What are boomers and millennials

Why it hurts millennials so much to be the new boomers

In the past few days, news has been circulating that the tearful, laughing emoji should no longer be used because Generation Z is apparently considered uncool. While the Guardian heralded the beginning of a "culture war" between the generations, offended Millennials went on the attack. Feeling like teenagers had robbed them of their right to amused emojis and skinny jeans, they attacked Gen Z in ways that baby boomers would have smiled for a few years ago.

The whole debate was triggered by a video on the Chinese platform Tiktok, in which some things were listed that millennials do and that the next generation does not consider to be good. Of course the video is silly. But what is worse is the fact that people actually take personally what Tiktok teenagers put into a video as silliness.

No say

"If you've never had to code smiley faces for MSN, you don't have a say," says Tiktok user Veronica Rossi, for example, defending her generation in a video. Some millennials will likely nod in agreement as they look at it. Actually, it is only this all too serious attempt to counterattack that makes the initial situation really funny - and should also dispel any remaining doubts that the scepter of interpretative sovereignty over Internet culture has long been passed on.

But this development shouldn't really come as a surprise. If you take into account that millennials, according to the official definition, were born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s, one finds that most of them are (by Internet standards) already old.

And whether they want to admit it or not, parts of their norms and approaches to the Internet are just as out of date. So it was only a matter of time before a new generation came up that, thanks to new social media platforms - the most prominent of which is probably Tiktok - are putting on the same theater as millennials once did with boomers.

Hold on to youth

All parting is difficult, as this discussion shows very clearly. But the fact that some people feel attacked by a joke about laughing emojis shows that letting go can be liberating. Although the obsession to stay young obviously makes for some hearty laughs. (Mickey Manakas, February 17, 2021)