Rise of the Zillennial: People in their 20s who feel in limbo between Millennials and Gen Z reveal they went to Woolworths and Blockbuster but don’t remember MySpace

  • Term ‘Zillennial’ classifies those born on cusp of Millennial and Gen Z generation
  • Describes those whose birthday falls somewhere in between 1993 and 1998
  • Grew up in digital world but recall rise of smart phones and dial up internet

While many of us may be familiar with Millennials and Gen Z – what happens if you were born on the cusp of both generations? 

Well, if you’re not quite sure which category you fall into and can relate to both generations without fully ticking the boxes for each – and your birthday falls somewhere between the years 1993 and 1998 – it’s likely you’re a ‘Zillennial.’ 

According to Urban Dictionary, Zillennials are defined as being ‘too young to relate to the core of millennials but too old to relate to the core of Generation Z. They were 2000’s kids and transitioned from teenagers to adults during the 2010’s.’ 

Millennials are defined as being born between 1981-1996 and Gen Z – born from 1997 onward. 

Zillennials remember a trip to Blockbuster (pictured in stock image) but were too young for MySpace 

Are YOU a Zillennial? Read these statements to find out 

Trying to figure out if you are a Zillennial? Other than the year when you were born, these statements should also help you figure it out. If you answer ‘yes’ to the majority of them then the chances are you’re a Zillennial.

For Zillennials, putting song lyrics in your MSN name, making your parents look after your Tamagotchi and owning a Jane Norman bag will ring familiar, while having mid-2000 bands such as Green Day, Fall out Boy and Black Eyed Peas on repeat was the norm. 

And let’s not forget no weekend would’ve been complete without a trip to Woolworths to buy a new single and a bag of ‘pick n mix’, before purchasing a new sassy outfit from Tammy Girl and Dream Matte mousse foundation from Boots. 

However unlike true millennials, who also experienced all of these pop culture phenomena, Zillennials missed out on the early iterations of the mobile phone and are more closely linked with Gen Z when it comes to technology. 

Their first phone was likely a flip or slide phone, before the Blackberry and BBM pins became a typical fixture in the day, while those in the Gen Z category have fond memories of brick phones with never-ending antennas.  

They would have grown up with the internet at school and at home, just like Gen Z and unlike the majority of millennials. Zillennials would have also had access to social media at a younger age, which shaped and defined a generation.  

The term ‘Zillennials’ on social media has solved a lot of confusion for those who were born in that ‘micro generation’ (pictured)

Too old to be a Zillennial? Then you’ll remember these millennial crazes

Think Zillennials are out-of-touch? You’re a Gen Z kid who grew up with these trends

Another key difference is that Zillennials, who more than likely possessed an MP3 player in comparison to a Gen Zer’s iPhone or Millennial’s CD player, grew up using the likes of Tumbler rather than TikTok or Instagram. 

A Zillennial might have grown up playing with a Nintendo DS Lite or Bratz Dolls and watching TV shows like Hannah Montana, Pokemon and Kim Possible like the older Gen Zers.  

Zillennials would also have experienced the popularity of Vloggers on YouTube – such as the likes of Zoella – before influencers stole the limelight on new social media platforms. 

Some cultural commentators believe memories of 9/11 define the divide between Millennials, Zillenials and Gen Z.

The majority of millennials are able to remember 9/11 with some clarity, while Zillennials (now aged between 23 and 28) will only have vague memories of the tragedy. Gen Z children are too young to remember – or were not even born yet. 

While millennials, typically defined as being born between 1981-1996, are old enough to fully recall the tragic events of the day and Gen Z – born from 1997 onward – are probably not alive, Zillennials are likely to have vague memories – with the incident taking place around the time they started school. 

Writing for Glamour, Mollie Quirk perfectly explained the divide she feels between the two generations.

‘Next month I’ll be 24, I was born in 1997 and I’ve never known how to truly label myself,’ she penned. ‘I remember My Parents Are Aliens, Tamagotchis, Tammy Girl, Nintendo DS Lites, Jane Norman bags, scoobies, Woolworths and Dream Phone – but my friends who are a few years younger don’t.’   

inspired by @wholesam

Digs: TikTok user @ahope94 shared a video of herself briefly looking sad about her skinny jeans and side part going out of style, but then she remembered Gen Zers ‘ate Tide pods’

OMG: Gen Z have also taken issue with the tears of joy emoji and now associate the icon with ‘old’ millennials

And it seems the term on social media has solved a lot of confusion for those who were born in that ‘micro generation.’ 

‘Have been thinking a lot about my generation lately and discovered the term #zillennial (is this new or have I been living under a rock?). I identify as one although I still feel too young for MySpace. Tumblr all the way,’ wrote one. 

A second penned: ‘Today I listened to a podcast while on my way to work and somehow that made me feel old. Also Hannah Montana was 15 years ago tf #zillennial.’

Elsewhere, a third added: ‘My boyfriend just exposed me to this term and I’ve never felt more validated #zillenial.’


Fighting back: Millennial TikTok users are taking digs at Gen Z after the younger generation mocked them for wearing skinny jeans, rocking side parts, and using laughing emoji

A further recalled: ‘The fact I vividly remember being put on my friend’s list on his journal to see who will get the cd next and I remember I had to beg my mom to help me burn it bc she didn’t want to buy me it see that’s how you know I’m a zillennial. I remember a time with no phones.’ 

The new generational term comes after Millennials hit back at Gen Zers who mocked them for wearing skinny jeans, rocking side parts, and using laughing emoji, superiorly pointing out that the younger generation used to eat laundry detergent pods for fun. 

The generational war between the two groups has raged on TikTok, with Gen Z fueling the fire with their condemnation of the skinny jeans beloved by millennials.

Some Gen Zers posted TikToks stating they’d rather be dead or homeless than be caught wearing skinny jeans, but millennials refused to give up their go-to denim style without a fight.  

‘The same people that are telling us that we can’t wear skinny jeans or a side part are the same people that were eating Tide pods and can’t write in cursive,’ millennial TikToker @dogsn_dumbells noted in one of her clips. 

A number of people recalled how Gen Zers ate Tide pods a few years ago as part of a dangerous social media challenge while arguing that no one should be listening to them.  

TikTok user @ahope94 shared a video of herself looking sad about her skinny jeans and side part going out of style, but then she tossed her pants in the air with the caption: ‘Also me remembering they ate Tide pods.’ 

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