20 Things Boomers Can’t Stand About Gen Z

Age is not the only thing that separates boomers from Gen Z. The generational gap has widened. Whilst “hate” is a strong word, there is certainly a generational divide, particularly in values, activities, and perspectives, all shaped by the times in which they were born.

Here’s a look at 20 things boomers find most infuriating about Gen Z, as shared by boomers on social media.

Are You a Boomer?

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Baby boomers refer to anyone born after the end of WWII between 1946 and 1964. This period saw a significant boom in birth rates and a substantial surge in population, which contributed to reshaping the U.S. politically, culturally, and economically following the war. The baby boomer generation grew in diversity over time thanks to continued immigration even after the initial surge in birth rates. 

Who is Gen Z?

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Gen Z includes anyone born between the years 1997 to 2012 and is supposedly the most diverse American generation, with nearly half being racial and ethnic minorities and a quarter identifying as Hispanic.

Growing up in such diverse environments, Gen Z also experiences a higher rate of foreign-born, single-parent, mixed-race, and LGBTQ+ families. According to Britannica, around 16% of Gen Zers identify as LGBTQ+, which far surpasses previous generations. Many now challenge traditional gender norms, as over half of Gen Zers are advocating for non-binary options in forms and profiles.

With a little background out of the way, here are the top 20 things boomers find most irritating about Gen Z.

Living Life on a Screen

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Social media, in general, detracts from living in the moment; Gen-Z’s obsession with online image and fame sidelines life’s best moments – something that is not typical of the baby boomer generation.

TikTok Dances

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TikTok dances, especially in public, disrupt spaces with excessive showiness, causing commotion rather than entertainment.

Trend Obsessions

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Micro-trends are impossible to keep up with, resulting in everyone looking the same despite claims of individuality.

Constant Need for Validation

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Gen Z’s self-worth appears tied to online interactions, perpetually seeking validation through social media and the amount of engagement content posted receives.

Vaping

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For a generation that cares so much about the environment, it seems pretty contradictory to collect hundreds of non-recyclable single-use vapes. Not to mention the horrific side effects of vaping and the candy-flavored colorful packaging that encourages kids to buy them. Many boomers find this appalling.

Cosmetic Surgery

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Gone are the days of natural beauty, with the prevalence of lip-fillers, botox, and buccal fat removal resulting in a homogenized appearance.

Bad Taste in Music

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Gone is the golden age of music. Today’s pop has nothing on the legendary hits from the 70s and 80s. Boomers got to experience firsthand the genius of David Bowie, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and Springsteen. Nowadays, everything seems to sound the same and lacks any substance.

“Ok, Boomer”

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This dismissive phrase, intended as an insult, comes across as ageist and unproductive in addressing intergenerational differences.

Overly Sensitive

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The problem with Gen Z is that they are over-sensitive about everything. Trying to have a discussion constantly feels like walking on eggshells. You never know what you’ll be called out for and Boomers find it exhausting trying to keep up with what you can and can’t say. It’s impossible almost to have any kind of open debate nowadays without offending someone.

Selfies

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It’s not the actual photos that are the issue, just the excessive posing, pouting, and generally getting in the way. It all gets somewhat tedious when you have to wait for them to document or ‘vlog’ everything.

Obsession with Technology

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Nowadays, kids are practically raised with smartphones glued to their hands. Gone are the days of reading a book or socializing without digital interruptions.

Poor Work Ethic

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Gen Z seems to have convinced themselves they work smarter, not harder. Many boomers feel that sharing a workplace with them usually just means they make minimal effort and think that ‘showing up’ is 90% of the job.

Documentation of Mental Breakdowns

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Over-sharing is just a weird one. Boomers don’t understand the need to share every detail of your life or your breakup online. What happened to privacy or having a private life/some mystery to your life? There are far more interesting things to be doing with your life and sharing your traumatic experiences online can be dangerous. Kids these days are exposed to so much negativity online.

Labeling Everything

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Creating labels while condemning labeling as discriminatory leads to confusion and contradictions.

Lack of Foresight

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Gen Z’s focus on the present sadly undermines the importance of future planning and preparedness.

Mental Health

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Baby boomers grew up in an era where mental health was not openly discussed, leading to discomfort with Gen Z’s prioritization of mental health, self-care, and openness about struggles.

Whilst mental health is absolutely an important conversation, the rise of self-diagnoses on social media and the obsession with neural-divergence is also an issue as the majority of youths sharing this information are not qualified professionals, and it can be incredibly irresponsible and misleading.

Cancel Culture

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Cancel culture has turned into some weird witch hunt. Under the pretense of social justice and accountability, it stifles free speech, promotes censorship, and imposes consequences without due process, contradicting traditional views on open discourse and debate.

Selfishness

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Today’s youth prioritize their wellbeing and ‘self-care’ but often to the detriment of those around them. Gone are the days of community spirit that boomers reveled in. Many boomers feel like we have entered an age of extreme individualism.

Lack of Family Values

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Gen-Z seems to value family and community far less than Boomers. Thanks to their excessive individualism and rejection of authority, there’s a big difference in values between boomers and Gen-Z.

New Lingo

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Gen Z’s adoption of slang and abbreviations can alienate older generations and promote mockery rather than inclusion.

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