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Ida-Marie's Blog: The Generation Between Z and Millennials: Zillennials

By Megan 11 Oct 2019

As a 19 year old, I have, at times, ‘struggled’ with finding out what generation I actually fit in to. Officially, I’m a generation Z since I was born in 2000, however, I often relate more to the generation before me: The Millennials, which is a generation that expands from the early 1980s to the late 1990s. They grew up with things like the Tamagotchi, the Gameboy and the Easy-Bake Oven but so did I. However, if I’m in generation Z, then I’m officially not supposed to have grown up with these. So which generation do I actually fit into?

Over the past few years, the term ‘Zillennials’ has been coined as the generation between Millennials and Generation Z. In years, they would be born between 1998 to 2002. Not a big age range, however, big enough to have grown “up with tech around us, but we’re also the kids who didn’t come out of the womb tablet in hand.” ( Zillennials are the ones that experienced the release of the first iPhone but started off their technological journey with a Razor or another sort of flip phone. Some of our biggest worries as children, were having to text our friends from our parents’ phone and hoping that our moms wouldn’t find out our secrets and if the neighbourhood kids would be able to play outside with you or not. So why is this term so important that people are writing articles about it?

I spoke to a friend from QMU a while ago about this term. He turned out to be very passionate about the topic. He has a younger sister born in 2004, which makes them both fit into the Generation Z category, however, he could not relate to the TikTok making and VSCO using 15 year olds. For him, this term was almost a safety tool to separate himself from his sister and her friends. He felt as if it wasn’t directly about not wanting to be related to his sister, but rather what her year group started to stand for which recently has been for eating tide pods for videos and generally not behaving according to what is ‘socially acceptable’.

Initially, I thought that he didn’t want to be in Generation Z due to his honor or personal agenda, however, ironically, a characteristic of Generation Z is uniqueness and wanting to come across as a unique individual. Not wanting to fit into certain boxes and being who people tell you to, is a character trait within this generation. It does sound like the typical teenage rebellion, however, in the 2000's and 2010's, there’s been a lot more room for personal growth than any other time. So even though my friend probably wouldn’t admit it, he does have characteristics which is common for generation Z but at the same time also traits from the Millennial generation. However, why are all of these labels so important to us all of a sudden?

The different generations were created as scientific way of characterizing people from the 1950's and forward. It was never about specifically targeting anyone or being rude, but rather a statistically manner in which to figure out what each generation stood for. Unfortunately, many people have now become stuck on how it might affect them on an everyday basis but it shouldn’t since it has most likely no direct correlation of how people will act depending on what generation they’re in. They might have certain world views and ideas, however, not everyone in generation Z will want to be unique. Some want to fit into specific boxes and that is up to each individual

In conclusion, the term Zillennials is interesting since it categorizes the people that feel left out from their generation or can’t relate to it. It also means that the people who grew up with the development of technology, rather than experiencing it first hand right from birth, have other people that understand their ‘frustration’ when they don’t feel like they’re only one thing but rather two.
Generally, Zillennials have the best of both Generation Z and Millennials, however, we need to be careful not to be stuck in certain labels if it will distance us from, for example, our siblings. Finally, generations don’t have to affect us. You are your own self and you choose who you want to be. There will be certain traits from your generation that you will exhibit but your whole personality shouldn’t be based on what other people tell you you’re supposed to be. So if you’re born between 1998 and 2002, be a Millennial, a Generation Z or a Zillennial, it really shouldn’t matter as long as you feel comfortable with the ‘label’ that you’re putting on yourself. 

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Megan part of the QMU Browzer Team
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