“Geriatric Millennials” are apparently a thing and first of all, I hate it
As Millennials, we’ve been on the receiving end of plenty of flak from generations both above (ok, Boomer) and below us (get your hands off our skinny jeans, Gen Z). Those of us on the earliest end of the Millennial spectrum have been even further scrutinized than our younger Millennial peers due to our unique growing-up years spent straddling the divide between the digital world and the analog. My personal fave as a member of this “micro generation” (born between 1980-1985) is the Oregon Trail generation (though we’ve also been called Xennials and Elderly Millennials). I’ll be identifying as an OT Millennial until my dying day, especially now that we have a new name — GERIATRIC MILLENNIALS.
I wholeheartedly reject this on behalf of us all. Like, I think the fuck not.
So, the term came from a piece on Medium that was supposed to be kind of flattering to us, I guess? It talked about how us geriatrics (in our late 30s or barely 40, TYVM) in the workplace are adept at leading both the younger set and those who are older and more set in their ways when it comes to technology. That’s because as a generation, we’re versatile AF. We had a MySpace account, used Facebook in its earliest days and were prolific Napster users, but we also aren’t intimidated by the newer social platforms and feel comfortable in things the Youths are into. We understand landlines, have used actual postal mail, and remember the days of having to buy clothes either in person or from a catalog. We’ve experienced the soul shattering moment when Blockbuster doesn’t have the movie we came for and we’ve had the delight of endless entertainment options at the click of a button. We really can do both.
It’s actually pretty cool that we can kind of hang in both generational spaces with relative ease, but calling us geriatric is uhhh not a great way of giving us props.
It seems that, truly, no one knows how to file us, hence the 14 different names we’ve had over the years. We had AOL Instant Messenger to plan our sixth grade sleepovers but also, had to risk awkward-chatting with a friend’s parent when calling their house phone to see why they’re not on AOL right now (probably because their mom is using the phone line so they couldn’t dial in UGH). We really did grow up with experiences in both the old and new ways of socializing, doing schoolwork, dating, job-hunting, and pretty much anything else you can think of. But GERIATRIC? For real?
I mean, I can still put my socks on without having to sit down. I know how to Venmo someone. I listen to Megan Thee Stallion. I only need glasses to drive at night. I barely ever pull out the Tums. I might not make videos or know any of the dances but I do have a TikTok account. I certainly don’t feel geriatric. Like, is it not enough that a pregnancy is termed “geriatric” past the age of 35? Now they’re just coming at us for reasons wholly unrelated to the lifespan of our remaining eggs?
The very oldest Gen Xers are just now starting to retire early and Millennials already have a geriatric wing? Do we get coloring books and old time-y music in the parlor at the Millennial nursing home? A “prom” featuring Backstreet Boys and Britney hits? A cafeteria that serves us Lunchables and Gushers to help recapture that nostalgia from days of old? If you’re going to put us out to pasture at least make it fun.
There’s just so many other terms that would fit that don’t have us in grandpa cardigans fiddling with a pocketful of Werther’s Original. How about First Millennials? Millennials 1.0? Millennials: Tokyo Drift? Literally almost anything would’ve been better than GERIATRIC.
Look — I know age is just a number and what people call us doesn’t have any bearing on how we live our lives, wear our jeans, part our hair, and more importantly, how we feel. But even actual geriatrics don’t want to be called geriatric so please stop this shit immediately, thank you.
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