Most of our Gen-Z humor comes from circulating jokes and comedic formats that end up functioning as a huge, generational, inside joke, especially due to the new age of social media. Because of this, it can be hard for older generations to understand the humor behind the format or the joke. References to vines or old memes can lighten the mood in a younger setting, yet, at the same time, earn a confused or even concerned glance from an older person.
However, the biggest gap in generational humor seemingly comes from the way that our generation has grown up. Since we were little, we’ve been consistently bombarded with information: input from social sites, news, tailored ads, and almost everything else. Our world has become one where whichever company shoves their product in our faces first wins. Because of this constant flow of information, Gen-Z kids tend to gravitate toward irony and surrealism. In addition, both millennials and Gen-Z kids tend to enjoy darker comedy than older generations, because of the shock value it provides, unlike punchline humor. So many jokes have already been made and seen that the only refreshing form of humor that’s left for us is a technicolor frog labeled ‘arson’.
Regardless of generation, everyone has their own sense of humor and their own style of comedy. Both Gen-Z and the Baby Boomers use their humor to cope with fears about the future, and this humor manifests in many different ways. Next time your mom doesn’t laugh at that picture of a dark creature next to a bowl of corn flakes, keep your head up and remember that not all generations laugh the same.