A Zillennial who was born in the eventful year of 1997, which makes me 23 years old this year.
Zillennials, Who Are We?
There are times we do not realize that there is an uncommon generation in between the Millennial (Gen Y) and the Zoomers (Gen Z). These are the two generations defined by our current technological advancement, such as, the rise of Social Media , Industrial Revolution 4.0 and other technological factors. A Millennial is defined by his/her birth in the year 1981 to 1996, these are the babies who are considered Millennial while those born between 1997 and 2010 is considered to be a Zoomer.
But here's where the problem starts, those born between 1995 (some say 1993 onward) to 2000 do not live entirely like one born in a Gen Z era nor do they live entirely like those born in the Gen Y era but with influences from both the generations. To add, our Parents are the Generation X (1964-1980) who had their teenage years during the 80s and early 90s, so we heard a fair share of Cindi Lauper and Michael Jackson in those song list CDs or cassette.
Zillennials graduated high school during the years of 2012 to 2016, by the time we graduated, we've already went through the rise of Facebook, Twitter, Smartphones, avocado toast. We (the Zillennials) love our Avocado on toast as much as a millennial, but we were not old enough to join into the trend in the early years but instead, in the later years.
When you look at how we use technology, we were part of the early days of Facebook, Twitter and arguably, Instagram. When i had my first Facebook account i was 12 years old and Facebook was just 5 years old, to add, i still had my "rocketmail" email account back then. I was a little late to twitter however, we were just in time for the start of Instagram.
Now, time for the social aspect of a Zillennial, we get disciplined by our parents just like a Millennial but with a soft spot like a Zoomer, basically we don't get disciplined the old way but something smack bang in the middle, hence why, we still have the values and ethics our parents taught us and the fear of creating trouble (especially in Malaysia). By the way, this was back then, Malaysian Law has been looking at canning as a form of abuse as well.
We were last of the millennial generation to see a cassette, cassette player, VCR player and use it, but we were the first of the Zoomer generation to see a CD, DVD, Blu-ray players, VR technology and Netflix. Some of us drive cars which have a cassette player still intact to the car.
If you look into our Spotify playlist, we have a fair share of songs from The Weeknd, Dua Lipa, The Chainsmokers, Blackbear and others. At the same time, we have songs in our playlist from the early days of Paramore, Avril Lavigne, Maroon 5, Simple Plan, Linkin Park and others. To add on, with the influence of our Generation X parents, you might find some Scorpion, Whitesnake, Guns & Roses and Bon Jovi lying around the playlist.
We were watching shows that a Millennial watch from channels like, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Disney and others. We loved Spongebob as much as a Millennial but we too were part of the modern Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, at least in the later years of their glory years. We still had the compulsory Television at home where we will watch shows as a family during our childhood and by the time we reach our late teens, we had Netflix.
Oh no, we weren't the ones who started our gaming lives with a PlayStation 3 or an Xbox 360, we had a fair share of time using the Gameboy Advance, PlayStation 1 & 2 and we even had some time with the non Sony/Microsoft consoles like Gamecube. Adding on, we were one of the early kids to have a PlayStation 3 at home, but by the time the PlayStation 4 came out, we were already in college. Oh yes! those were the days when we played with graphics that cannot be compared to today.
Besides consoles, we were in the middle of the big and thick Televisions and computer monitors and the flat screen devices and we're not too young to witness the coming of the "dial-up" internet connection, wow, we totally remember the sound it makes and the need to stop using the phone while the internet is connected.
We were right in-between the two generations (Gen Y & Z) so when we were kids, we still played hide and seek, ice and fire, police and thief or maybe even Football with the mates at the park. I still remember the routine of going to the park at 6 p.m and being called home at 7 p.m when it gets dark. We didn't have an Iphone or an Ipad to distract us from going out to get an essential daily dose of fresh air during our childhood.
Now that we are in our early twenties, we look back at the time where we played outside and not inside, we listened to songs on our radio back then and now on spotify or apple music, we didn't complain that games were choppy or low quality and we appreciate how games have gone so far, having high attention to detail, we enjoyed the days of Hey Arnold! on Nickelodeon but from time to time, we still enjoy a good dose of Rick & Morty at our age now. This is the uniqueness of a Zillennial, the sub-generation not many talk about.
© 2020 Nigel Koay