"Zillennials" make up the group of people who were born three years before the end of the millennial generation or three years into Gen Z, between 1993 and 1998.
When Insider put out a call to talk to zillennials, dozens replied, saying they felt unattached to either generation and were confused about which fashion choices they should be making, what slang words or emojis they should use, and which memories and references define them.
Harry Kersh, the host of Insider's "Food Wars," for instance, considers himself "extremely online." But having been born in 1995, he doesn't see himself as either a millennial or a zoomer (Gen Z).
"I'm sure in reality the lines are a lot more blurred — not every millennial still defines themselves by their 'Harry Potter' house at 31," he said. "But experiencing both groups through an online lens just tends to expose you to people at the far sides of their respective spectrums."
Zillennials have found themselves on the cusp of the divide.
Millennials and Gen Zers have been pitted against each other online
Online, zoomers and millennials have been duking it out. Zoomers mock millennials for what they say is half-hearted activism, side partings, and skinny jeans, while millennials say Gen Z is immature and hyperwoke. Each side seems to accuse the other of being out of touch with reality.
Several zillennials said their identity varied depending on which side is more widely considered to be "cringe" on any given day. Earlier this year, for example, some millennials jumped on a trend of posting diss tracks about Gen Z and were roasted for it.
While some were meant as parodies of the petty "wars" between generations, others appeared to be genuine. This, Insider's Palmer Haasch reported, fueled the drama and generated further mockery.
Zillennials aren't safe from being sucked into the cringe culture either. Juliana Olarte, a publicist and 1997 zillennial, said her younger sister often calls her "cheugy" — an aesthetic often associated with millennials that is defined by minion memes, "girlboss" memorabilia, and Gucci belts.
Being in between millennials and Gen Z can leave zillennials feeling lost and displaced
Caroline Plumer, a psychotherapist whose specialties include anxiety, relationships, and identity, told Insider that fitting into communities could benefit our well-being but said zillennials were in a tough position.
"Trying to homogenize a group where there is an 18-year age difference between the oldest and youngest members is problematic at the best of times," she said. "But zillennials, in particular, were born at such a pivotal time, in terms of advancements in technology and how we relate to the world around us, that this makes a globally relatable definition impossible."
Many zillennials who responded to Insider said that in general, they felt too old to be one generation and too young to be the other.
Liz Sommer, a freelance writer born in 1996, told Insider she didn't have the memories of defining cultural moments for millennials, such as the 9/11 attacks. Jordyn Christensen, a journalist born in 1995, said she missed the boat on millennial pop-culture touchstones such as "The Hills," "The Simple Life," and "Mean Girls," but felt too old to be on TikTok. Her little sister, who is 18 and firmly a Gen Zer, uses Snapchat to communicate with her friends, while Christensen's messages are mostly on Facebook and Instagram.
"Trying to toe the line between baggy jeans, tennis skirts, and feeling on trend but actually having to go to work in a professional environment — it's an interesting place to be," she said.
Kendall Balchan, born in 1997, said her generational identity "is perfectly cleaved in half." She finds "wine-mom" memes embarrassing but feels old seeing kids copying Charli D'Amelio's dances when she remembers early viral YouTube videos like "Shoes."
"I have a vague memory of Backstreet Boys hits and no memory of 'N Sync," she said. "And I feel too old for the SoundCloud rappers that were huge a couple of years ago."
Plumer said not clearly remembering defining events of the millennial generation could leave zillennials feeling lost and displaced. This otherness can be exacerbated by "the unwillingness of either millennials or Gen Zers to accept 'cuspers' into their fold," she said.
Olarte told Insider she could feel looked down upon in her workplace for recommending up-to-date social-media trends but equally ostracized when she struggles to keep up with language popularized by Gen Z.
"It'd be great to not feel like we have to walk on eggshells when we're learning new terminology and how to be more inclusive," Olarte said.
For more stories like this, check out coverage from Insider's Digital Culture team here.
Source : https://www.businessinsider.com/zillennial-millennial-gen-z-generation-am-i-age-year-birthday-2021-7855