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millenials

The generational caption debate is a big deal.


If you’re a Gen Xer or older, one surprising habit the younger generations developed is their love of subtitles or closed-captioning while watching TV. To older generations, closed-captioning was only for grandparents, the hearing impaired, or when watching the news in a restaurant or gym.

But these days, studies show that Millenials and Gen Z are big fans of captions and regularly turn them on when watching their favorite streaming platforms. A recent study found that more than half of Gen Z and Millenials prefer captions on when watching television.

It’s believed that their preference for subtitles stems from the ubiquity of captioning on social media sites such as TikTok or Instagram.


This generational change perplexed TikTokker, teacher and Gen X mother, Kelly Gibson.

Always leaning! #genx #millennial #caption #learning

@gibsonishere

Always leaning! #genx #millennial #caption #learning

"I have three daughters, and they were here. Two of them are young millennials; the other one is an older Gen Z," Gibson explained in a video with over 400,000 views. "All of them were like, 'Why don't you have the captions on?'”

The mother couldn’t believe that her young kids preferred to watch TV like her grandparents. It just did not compute.

"My Gen X butt was shocked to find out that these young people have decided it's absolutely OK to watch movies with the captions going the whole time," she said jokingly.

But like a good mother, Gibson asked her girls why they preferred to watch TV with captioning, and their reason was straightforward. With subtitles, it’s easier not to lose track of the dialog if people in the room start talking.

"They get more out of it," Gibson explained. "If somebody talks to them in the middle of the show, they can still read and get what's going on even if they can't hear clearly. Why are young people so much smarter than us?"

At the end of the video, Gibson asked her followers whether they watch TV with subtitles on or off. "How many of you out there that are Millennials actually do this? And how many of you Gen Xers are so excited that this is potentially an option?" she asked.

Gibson received over 8,400 responses to her question, and people have a lot of different reasons for preferring to watch TV with captions.

“Millennial here. I have ADHD along with the occasional audio processing issues. I love captions. Also, sometimes I like crunchy movie snacks,” Jessileemorgan wrote. “We use the captions because I (GenX) hate the inability of the movie makers to keep sound consistent. Ex: explosions too loud conversation to quiet,” Lara Lytle added.

“My kids do this and since we can’t figure out how to turn it off when they leave, it’s become a staple. GenX here!” Kelly Piller wrote.

The interesting takeaway from the debate is that anti-caption people often believe that having writing on the screen distracts them from the movie. They’re too busy reading the bottom of the screen to feel the film's emotional impact or enjoy the acting and cinematography. However, those who are pro-caption say that it makes the film easier to understand and helps them stay involved with the film when there are distractions.

So who’s right? The person holding the remote.


This article originally appeared on 1.11.24

The gaze of the approving Boomer.

Over the past few years, Baby Boomers (1946 to 1964) have been getting a lot of grief from the generations that came after them, Gen X (1965 to 1980), Millenials (1981 to 1996), and now, Gen Z (1997 to 2012). Their grievances include environmental destruction, wealth hoarding, political polarization, and being judgemental when they don’t understand how hard it is for younger people to make it in America these days.

Every Baby Boomer is different, so it's wrong to paint them all with a broad brush. But it’s undeniable that each generation shares common values, and some are bound to come into conflict.

However, life in 2023 isn’t without its annoyances. Many that came about after the technological revolution put a phone in everyone’s hands and brought a whole new host of problems. Add the younger generations' hands-on approach to child rearing and penchant for outrage, and a lot of moden life has become insufferanble.


These problems weren’t created by Boomers but by their hyper-online children and grandchildren who can’t seem to get their faces out of their phones.

A Reddit user named AnitaVodkasoda took to the AskReddit forum and asked posters to admit there were some things that Boomers got right. “What is something you can say 'I'm with the boomers on this one' about?” they asked, and many responses came from people fed up with the modern-day frustrations caused by technology and social media.

Here are 19 things that people think that Boomers got right.

