What is a “zillennial” anyway?

by | Jun 30, 2020

Gen Zers and millennials are trading insults on Twitter and Tiktok these days — and there’s sure to be some twenty-somethings caught in the middle.

Somewhere between Gen Z and Millennials, there’s the indefinable group of young adults born in the mid-to-late 90s. Meet the “zillennials”: Gen Zers by some definitions, millennials by others, mostly just a weird combination of both. As a 1998 baby, I technically fall into this group myself. 

Zillennials grew up in the unique transition into the digital age. We never used MySpace, but we’re a little too old for TikTok. We remember the world before social media — but just barely. Millennials are notorious for their effect on the housing market, but most zillennials I know are still living in a dorm room or their first apartment.

After careful research (read: talking to my friends), here’s else what I’ve figured out:

  • We’re about as obsessed with our smartphones and social media channels as Gen Z is.
  • We’re not as big on avocado toast as millennials appear to be. 
  • We would never use the word “adulting” un-ironically.
  • We have the same general cynicism and distrust of institutions that Gen Z touts so proudly… but we’re not teenagers, so we can’t exactly blame it on teen angst.

This group serves as a reminder that, though generational segmentation can be useful, it’s difficult to precisely define where one generation ends and another begins — at least culturally. At Zogo, we typically use “Gen Z” for convenience’s sake, but we work with broad spectrum of today’s young adults, from teenagers to twenty-five-year-olds. No matter what you label it, one thing isn’t up for interpretation: this group is critical to your credit union’s future.

One of my friends says that if you’re born a zillennial, you get to choose which generation you like best. Personally, I choose Gen Z. They seem a bit cooler, right? Don’t tell millennials I said that. 

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