So you’re a geriatric millennial (aka you were born between 1980 and 1985). While we don’t blame you for being slightly peeved downright offended by the terminology, hear us out—being a geriatric millennial is actually pretty awesome. Go ahead and put on your reading glasses grandma (kidding!) and check out our list below of just a few benefits of being a geriatric millennial.
1. You are comfortable communicating digitally and IRL
The term “geriatric millennial” gained popularity online after writer Erica Dhawan wrote an article titled “Why the Hybrid Workforce of the Future Depends on the ‘Geriatric Millennial” for Medium. Dhawan’s main point is this—those in this micro generation are best suited to lead hybrid workforces, as they are the only generation with a comprehensive understanding of both digital and analog worlds. “Geriatric millennials can read the subtext of an SMS just as well as they can pick up on a client’s hesitation in their facial expressions during an in-person meeting,” Dhawan writes. “They are neither ignorant of technology nor so engrossed in it that a voicemail inspires fear.” In other words, these “weathered interet veterans” are vital to the workforce. So yeah, if you need us, we’ll be over here teaching Gen Y-ers how to talk to clients while strategizing social media campaigns.
2. You’re in good company
3. You don’t have embarrassing teen moments that will live forever on the internet
When you were navigating those awkward teen years, the height of technology was playing Snake on your phone and having an electronic “pet” in your pocket. There was no Instagram. No YouTube. No TikTok challenges. And for that we are eternally grateful. A lack of social media and smartphones meant that the only person that saw you practice the moves to *NSYNC’s Bye, Bye, Bye was your bestie. Sure, there are a few questionable shots on your dad’s video recorder, but for the most part, those cringeworthy moments from your childhood remain buried. The same cannot be said for younger millennials who grew up with the internet and must now suffer the consequences.
4. You may be more optimistic
Millennials who are now in their 30s were likely already working when the economy took a deep dive into the crapper. This has led to some striking differences in how older and younger millennials view the world, say experts. “Early millennials grew up in an optimistic time and were then hit by the recession, whereas late millennials had their worldview made more realistic by experiencing the recession while during their formative years,” Jean Twenge, a social psychologist at San Diego State University told The Cut. According to Twenge, this has led to younger millennials being more practical than older ones (say by being more attracted to industries with steady work, for example). Older millennials, on the other hand, were able to develop ideas on work-life balance that were a bit more idealistic.
5. You like social media but you’re not obsessed with it
Surprise to no one: excessive social media use is linked to unhappiness, fueling feelings of anxiety, depression, isolation and FOMO. And while we’re all guilty of spending too much time scrolling through the ‘Gram, geriatric millennials remember a time before social media. As such, they’re slightly less likely to use it (90 percent of those ages 18 to 29 use social networks versus 82 percent of those ages 30 to 49, according to this study). Because while you love sending your friend a funny meme, you love spending time with her in person even more.
6. You have lived through the best—and worst—fashion moments
It was the best of times (Mary Janes, “bookish cool”, slip dresses), it was the worst of times (low-rise jeans, butterfly clips, plaid flannel). But most importantly, 90s fashion was fun. Have you seen teenagers today? They look… amazing. They contour! They layer their skincare! They use lash extensions! Their beauty game is on point but we can’t help but think about how long it must take them just to get out the door. Older millennials remember when beauty meant wearing foundation one shade too light, adding a swipe of blue eyeshadow and crimping your hair to a state of Kimmy Gibbler frizzled.
7. You remember when the internet was a happy place
The internet has transformed the way we do, well, pretty much everything. There’s no question that the world wide web has made our lives easier, from shopping and cooking to banking and dating. But there’s also no denying that the internet can be a very dark place. While geriatric millennials are not immune to unrealistic beauty standards, hacking or cyber bullying, we at the very least can remember a time when the internet was reserved for emails and late-night AIM conversations (because that’s the only time that the phone line was free). Simpler times!