Picture this: a lazy Monday afternoon. I’m sitting on my couch in the 100 degree weather of Mumbai, India, scrolling through Twitter. Now, every few days, I’ll see the occasional insightful Tweet, but none stuck with me quite like this one:
“Gen Z will drink one medium caramel latte, not eat a single thing till 4 p.m., verbally abuse a racist, crack a joke about their mental health and pick up a tear gas canister with their bare hands, but get nervous when they have to call to make a doctor’s appointment.”
As blunt as it is, the tweet’s author makes a valid point here: Gen Z is brave and unapologetic. Gen Z doesn’t take ifs, buts or maybes when it comes to something we believe in. Be it the Harry Potter community’s swift cancellation of its formerly-beloved writer, or the collective anti-European Super League outrage of soccer fans across the globe that had the highest-ranking officials in the sport quaking in their boots or the countless social media pages that try to amplify voices that need to be heard, Gen Z will stubbornly fight for what is right, even if it means turning against the things and people we love.
And it’s not just about what is right for society, Gen Z-ers know what is right for us. Is it selfish to put your needs first sometimes? Absolutely not. It’s 2021 and mental health is at the forefront of our conversations — in large part due to Gen Z’s willingness to reject doing things that do not bring us happiness. That is what makes Gen Z such a force.
That being said, there are some things we just will not do and it is hilarious. So, inspired by my mystery twitter hero, here is The Michigan Daily’s Bucket List for Gen Z: a non-exhaustive list of all the things Gen Z should be able to do, but simply cannot.
- Make a doctor’s appointment
- Send food back at a restaurant
- Use either Insta stories or Snap stories, but not both
- Drink water (Just five glasses a day, it’s not that difficult)
- Be into comic books and anime (It’s always one or the other, never both)
- Order black coffee
- Cope in ways other than comedy
- Delete TikTok for more than a week
- Wear a color other than black, white and grey (and the occasional navy blue)
- Not form an entire opinion around a topic upon learning the slightest thing about it
- Not make fun of Millennials
- Write a bad Yelp review
- Leave a below-20% tip
- Abstain from thrifting right after donating clothes
- Make a Spotify playlist without that one song (Yes I get it, Taylor Swift is amazing, but you can’t put “You Belong With Me” on a workout playlist)
- Have more than one go-to fast food chain
Now, these things seem straightforward — some of them are as mundane as tasks get. So, why can’t Gen Z do it? As a member of this fascinating generation, I’d probably lean towards the “we care too much about the sentiments of others” argument, but that answer seems way too simple. Members of older generations might resort to one of their many regular, anti-Gen Z complaints, including but not limited to: “They can’t take responsibility,” “They’ve had it too easy, they don’t want to get out of their comfort zone” or my personal favorite “Pfft, kids nowadays *cracks knuckles* they’ve gone soft.”
So, I don’t know. I don’t know why Gen Z hesitates from doing things well below their pay grade and seemingly included in a sane person’s comfort zone. It is intriguing and amusing, but I guess that could be said about a lot of things this generation does.
What cannot be argued is that we keep you on your toes. With Gen Z, you never know what’s coming next. Gen Z will carry society into the future and I have no doubt that we will do a spectacular job. But I’d sleep a little easier knowing that our water intake is a bit more regular, “Sweet Caroline” doesn’t make it onto our “study music to focus” playlist and we can actually call the doctor when our friend’s knee pops out.
Daily Arts Contributor Rushabh Shah can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.