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Gen Z

Gen Z are more like Boomers than they realise

Come on, mum, stop being lame. Getty

Wandering around the Hunterian Museum, says Janice Turner in The Times, I couldn’t for the life of me read the artefacts’ tiny caption cards. Despite the building’s £4.6m refit to boost “diversity and inclusion”, there was no thought for the over-40s and their dodgy eyesight. It’s a clear pattern: from dimly lit exhibitions to “fashionably moody” darkened restaurants, “ageism is now the only acceptable discrimination”. A Singapore study found that TikTok is “brimming” with videos mocking Boomers (over-58s) for their regressive views and technological hopelessness. “To anyone with adult children, this will be no shock.”

Young people disdaining their elders is of course the “story of human history”. What’s different now is that we Boomers already share so much with Gen Z (under-24s): they listen to “our” music, and hold the same liberal beliefs on gay rights, feminism and racism. That, for my money, explains all the “baffling identity politics, extreme policing of language and eco-protests”. The young need to do something radical to “get a reaction” – and because our views are already so liberal, they really have to push the boat out. This can be maddening at times. “I know of a girl who pulled the cloth off the table, mid-dinner, because her father had ‘misspoken’.” But “creative tension” between generations is still something we should embrace: it keeps older folk “engaged with the future” and gives young people “perspective on their problems”. Even if it is maddening to be left “squinting in the dark”.