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Pop Culture

Millennial asks Gen Zers what they do for fun, and the answers are surprisingly different

There's something very different about Gen Z

gen z pasttimes, millennials vs gen z, millennial tiktok
@ashleyteacozy/TikTok

Every generation has it's own flavor of fun

The coming of age era known as your twenties are a time for experimentation, branching out, learning about different aspects of yourself, and of course, having stupid fun.

Of course, every generation's definition of fun varies. Just what might Gen Zers, those who navigated their teenhood through TikTok and basically came of drinking age during a global pandemic, do to elicit feelings of fun?

Thirty-two year old (read: millennial) Ashley Tea wondered this very thing. In a video that went viral on TikTok, she shared "I genuinely think millennials got to have a way better time than Gen Z does."

Tea then reminisced about her own experience of being “an emo kid in 2005,” going out to clubs, bars and restaurants with her friends having a “fun, great, trashy” time.

That simply wouldn’t be financially feasible in today’s economic landscape, Tea noted, leaving her “mystified” as to how today’s college age adults might enjoy themselves.

So again, Tea posed the question: “ it's a Friday night, a Saturday night…What do do? Where do you go?”

gen z, cheap things to do for fun, fun activities

Ashley Tea wants to know how young people are having fun

@ashleyteacozy/TikTok

Thousands responded to Tea’s question, and their answers were…illuminating, to say the least—and certainly different than how she spent her early 20s.

For starters, Tea’s joke about “Gen Zers not having any fun at all” rang true for many people of that age group.

“As a 23 year old: I don’t have any fun, hope that helps!” quipped one person.

Another joked, “sometimes I sit outside if I'm feeling extra.”

gen z, cheap things to do for fun, fun activities

"Sometimes I sit outside if I'm feeling extra."

@ashleyteacozy/TikTok

One obvious factor behind this is finances. With everything being far more expensive, many Gen Zer’s simply cannot afford to have a social life that resembles earlier generations.

“As a 21 year old, the economy makes it difficult to have fun that way, I work 40 hours weekly and I’m either too tired or can’t afford it,” one person wrote.

Another reason, which isn’t maybe as obvious, is surveillance. Tea noted that a lot of young people said that since either “parents can track their phones everywhere” they are deterred from doing things that could get them into trouble. Perhaps that’s a win for safety, but there is something to be said about excessive levels of control.

Then of course there’s the pandemic, which sucked the fun out of everything big time.

“I got ROBBED of my early 20s bs COVID started when I was 22 😭 Nwo things are normal but all the good bars and clubs in my area didn’t survive the lockdown,” one person wrote.

Plus a lack of third spaces to gather, leaving very little options beside staying home and scrolling on TikTok.

However, it’s not all gloom and doom, Tea discovered.

@ashleyteacozy

im genuinely curious

♬ original sound - Ashley Tea

For one thing, Gen Zer’s don’t “glorify binge drinking” nearly as much as millennials and Gen Xers. According to a study held at the University of Michigan, many are forgoing booze entirely. Part of this comes down to Gen Zers prioriotizing health and wellness more than previous generations. And the other, again, is the cost.

Plus, when Gen Zers do actually have fun, it tends to lean towards more wholesome activities, like house parties (sometimes even themes house parties) and crocheting. Lots and lots crocheting apparently.

gen z, cheap things to do for fun, fun activities

Grocery stores are the new clubs.

@ashleyteacozy/TikTok

gen z, cheap things to do for fun, fun activities

Love that self care is considered entertainment these days.

@ashleyteacozy/TikTok

gen z, cheap things to do for fun, fun activities

Fitness groups are a new way people are finding friends

@ashleyteacozy/TikTok

gen z, cheap things to do for fun, fun activities

Coffee shops instead of bars? Sign me up!

@ashleyteacozy/TikTok

So maybe things look quite a bit different for this generation. That’s not entirely a good or bad thing. And it’s definitely to be expected in some ways. The struggle of rising costs and limited opportunities to form connections and have fun are undeniably issues that must be addressed. But the fact that Gen Zers are leaning into their creativity is worth noting too. And it makes it clear that even though it might not look like it, there is still fun to be had.

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