Zoomers being brought up in an age of liberating movements are more brazen with embracing who they are as they lean into their emotions. Protests, LGBTQ, Black Live Matters, Feminism is what millenials fought hard for that is handed graciously to GenZ. They are more vulnerable in who they are, and this probably has contributed to the unapologetic yet authentic way they express themselves. Artists like Cardi B with dances that embrace sexuality ie) WAP and Corpse Husband who is open with mental illness with his own struggles and how “E-Girls Have Ruined my World ” opens a space to target core issues that have not been yet addressed to a more accepting society.
While Zoomers and Millennials have much of a rift, there are core missions and values that unite them. Both value equality, and most of all, both feel that they are not valued. There is a fear of being relevant, as there are deep-rooted prejudice against our capacities of being old or young.
Future technologies and media are solutions to address this problem as they find common spaces to unite. For instance, there are emergent Tiktok investors that create content that appeal to Millenials, to Clubhouse and Discord groups that serve as spaces to discuss business and startups. There are companies that have older Millennials such as Razer for their N95 mask as product models, making gaming inclusive. Media, such as Marvel can feature older characters such as Wolverine and Cerebro, and influencers such as Elon and Dorsey are examples of relevancy. Focusing on age diversity with the agency to pass the baton back and forth to allow all to embrace their value.
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