Are Millennials Aging the Internet?

A viral article suggests millennials are too old for the internet, but is that possible?

According to a viral article, millennials are aging out of the internet, and the biggest proof is in the “millennial hiatus.” But what is the millennial hiatus, and does it really mark the end of an era for millennials on the internet?

What is the “Millennial Pause”?

was published Atlantic, Kate Lindsey’s original article points out the many tics and behaviors that millennials are experiencing online. Specifically, behaviors exhibited by millennials on TikTok that Gen Z TikTokers make fun of.

These tics include random zooms to emphasize talking points, a style of speaking called the “BuzzFeed accent,” the use of random filters, and the use of phrases like “doggo,” “I can’t,” and “bigots” popularized on Twitter and Instagram. and the latest crime…the millennial hiatus.

The millennial pause is the second that millennials wait before starting to speak in a video to intuitively overcome the recording lag, as Lindsey identified. Lindsay believes the break is technical fatigue from using old technology that doesn’t start recording right away. What’s more, while millennials are used to documenting their lives in photos, the millennial hiatus is indicative of a concern about recording videos that aren’t generally made by Gen Z.

The term millennial break was first used on Taylor Swift on TikTok. TikTok user @nisipisa built TikTok with Swift and excitedly revealed that even she isn’t immune to the jealousy-inducing pause. “My God! Will he ever stop being related,” says @nisipisa.

Indeed, there is now an entire TikTok genre dedicated to Gen Z. Parodies of how millennials tell stories, how millennials act on live streams, what millennials look like when they try to use so-called Gen Z slang words (most of which are actually very badly used AAVE), and even react to millennial idiosyncrasies. Nick Jonas deserves TikToks.

Lindsay also offers a few treats outside of TikTok. Millennial tics like to use gifs as reactions and turn their social media bios into lists of everything from every city they’ve lived in to their house at Hogwarts.

But are Millennials really too old to be on Social Media?

Contrary to the general tone of Lindsey’s article, it’s not all bad luck for those over 25 on the internet. It’s not as simple as millennials “aging out” of the internet.

Fiona Martin, Associate Professor of the Online and Convergent Media Discipline at the University of Sydney, says that “some millennials who use social media for communication work will follow cultural trends, and those who don’t will not. Teasing them for dating is a social differentiation tactic.”

Associate Professor Martin told Junkee that different generations have always used technology in unique ways that are only defined by age. “Instead of millennials ‘aging out’ of social media, what we’ve seen over the last decade are different cultures of commentary (cultures of social media sharing) developing based on a number of factors, including people’s age, gender, national, racial and ethnic background. backgrounds,” he says.

“Different generations are always developing specific ways of belonging to their social groups through communication technologies – we’ve seen this historically in teenagers using phones, producing mixtapes, and now in multi-screen gaming and streaming,” says Martin.

Associate Professor Martin also emphasized that suggesting that millennials are all the same is a flawed basis for any argument. “In this article, millennials are a homogenous group. It’s a very English perspective that doesn’t take into account subcultures within age groups or the diversity of ethnic groups.”

As an example of how different ethnic groups in the same generation use social media, Martin pointed to research in a book by Bronwyn Carlson and Ryan Frazer: Local Digital Life. “Many Indigenous Australians know they are being watched online and therefore tend to post positive uplifting content in response,” she explains.

As a Millennial, Should You Change How You Post on Social Media?

In short, you can if you want. There’s an entire genre of TikToks specifically dedicated to millennials, teaching other millennials to show less of their age online. From how to update your wardrobe, how to store your phone, to general ways to avoid being “caught” as a millennial, it’s all there.

Alternatively, as AP Fiona Martin says, each generation uses technology differently and no generation is monolithic. Even across generations, factors such as class, location, occupation, and ethnicity affect how we use technology and interact with each other. Also, if it were true that the internet or social media is only for young people, how would you explain the popularity of TikTok accounts like @grandma_droniak, @oldgays, our Gumbaynggirr Burrghadi aunty @ballojinda or everyone’s TikTok grandpa @popopbrucejohnson.

It is common for generations to punch each other to identify themselves. The reality is that the generational “wars” are mostly exaggerated marketing schemes. The fact that people can’t agree on which years apply to which “generation” should be a giveaway of how imprecise science (close to zero science, by the way) the generation claims are based on.

You can change your online behavior in the vain hope that when someone under the age of 25 makes fun of a millennial stereotype, you can gleefully think you’re the exception. Or you might remind yourself that worrying about getting old has historically not made anyone younger.

The millennial hiatus is not a harbinger of doom for the online millennial. Most often, this is a tic associated with a demographic section on a particular platform. Perhaps we would all be a little better off if we remembered that every generation is a majority, just like every human being. Aging and the tics and behaviors that come with it are not signs of aging. It’s a privilege and a gift to grow old, and as Abe Simpson wisely noted, “it’s going to happen to you.”

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