Millennials move over: The feud between Gen Z and Mills

design: Abby Robinson

Move over, Millennials! Generation Z is becoming increasingly influential, with a growing presence in the world. However, this growing impact has also led to a “feud” between generations, with Millennials being criticized for their fashion choices and Gen Z being ridiculed for following potentially harmful internet trends.

According to Pew Research Center, anyone born between 1981 and 1996 is a Millennial, and anyone born from 1997 to 2012 is a member of Generation Z. For older Millennials and younger Gen Zers, there may be a significant difference in culture. However, for those with a smaller age gap, they may be able to relate to each other.

Gloria Kim, a 26-year-old Millennial who was born on the cusp between the two generations, said there is a separation in culture. “Generations are very divided on how they think, and intolerance is more prevalent with ‘cancel culture’ or ‘know-it-all culture,’” Kim said.

Senior Ale Castagnola said the revival of certain trends has contributed to this divide.

“The war between my generation and Millennials is kind of dumb. If we try to bring back something from their generation, they see it as stealing their ideas and get offended for some reason,” Castagnola said.
The first to be born around a plethora of digital resources, Gen Z has grown up with a different environment compared to Millennials. So, to 31-year-old Millennial Ahmed Ibrahim, there is a difference in culture.

“Gen Zers were born in a purely technological age. Millennials remember a little bit from before the social media and hyper technology age, so they have something to compare this age to. I remember dial-up internet and CD players,” Ibrahim said.

Generation Z has grown up using different technology. But according to junior Asha Keerthipati, these technological advancements didn’t stop parents from making restrictions. “When I was growing up, my parents didn’t really want my sister and me to become too addicted to technology, so we only had iPads which we only mostly used on road trips or plane rides,” Keerthipati said.

The rapid updates in technology as the two generations were raised may have also led to this “war”. “One of the biggest differences I see between Gen Z and Millennials is the way we perceive things in life. They grew up with a lack of today’s advanced technology and Gen Z has grown up as it has progressed, changing the way the two generations look at the uses of technology,” junior Khushi Pabboju said.

Millennials have varying views on Gen Z. Kim said Gen Z is more socially aware earlier in their lives and in society, while Ibrahim said his views are more complicated. “Part of me wants to criticize them, but then I remember how previous generations made me feel when they made fun of millennials,” Ibrahim said.

Generation Z’s views on Millennials are also diverse. “It’s 50-50. They were the generation that started the trend of finally accepting those for who they are, but sometimes they try to gatekeep things they did or had and talk down to us like we’re little kids,” Castagnola said.

On the other hand, Millennials may have expectations for Generation Z. “Since we have much more advanced technology now, it makes a lot of Millennials feel like Gen Z should be doing a lot more or saving the world–basically just doing better in general because ‘we have more’,” Keerthipati said.

Millennials and Gen Z grew up in different ages, where views on the same subjects at the time may have been different. This may have also contributed to the divide between generations.

“When looking at mental health, for example, it was so different for them back then. But it has become normal for [Gen Z] to hear that someone has depression or anxiety,” Keerthipati said.

Aside from the “feud” arguing against the right way to part hair and the best style of jeans, both generations are adapting to technological advancements and a changing society. There have always been similarities and differences between each generation, so the ones between Generation Z and Millennials are nothing new. Perhaps there will even be another culture war in the future, but with Generation Z and Generation Alpha.