The Fight over Our Generation's Name

By Johnny Ellsworth | September 25, 2018

When you think about what makes our generation distinct, what do you think of? Do you think of technology, how we’re so connected with it in whatever we do? Do you think about school shootings, or about how 9/11 changed our world? Do you think of our unprecedented amount of diversity and inclusivity? Or perhaps, something completely different?

Our generation, born from 1995-2015, is going through an identity crisis. We can’t seem to choose a name, to choose just one quality that makes us different from other generations. In a New York Times article published last January, the newspaper asked readers of the generation what they wanted the name to be. Surprisingly, what came out on top was that it overwhelmingly was not Gen Z.

“A thing that makes it so difficult to give this generation a name is because we are still anticipating what each of us will become. Maybe something more fitting would be Generation Undecided.” - U of M freshman Cali Kinster

Ever since hearing that, I thought it would be interesting to talk to people about what they wanted the name to be. I wondered what Greenhills thought.

One of the first conversations I had about this topic was with Junior Zoya Uzzaman. I showed her the list of the most popular names that people had submitted (top suggestions include Generation Z, iGen, @Gen, The Meme Generation), but none of them seemed to resonate with her.

“I just don’t think any of these seem to encapsulate the diversity of our generation. Perhaps we should break the trend of giving generations names at all, it seems to confine people.” - Junior Zoya Uzzaman

I also set up an anonymous survey where students could rank six names (Generation Z, IGen, Gen. Delta, @Generation, The Meme Gen., The Hopeful Gen.) in order of most favorable to least. Generation Z came out on top- however, out of the entire surveyed population, about half did not like any of the names at all. It is clear that Greenhills is split on the issue as well.

In one section of the survey, there was also a suggestion box for names. A few others were "Younger Millennials," "Memennials," and, my personal favorite: the "Hella Lit Generation." At the end of the day, the name is up to us. We have to figure out, within ourselves and each other, what we want it to be. Regardless of what it becomes, we will irrefutably have an impact on this planet. Named or nameless.

“I think that there should be more than one [name] ...because there's a huge spectrum of people in [GenZ].” -Suggestion box submission
Created By
Johnny Ellsworth


Title Image: https://www.goodfreephotos.com/people/man-and-woman-looking-at-cellphone.jpg.php

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