You know that little thing called the internet? We can thank the 1980s for that.
Want to know what else we can thank the ’80s for? Cell phones, PCs, CDs, Macs, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo, Pac-Man, HDTV, the artificial heart, the space shuttle, and chicken McNuggets (just to name a few.)
And to show our appreciation, we have bestowed those born between 1980 and 1985 the honor of the title, “Geriatric Millennial.”
Because nothing says I love you like “you’re really, REALLY f*ing old.”
And by “we” bestowed, I specifically mean Erica Dhawan, the author behind the viral Medium article, “Why the Hybrid Workforce of the Future Depends on the ‘Geriatric Millennial’.” So yeah, blame her. (Although she doesn’t admit to coining the term.)
In the article, Dhawan defines geriatric millennials as:
“a special micro-generation born in the early 1980s that are comfortable with both analog and digital forms of communication. They were the first generation to grow up with technology like a PC in their homes.”
She actually wrote the piece as an ode to the small subset of Millennials that seamlessly straddled the past and the future. (Gen-Xers did too but you know, whatever.) The ones who can social network themselves out of a paper bag while simultaneously reading body language cues and signals in face-to-face interactions.
The micro-generation that went from calling collect on pay phones to calling each other on cell phones to not calling at all and texting and instant messaging instead.
The group that hung out at Blockbuster on Friday nights, searching desperately for a New Release that was in stock, to spending Friday nights Netflix’ing and chilling.
The ones who lived the agony of dial-up internet and waited patiently for 39 years for a file to download:
To now living with high-speed internet, tablets, and Wifi.
She praised the ancient ones (which includes herself, BTW) for their ability to act as translators across “the generational divides.”
The expansive space between “the digital adapters (baby boomers) and the digital natives (Gen Z).”
And she went so far as to boldly state that:
“Geriatric millennials are best positioned to lead teams that will thrive in the hybrid workplace.”
It’s true that Dhawan could have used any number of more appealing nicknames like “Xennial,” “Cuspers,” “Oregon Trail generation,” or “Gen Y,” but why, when “Geriatric” will do?
shout out to everyone born between 1980 to 1985, you’ve been Gen X, Gen Y, a millennial, the Oregon trail generation, a xennial, an elder millennia, and now a *checks notes* geriatric millennial
— Indy ? (@IndecisiveJones) May 14, 2021
Really, what was wrong with Xennial?
Not that I care. I’m Gen-X so I’m just over here with @IndieStacks:
Gen X watching millennials getting upset over being called geriatric pic.twitter.com/JPRGjd1p7J
— Indie Stacks (she/her) (@IndieStacks) May 14, 2021
Rather than seeing it for the compliment it was meant to be, Millennials said, “Them’s fightin’ words.”
come and call me a ‘geriatric millennial’ to my face. https://t.co/nB0yUFIuVw
— tracy the business goose (@brokeymcpoverty) May 14, 2021
And started throwing out terms like, “ageist,” and “elderly abuse,” like punches.
The majority of Millenials were having none of it.
This isn’t surprising, given that they’ve been on the defensive a lot these days. What with the Zoomers dissing them for their skinny jeans, side parts, and cry-laughing emoji-loving ways.
As for the “Geriatric” title? That’ll be a nope.
It’s the OREGON TRAIL GENERATION, thankyouverymuch.
We're the Oregon Trail generation and I'll leave your ass dying of dysentery on the side of the trail if you ever refer to me as a geriatric millennial.
— Jessi (@jessiann16) May 14, 2021
Or you could just go ahead and call it the “vibrant THRIVING skeleton” generation. That works too, apparently.
Learned this morning I am called a geriatric millennial I think they meant a vibrant THRIVING skeleton
— Henry Zebrowski (@HenryLovesYou) May 14, 2021
And if you do happen to use the term? Be prepared for the consequences. Like burning to death in the heat of a thousand suns. Or something like that.
Clearly, the Mills had feelings. Even prompting Medium to come up with some alternatives.
Terms like, “seasoned millennials,” “millennial emeritus,” “original millennial,” and “preeminent millennials.”
It’s too freaking late Medium. Millennials will end you.
We understand some are having *feelings* about this title.
Taking votes for a new one:
— Medium (@Medium) May 14, 2021
It was bad enough that American Girl came out with an 80s historical doll, but to call people who are barely 40 geriatric? That’ll be a hard pass.
I reject and denounce the term geriatric millennial
— Meena Harris (@meenaharris) May 14, 2021
Unless it comes with a discount code.
as a geriatric millennial i would like to get a discount at the movies
— rachel syme (@rachsyme) May 14, 2021
Of course, it’s not the first time 30-somethings have been called geriatric. Any woman who has been pregnant over the age of 35 knows this term well.
if you dislike "geriatric millennial" wait until you hear about "geriatric pregnancy"
— Molly Lambert ? (@mollylambert) May 14, 2021
— Sylvia Prince (@sprincebooks) May 14, 2021
And if you are both born between 1980-85 and pregnant over the age of 35? There should totally be a trophy for that.
If you're a geriatric millennial AND you had a geriatric pregnancy do you get an award or some sort of honorific
— Meena Harris (@meenaharris) May 14, 2021
However, not every Millennial was opposed to the term “geriatric.” Some even liked it.
— Leah Korkis (@HealthyNaL) May 18, 2021
They even went so far as to say it was perfect.
I think geriatric millennial describes me perfectly.
— Kalle Beck (@LetKalleLift) May 17, 2021
“Geriatric millennial” actually resonates with me very much. Like that’s *exactly* how I feel.
— Jenée (@jdesmondharris) May 14, 2021
Blessed and honoured to be considered a Geriatric Millennial. pic.twitter.com/WLOePHCysw
— Polis ? (@PolisLoizou) May 14, 2021
Others were just relieved to find out it was you and not them.
Relieved to find out I’m not a geriatric millennial pic.twitter.com/GbGQIZpjzM
— Steven Romo (@stevenromo) May 14, 2021
Whichever side of the geriatric divide you happen to be on, one thing’s for sure, Millennials have just taken one small step towards being fossils and one giant leap closer to “OK, boomer.”