1. App exhaustion​

"Any business which requires you to use an app. I don’t want to download an app, make an account, and remember said password for the account. Especially because the app doesn’t even work a lot of the time or is extremely convoluted with the frontend design." — Sammy_Henderschplitz

2. Let kids play

"Kids do great with totally unstructured outdoor play. They don’t need an organized game or activity. If you take a bunch of kids to a park and keep an eye on them they’ll figure out stuff to do together and often come up with creative and interesting things that adults wouldn’t have thought of. Just keep them physically safe and let them run around and do kid stuff. You don’t need to curate everything." — HeavyHebrewHammer

3. Pricey concerts

"Concert ticket pricing is too high. Once you get in a beer is $17!" — Whatabout-Dre

4. Tip creep

"Every business asking for tips at checkout. Digital menus. Not being able to own things anymore like software or having to pay monthly fees for car features." — mutualbuttsqueezin

5. Phones at concerts

"Phones at concerts. I take one pic when the artist comes on and then I just enjoy the show. You’re never gonna look back at your sh**** videos with you singing off-key in the background lol just enjoy the music." — Used_Eraser

6. Kids online

"Social media is unhealthy and children shouldn't have unrestricted access to the internet." — horrorflowers

7. Lazy tablet parents

"Parents who let their kids use tablets in public spaces with the volume all the way up, no headphones, and not doing it to stop an imminent tantrum (if they truly cannot get the kid out of that shared space for some reason) are trashy af. Fight me." — kishbish

8. Bring back knobs

"Touchscreens in cars suck." — sketchy_painting

9. Bad customer service

"Calling any business and getting an automated system that takes you 12 minutes to get through, doesn’t answer your question, and you can’t get a real person." — SexyJesus7

10. Raising entitled kids

"The 'my kid is never wrong' attitude every parent seems to have now. And we wonder why there’s a teacher shortage." — Cinderjacket

11. Emojis in work emails

"Learn to write a professional email. The number of Gen Z kids I’ve had who send me emails without salutations, with emojis and shorthand like lol omg etc, without proper spelling and punctuation, is crazy. That is fine for texting or exchanges with people you’re friends with, but it’s not for the workplace." — pistachiobees

12. Paper straws

"Paper straws suck." — JohnYCanuckEsq

13. Face tattoos

"Don't get tattoos on your face." — Disastrous-Aspect569

14. Gender reveals

"Just tell us if you are having a boy or girl. Or wait until the baby is born. We don’t need to assemble for some ridiculous reveal. I don’t want pink or blue dust all over the place." — Kevin Dean

15. People are too sensitive

"I think people tend to be too sensitive, personal outrage shouldn't be so important. It's disheartening to see so many people whine and cry and fight over inconsequential nonsense while pressing issues remain unaddressed." — Empathetic_Orch

16. TV sounds terrible

"Movies, and some TV shows for that matter, are mixed idiotically these days. I don't appreciate having to crank the volume way up to hear the whispered dialog, only to have a music swell or explosion or something blow my head clean off. No amount of tweaking my sound system has fixed this." — broberds

17. Affordable housing

"Being able to afford a house." — The-Black-Douglas

18. Blinded by the lights

"Headlights are too damned bright now." — 15all

19. The people on your lawn

"Get off my lawn." — Disastrous_Motor_189

This article originally appeared on 8.30.23

Madison Barbosa says millennials will make the best grandparents

Is society soon to receive an influx of top-tier, compassionate grandmothers?

A TikToker named Madison Barbosa made a video that resonated deeply with viewers. In it, the stay-at-home mom of two-under-two extolled the virtues of millennial moms and the kinds of grandmothers she predicts they’ll be.

“I think the best era of grandmas is yet to come,” she begins in the video, viewed close to half a million times.

“I feel like millennial grandmoms are going to be elite," Madison continues. "We know what not to do based on the majority of boomers. And that’s not to say I don’t love my grandmoms. My grandmoms are great. But the judgyness and the unnecessary, unwarranted comments—we know not to do that."



“And then our moms, our baby’s grandparents, they’re getting there but I just feel like we’re gonna be better,” she added.

