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Opinion: Teenagers in 2018 do not belong to the Millennial or Gen Z generation

Gracie Warda, Online Editor

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“Millenials are so lazy. They are so entitled and don’t understand the meaning of hard work. When I was young, we actually had to do things for ourselves. They don’t know how to interact with others, they’re too absorbed in their phones.” Words like this have been circulating for years in regards to the generation. Millenials have been a hot topic for several months, though have not received positive press. They’ve been given negative stereotypes such as lazy, impatient, entitled, unintelligent and narcissistic, among other things.  

According to socialmarketing.org, millennials were born between 1977 and 1994, which seems to be a relatively average timeline for this generation. The issue with classifying people within generations is the lack of distinction between each one. Between several sources, it can be said that the earliest millennials were born in 1975 and the oldest in 2004. Millennials are well-known for being lazy and ungrateful, especially compared to Baby Boomers, who are often describing them as such.

The generation following Millennials have a couple of names, the main one being Gen Z. Like millennials, Gen Z does not have a distinct age range, but in general are known as children born between 1995 and 2012. When following this guide, a bulk of older Gen Z children are high school aged as of 2018. Gen Z (also known as iGen,) is well known for growing up with the luxury of technology, and being much more tech-savvy than previous generations.

Despite these relatively different groups, 2018 teenagers are often thrown in with millennials and their undesirable traits- but this grouping isn’t entirely false.

Millennials, along with being seen as ungrateful, are known for witnessing the change of an era. Their coming-of-age was around 1997 and 2002, so growing up, they witnessed the shift of the millenium. They grew up with the shows that are now so nostalgic, like “Friends,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “The Rugrats” and “Full House.” They saw the technology boom first person, from the box television with the VCR on a rolling cart to the smart screens. Their childhood was defined by the change from 90’s nostalgia to the new-age.

However, the childhood of the oldest of Gen Z was defined in the same way.

Those children born between 1997-2003 are technically considered to be Gen Z by most accounts. Despite this, they witnessed the shift of the millenium in the same way millennials did and they are often associated with the same characteristics, even though they technically belong to another generation. However, the shift happened early enough in their lives that they have the same tech-savvy nature of Gen Z kids.

“Teenagers” and “Millennials” have become nearly synonyms, despite the oldest “millennials” being over 40 years old. The ill-distinction between generations has created an awkward gray zone for teenagers in 2018. In actuality, present-day high schoolers could identify as a millennial or a Gen Z baby, but neither identity would be a hundred percent accurate, because teenagers have the best parts of both generations.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Opinion: Teenagers in 2018 do not belong to the Millennial or Gen Z generation”

  1. Brandon on March 20th, 2018 11:29 AM

    Really loved the article!! 🙂 Btw on the graph, you have Millennials as 1997-1994 lol

    [Reply]

  2. mike warda on March 24th, 2018 6:36 AM

    Beat overall description and explanation I have read thus far. Reader really know where they stand and where family members stand. It sometimes makes it easier for us to understand each other this way. Love the article.

    [Reply]