Kids these days sure like weird stuff. Their TikTok feeds burst with odd trends that older folks like to side-eye, unable to understand how anyone could enjoy this stuff, much less an entire generation.
Of course, that’s always the case with older generations. New trends explode amongst younger crowds, and older people scratch their heads in disbelief that such a peculiar thing is popular.
While enjoying the popular R/askreddit community on Reddit, I found a thread asking users to share the most perplexing trends enjoyed by the youngest generation as they navigate their teenage years and early adulthood.
Here are the best responses.
Recording Suspect Behavior
Gen Zers record everything for posterity, and upload even suspicious videos to their favorite social media platforms.
One user said the Gen Z trend of “Documenting themselves committing crimes then posting them to social media” baffles them. Others agreed, saying Gen Z is the first generation to grow up in a world full of social media. They may not have learned some of the savvy web tips older generations hold sacred, such as not posting evidence of nefarious activities online.
“They’re like the oldest siblings who makes all the mistakes so the younger ones can learn from it. I salute their sacrifice,” said one user.
Romanticising Mental Illness
Mental illnesses are severe medical conditions, but some from Gen Z seem to think they’re “cute” or “quirky.”
“It’s embarrassing because they treat it like it’s a competition or something quirky like… no, it’s not? Stop making your mental illnesses your only personality traits,” stated one user.
“Or self-diagnosing with a mental illness you know little about and making it an excuse for sh**ty behavior,” added another.
All the Labels
Gen Z loves their labels. Everyone needs a unique identifier.
“Millennials fought a crusade to do away with labels. You’re a person and can do whatever you want and don’t need to be labeled,” shared one user. “Gen-Z seems to be dead set on labeling everything. As many labels as possible, and you must abide by what your labels say,” they added.
Another said they don’t get “The way everything needs to be a micro-label or aesthetic, and the differences between some of them feel so miniscule that I’m not sure why they all need to exist in the first place. I’ve seen both “clean girl” and “vanilla girl” on TikTok but…those both just seem like minimalism to me?”
Reaction videos started with the millennial generation, but at that time, they showcased people’s reactions to horror movie jump scares or devastating events on favorite television shows.
Gen Z’s reaction videos are far less entertaining. Gen Zs are “Posting videos where they’re just making faces with some text while a song plays that usually has nothing to do with the text,” said one user, unsure why this type of content gets popular.
Zoomer boys love the “Meet me at Mcdonald’s” haircut, a popular style that looks like a broccoli flower atop the head.
“The ol’ broccoli top. It honestly looks like a joke haircut,” said one user, adding, “Kids have been convinced it makes them look good/cool.”
Dreams of Internet Fame
80s kids wanted to be rock stars, and 90s kids wanted to be movie stars. Zoomers wish for internet fame.
“One of my greatest fears is being involved in a viral video in any capacity, but for so many zoomers, that’s their number 1 goal,” said one user.
Every generation wants to stand out and become famous; they just go about it differently.
“In the 2000s, people wanted to be on reality tv, and now they want to be tiktok famous,” shared one user.
Younger generations want to be Youtube Stars, Twitch Streamers, and social media influencers.
Gen Xers were anti-corporation and anti-establishment, and can’t fathom why the Zoomers all want to sell out.
“It’s very weird that in 30 years or so, we’ve gone from selling out being a bad thing to it being the main goal. To the point where large numbers of people genuinely don’t even understand the concept,” said one user.
Others said selling out doesn’t have to be bad, and it’s often the only way to make a living, especially for those in the arts.
“The idea of an artist subsisting purely off their authentic art has always been a pipe dream. For every artist that hit it big with their art, there are thousands who were forced to go corporate to pay the rent,” stated one user. “As for the few who made it – a bunch of them were being supported by outside income sources (i.e., rich parents).”
Selling out is the pragmatic choice when you want to pay the bills.
Older folks hate Tik Tok. Why are Zoomers obsessed with it?
“Obnoxious is what I would describe it,” shared one user.
“The scary thing is, it doesn’t suck, but that’s why it sucks,” responded another. “TikTok has a scary good algorithm, and it will show you content you genuinely do want to see, and that’s why it’s bad because it sucks you into rabbit holes and stops you from leaving.”
Older generations use vaping to quit smoking, but Gen Zers see the new technology as a safer way to develop a bad habit.
“ As someone who vaped for a while as one step on the path of quitting smoking cigarettes, it seems bizarre that people are choosing to get addicted to nicotine by the branding and marketing power of…fruit flavours and colourful plastic?” said one user, adding “I really don’t get it.”
“I teach middle school, and an astounding amount of them vape,” shared another.
Zoomers have a point about many social issues but take their ideas too far with an overly moralistic approach and harsh, judgmental attitudes.
“Gen Z is the most pretentious moralistic, and puritanical gen since maybe the lost gen,” said one user.
There’s nothing wrong with boycotting anything you don’t like or artists and companies whose values don’t align with your own. However, Gen Z takes it too far, purposefully searching for outdated comments to find any reason to try to cancel someone.
Gen Z needs to learn grace and acceptance and allow others to learn and grow from their mistakes.
What Gen Z Trends Baffle You?
Did Redditors in this thread catch most of the Zoomer trends that leave you scratching your head? What would you add to the list?
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.