Barbosa’s generation—millennials— are defined as the generation born between 1981 and 1996. Their parents are usually Boomers (1946-1964) or older Gen X (1965-1980) while their children are typically the generation dubbed Generation Alpha (2010-2025).

Honestly so proud to be a millennial mom and I’m certain we are gonna be incredible grandparents one day

@madison_barbosa

Honestly so proud to be a millennial mom and I’m certain we are gonna be incredible grandparents one day 🙌🏻💯 #momminmads #millennialmom #momsoftiktok #relatablemom #momhumor

While it’s tempting to think Barbosa’s video is about how millennials-as-grandparents will behave toward their grandchildren, Barbosa’s video and its popularity seem to have more to do with the relationship between grandparents and their children. As a millennial navigating the frustrations of dealing with older generations, Barbosa says she and her cohort will understand how to best support their adult children in raising kids.

“We’re gonna anticipate what our kids need, we’re gonna be pushing them to get a break…pushing them to get out of the house, to go for a date night, say ‘We got the kids tonight, we got the kids.’ I just have this strong premonition that millennial grandmas are gonna be the best to come,” says Barbosa near the end of the video.

Commenters were quick to agree.

Tik Tok, parenting fatigue, grandmothers

Baylee will always be there for her daughter.

via Madison Barbosa/TikTok

“I absolutely can’t wait to be the village we so desperately need!” said a user named Noneya.

“Oh absolutely! I can’t wait to take care of my grandkids and truly help my children through parenthood—following their rules and boundaries,” wrote Jane D.

“My husband and I talk about this all the time! Our generation is going to ROCK this grandparent thing,” said It’s Me, Hannah.

The comments were quite vulnerable as well.

“Last night at 3am throw [sic] pure exhaustion tears I told my 4 month old daughter she’d never have to do this the hard way I’ll always be there if wanted,” wrote Baylee Vandegrift.

“Yes, like I can’t look at my daughter without wanting to do everything in my power for her. And it makes me sad about how I was raised,” said Christina.

If millennials are frustrated by the way their parents grandparent—there’s actually a 2021 study that explains the differences in the way grandparents treat their children versus their grandchildren.

A group of grandmothers were shown pictures of their grandchildren and then pictures of the grandchild’s same-sex parent (often the grandparent's own child). Imaging showed their brains lit up differently when showing their grandchildren versus their children. When shown their grandchildren, their emotional empathy centers were activated versus their cognitive empathy centers—which were activated when shown their adult children.

But just because there seems to be a bit of a biological limitation here doesn’t mean we are beholden to it. Isn’t that what growing and learning is about? If these millennials have their way, they will be leading the charge.

A box full of casette tapes.

A new Harris poll reported by Fast Company found that older Millennials and Gen Xers are the age group that would most like to return to a time before the internet and smartphones. Seventy-seven percent of Americans aged 35 to 54 wanted to return to the pre-internet era compared to 63% of those aged 18 to 34 and 60% of those over 55.

What’s interesting about the poll was that regardless of age, more people wanted to return to a simpler time when we weren’t connected 24/7. It’s like we ran headfirst into a technological revolution without considering whether we should. Now, we have some regrets.

That’s why it’s not shocking that multiple scientific studies had found that today’s mental health crisis just happens to coincide with the adoption of smartphone technology.


There have been a lot of gains that humanity has made since the dawn of the internet. But there have also been a lot of sacrifices. A lot of the things we’ve lost have been those that made us happy and carefree.

Here are 9 things that people miss about the pre-internet world.

Less exposure to negativity

The psychological concept of negativity bias shows us that the human mind is obsessed with focusing on adversity at the expense of the positive, creating an unbalanced worldview. The internet age exposes us to a barrage of constant negativity, whether that’s crazy comments on social media, a steady diet of negative stories from the news media or continuous coverage of a political climate that’s become more divisive and adversarial.

We didn't have to defend our sanity from being exposed to this level of anger and fear in the pre-internet era.

