Millennials vs. Gen Z—A Fight No One Asked For

Kaylee Powell, Staff Writer

As many know, I spend a good amount of my free time on TikTok which means I often get to see a lot of the random internet drama. This month’s newest drama is the very one-sided fight between Millennials and Gen Z. This argument started after our favorite reliable news source, Buzzfeed, posted a plethora of articles written by Millennials about the problems with Gen Z. At first, the arguments were over silly disputes like side-parts, skinny jeans, and the use of the wrong emoji. But once the ball started rolling, it didn’t stop. 

Gen Z is a group of people born between 1997 and 2015, and Millennials are born between 1981 and 1996.

I call this a one-sided fight because after all the videos I’ve watched under this topic, I haven’t seen a single Gen Z person make up their own song or say something against Millennials unprovoked. All of the Gen Z responses I have seen are either them making fun of an audio or duetting a Millennial’s TikTok with the look of disbelief on their face. 

 After a day or two of this running feud, Millennials started remaking popular songs or even their own in an attempt to diss Gen Z, often either flopping or getting ridiculed into deleting their original video. This audio was written and sung by Sarah Hester Ross, and after receiving minor backlash, she deleted her video. Unfortunately, Gen Z had already hopped on to the audio and used it to make continuous jokes about how we are just trying to survive after spending our formative years in a pandemic and Millennials have decided to try and diss children on an app made for children.

 One user, @chiquitacwilder, even pointed out that Ross’ disses were outdated. Ross said, “I’ve been rocking this side-part since you’ve had Kermit on your underwear.” The user pointed out that The Muppets was a show generally watched by Millennials and it would’ve been smarter to use a show like Strawberry ShortCake or Sesame Street. @chiquitacwilder gave Ross the advice: “Before you make fun of Gen Z, make sure you know what our things are.”

Another user, @mammybanter, decided to rewrite “Boys” by Lizzo but with her own twist. Everything about this sound is hard to listen to, from the pitch to the tempo—everything is just wrong, and just when you think it can’t get worse, she starts singing. After posting the audio, the user quickly deleted her TikTok, but once again, Gen Z had already gotten a hold of the audio and once again used it again to make fun of the lack of creativity and sense of the lyrics. 

Somewhere along this fake internet drama, someone came up with the idea that Gen Z was trying to cancel Eminem, something many generations before have tried and never really succeeded in. Many Millennials started getting upset by this idea and posted their own raps to come after Gen Z, dissing Gen Z for how young we are and that we are overly sensitive. This one ended up picking up enough traction that Lil Nas X, a Gen Zer, made this in response using the same audio as her.

Before this video was quickly deleted, there were many comments along the lines of “I wasn’t planning on canceling Eminem, but I want to now” or “Is anyone actually trying to cancel Eminem?” And after doing extensive research and probably messing up my “For You page” for a while, I have determined that no one is actually trying to cancel Eminem. Millennials just think Gen Z is trying to cancel Eminem because one person criticized him and the Millennials are retaliating by hurling insults our way and spreading a false narrative. 

This eventually led to Millennials thinking Eminem’s song “Tone Deaf” was written as a response to Gen Z trying to cancel him even though this song was released in 2020. One Millennial posted her video of her proudly dancing to his song and saying, “Gen Z, we Millennials warned you.” Many commenters repeatedly told her that she was wrong, but that hasn’t stopped her from responding. 

At first, I was laughing at the idea of living in Millennials’ heads “rent-free.” The fact that simple jokes about side-parts and skinny jeans resulted in videos like this was funny because these were not obstacles that Gen Z made for Millennials, but rather trends made by Millennials for Millennials. Of course, as time moves on and generations age, there will be different trends, but I think a lot of the Millennials mentioned in this article have forgotten that they are arguing with actual children, and that’s kind of embarrassing for them.