I guess if I was born in the old age of 1999, I would be considered to be a part of Generation Z. I am absolutely fine with that. I am fine with that because that is quite literally what I am. I cannot argue with it. Personally, I do not find there to be a negative connotation behind the word millennial, or the term Gen Z (like most people do). This is because they are simply the names of the different generations. How could you be mad at that? What most people actually have a problem with nowadays is when they generalize and say that we are all the same, or that we do not really do anything. Those are the main issues, at least for me.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions of course. But I refuse to believe that my generation is not unique. Teenagers and young adults today are protesting and speaking their minds to anyone that will listen. The #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault has become a huge conversation. In March of 2018, March For Our Lives to support gun control was created by a group of teenagers who felt that they were not safe. My senior year of high school, students throughout different grades and classes went out to the middle of town wearing orange t-shirts, waving our posters in the air, screaming on top of our lungs to get everyone’s attention. Cars honked in agreement, people shook our hands and were taking videos. It felt like we did something for our community. We marched for our lives. And we don’t do anything? Ha.
Older generations tend to call us lazy too. But I work really hard! It’s the Nigerian in me. I feel like a lot of people think that all we do is sit and stare at our phones all day. I didn’t think that people could be that angry at us for using our phones. How do you know that I’m not checking the news app? What if I’m texting a friend about homework? Anyways, I was curious, so I typed in “Why do people hate millennials?” into the Google search bar. An article came up.
This article written by Christopher Ingraham stated that one of the big reasons why millennials are so hated is because “Millennials are just as racist as their elders”. To be more specific, it is because we tend to emulate our parents.
“When Uncle Steve starts spouting off racist nonsense at the Thanksgiving table you might be inclined to cut him a little tiny bit of slack — he’s a product of a different era, after all. But when Cousin Cooper does the same thing, well, that’s a different story.”
Yeah. A good amount of us are just as racist as our elders (Not me. Also I do not have a racist family. This is just an example.) Which is horrible, but at the same time, and I am in no way making excuses, that had to have stemmed from somewhere. I said it. A lot of the time we get our ideas and thoughts and perspectives from our parents. It is just about how we grew up and how we were raised. I did not use to follow politics all that much, but nowadays, it is pretty hard not to with everything going on in the world. Kids my age were supporting Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Some of these kids didn’t even know who they were a few years ago. It is just how people think. Okay, so my parents are supporting him, so why shouldn’t I? My parents are supporting her so obviously, I will too. That may not be what they are thinking specifically, but you get what I mean. Parents have an effect on their children. And as a millennial, I can say – vice versa.
Anyways, like I said before, that was just an example. And I need to emphasize the fact that the article pertains mostly to Western culture.
Sometimes I will be scrolling through Instagram on my phone near my mom, who will then tell me to get off my phone. A couple minutes later I will see her scrolling through Instagram laughing at some video. It happens to the best of us. I cannot blame her. This means that my generation has an effect on hers as well. She tells me to get off my phone, and read something instead, and I show her how to send a video to her friend on her phone. We help each other out. That is not a bad thing.
So yes, this is why you cannot blame me and my fellow millennials for being on our phones too much. It is just a thing. That is what we do. It is what we see everywhere. Whether it is a source of entertainment, or we are using it to call someone, or to get quick directions to a location, a phone is a phone, and we are using it just because, Mom.
You can call me a product of Gen Z, I am cool with that. But you cannot say that we are all the same, or that we need to “mature” and grow up. We got it from our mamas…Sorry, our parents.
Chidera Nwachukwu lives with her mom … sorry, her parents in Boston. She would appreciate your comments.