Living for the moment, not the like

It seems that many activities people engage in these days aren’t for the experience in and of itself but for the opportunity to take a photo and share it on social media. But there’s a big difference between enjoying the moment and filming it. When 20,000 phones go up because everyone wants to get a video of Taylor Swift singing “Anti-Hero,” are those people really enjoying the moment or missing it because they’re focused on documenting it to share on Facebook later that night?

No 24-hour news cycle

The 24-hour news cycle started in 1980 when CNN launched on cable TV networks nationwide. But that seems like the Stone Age compared to today when people obsess over the news and follow it as it happens on social media, especially Twitter. While staying informed is important, things have gone out of balance, leading people to be addicted to the news. Studies show that people who obsessively follow the news are more likely to suffer from stress, anxiety and physical ill health.

Further, in the world of social media, we don’t just follow the news; as we comment, like, and share stories, we help disseminate it, making it part of our social identities.

Wouldn’t it be cool if we could go back to turning on the national news at 6:30 pm every night, finding out what’s happening in the world in 30 minutes and then turning it off until the next day?

Physical music

It seems that people’s attitudes toward music have really changed in the streaming era. In the pre-streaming era, it cost $12.99 for a new CD or a vinyl LP, but you cherished it more. You were invested in the music.

“With streaming, things were starting to become quite throwaway and disposable,” Finlay Shakespeare, a musician and audio engineer, told The Guardian. “If I didn’t gel with an album or an artist’s work at first, I tended not to go back to it.” But music as an art form is designed to grow on people after multiple listens. How many CDs have you bought that you didn’t like at first, and then after three or four listens, it really grew on you?

Privacy

Ever have one of those nights where you went out with your friend or significant other and asked them not to "post that we’re here”? You may have fibbed with other people about your plans and didn’t want to get caught by posting about it online. That’s the world we live in today. It’s easy for anyone to know almost anything about you and how to get in touch. It’s not just because we post things on social media; there are countless databases online where people can learn almost anything about you.

It’s a far cry from living in the ‘80s when the only way to know about someone was if they appeared in the newspaper or the phonebook. Now, if someone wants to find you, they can, and it’s a little scary.

Photographs

These days people take hundreds, maybe thousands of photos every year, many of which they never look at. Before smartphones, every photo you took was precious, and it could take up to two weeks to get developed by the Fotomat. Today's technology makes taking pictures and sharing them with friends much easier. But how many do we actually print out and frame in our homes? Even though we have all of these photos, they are all trapped in a digital vault, and maybe, just one day, we’ll frame a few.

Focus

When was the last time you felt you could spend two hours working on something uninterrupted without being distracted by a text, ping, Slack message, Facebook update, SPAM call, pop-up on your computer monitor, or a compelling desire to stop what you’re doing and scroll through Twitter? If someone from 1995 were frozen in time and woke up with today’s level of distraction and digital harassment, they’d probably run to go live in the forest. But, like frogs in water that are slowly coming to a boil, the change has been so gradual that we didn’t realize that we were creating a world where focus now comes at a premium.

Less comparison

Social media has taken social comparisons to a whole new level. As humans, we naturally compare ourselves to our peers, whether looking up at those doing better or down at those who don’t seem to be faring so well. But in the age of social media, we see a constant stream of people getting to do the things we wish we were doing and buying the things we wish we had. They’re on vacation while we’re at work. They have a new house, and we’re in an apartment. Their kids are excelling at sports and ours will barely leave the house.

The problem is that social media presents a funhouse mirror view of other people’s lives because they only tend to share complimentary things. You don’t hear about people’s financial problems, marriage difficulties, or see if their kids get bad grades. You only see the good stuff.

In-person shopping

The poll that kicked off this article stated that 77% of those between the ages of 35 and 54 would like to return to an era before smartphones and the internet. That was a time when if you wanted a new shirt, you had to go to the mall to buy one. Obviously, with Amazon, things are so much easier now. But the world where we got our friends together and roamed the mall looking for a shirt and, along the way, bumped into our crushes and wolfed down a Cinnabon provided so many social opportunities that we’re missing out on these days. Convenience is great, but it’s no substitute for living.