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‘Geriatric Millennial’? Thanks, We Hate It

Twitter has said "absolutely not" to the new modifier for folks born between 1980 and 1985.

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This week, a Medium article by Erica Dhawan titled “Why the Hybrid Workforce of the Future Depends on the ‘Geriatric Millennial’” went viral on social media. And while the article is a thoughtful meditation on how this particular micro-generation can bridge the technological and cultural divide between other generations, most folks couldn’t get past the bummer moniker “geriatric millennial.”

Geriatric. Millennial. Geriatric Millennial. What a slap in our tired, wrinkled old-ass faces.

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(image: FOX)

Dhawan describes the “geriatric millennial”, writing “The first time I heard ‘geriatric millennial’ I thought it was an oxymoron. Sarcastic, even. But as I thought more deeply about it, I realized how perfectly it describes so many of us. Geriatric millennials are 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.”

Yes, we are the last generation to remember a time before the internet. We have previously been referred to as the “Oregon Trail generation” or the “AOL generation”, kinder, gentler monikers we could relate to. But here we are now, with “geriatric millennial.” It’s also doubly cruel if you are over 35 and pregnant, because then you’re a geriatric millennial having a geriatric pregnancy. I got pregnant and 35 and turned 36 in my third trimester, so when my doctor first referred to me as having a geriatric pregnancy, it took all my goodwill not to lift my foot out of the stirrup and kick him in the face. But I digress.

Once the article went viral, everyone born between 1980-1985 took to social media to alternately praise and drag the term. Is it insulting? Yes. Is it accurate? Well … also yes. I mean, look at what we’ve all been through in the last 35 years. We were raised on the promise that a college education would give us life-long employment and security. That turned out to be lie. And we were raised to believe that through hard work and determination, we too could have our piece of the American Dream, i.e. financial stability, a house with a white picket fence, 2.5 children, etc. Lies, all lies!

We’ve taken on at least 300% more student debt than our parents. We are half as likely to own a home as young adults were in 1975. And based on current trends, we won’t be able to retire until we’re 75. No wonder we’re prematurely exhausted.

Many took to social media to voice their opinions on the term “geriatric millennial”:

What do you think of the term “geriatric millennial”? Do you feel offended or do you feel deeply seen? Let us know in the comments!

(image: NBC)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.