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Being a part of Generation Y is really hard *whine whine*. We have broken iPhones that cost $100 and three hours of our life at the Apple Store to fix, too many dating apps that are making us less concerned with settling down and more concerned with seeing how many people will swipe right, and we have to wait entire years for our favorite shows (Lookin’ at you OITNB and the final season of Parks and Rec). It isn’t easy being a member of the Peter Pan generation. We have a lot to complain about.
As I was sitting on a pier drinking post-paddle boarding beers with my bestie, 5 o’clock came and all of a sudden the mood changed. She started going through her phone, muttering like a cartoon character about some work she needed to finish, and just looked up at me with stress pulsating from behind her Warby Parker sunnies.
“I’ve got a serious case of the Scaries right now.”
Now we all know (and hate) the Sunday Scaries. But the Scaries are far from the only anxieties we deal with on the regular. There are other nail-biting, shake inducing, anxieties that seem to only cripple everyone’s favorite demographic to bitch about: the millennials.
If you’re the one person who still has never gone on Urban Dictionary, lemme break this acronym down for you. FOMO is “the fear of missing out.” It’s the fear that sets in when you hear that a bunch of people are going out and you don’t want to be left behind, apocalypse-style, and potentially miss out on what may end up being a really fun night. FOMO is what drags you away from old episodes of That 70’s Show and sticks you into a dive bar playing pool even though you’re probably getting sick and should have stayed home. FOMO is what makes girls who are currently rocking a top bun and a pore strip put on more makeup than Kylie Jenner and leave their apartments in the dead of winter with no jacket because they want to look cute in shitty Instagrams. FOMO is why, even though your electric and internet are due at the end of the week, you go out and spend $97 on AMFs even though you don’t really like it when your burps taste like a long island mixed with Sprite. FOMO is why we can’t have nice things.
Social Media Jealousy
Have you ever made a new friend only to go home to do the old “Google him and find out everything you can based on his name and phone number” only to see that he has triple the Twitter followers you do and could basically be verified on Instagram based on how many likes he racks up? It sucks to realize someone who brought a backpack to a bar is more popular online than you are. You then search for articles about the benefits and risks of buying Twitter followers, weigh the pros and cons of what will happen if you go through with it (it’d really suck to have your identity stolen again), and ultimately end up hating your pathetic online existence and cry while watching that baby see her parents for the first time on loop. Oh wait… that’s just me? Okay, great.
You show me a person who seems chill about texting and I’ll show you a text that was SLAVED over. That perfectly crafted Caddyshack reference with the precise placement of an ironic hashtag? Easily took three friends to solidify it and that was after several rounds of screenshots of previous conversations and at least three abandoned versions. We are all so obsessed with sounding chill, cool, witty, approachable, sassy, funny, mysterious, and idealistic that we panic over what to say in even an iMessage. Unless the person we are talking to is essentially family, we are not pressing send without consulting the peanut gallery, aka: friends for peers, Mom and Pop for professional interactions, proofreading like we’re texting Simon & Schuster themselves, and reading it out loud with different intonations to make sure we aren’t going to accidentally sound bitchy when we’re going for excited. It’s a lot of work.
Hang Out Hangovers
FOMO makes us drag our exhausted asses out when we’d much rather become one with our couch, but eventually, all of that raging and beer drinking and laughing with other millennials just gets to be a bit much. It’s not that we don’t want to hear Katie talk about her “Sort of boyfriend” and how he won’t text her back for the 12th time… but we’re really going to push her into traffic if we have to hear that story one more time. Much like you need Gatorade, pho, and YouTube videos to calm a nasty hangover, you will need silence and sweatpants (and probably pho and Youtube videos) to calm the hangover that comes from not getting enough alone time. Whether we grew up with siblings or as an only child, have roommates or are flying solo, every Gen Y-er needs a day every now and then to be a disgusting, lazy, entire Doritos bag eating version of themselves with no judgement.
Phone Call Phobia
Want to see a millennial freak the fuck out? Go across the room, get a stranger to loan you their phone, and call your friend. Watch them start to look around as if this is a horror movie and the call is definitely coming from inside the bar. Watch them show their other friends the screen and watch said friends frantically search in their respective phones to see if they magically have the unknown number. Maybe, and it’s a slim maybe, they’ll answer and you can prepare to hear the most tentative, nervous “Hello?” ever. Or, more likely, watch them send it to voicemail and then just stare at their phone waiting for the voicemail that they can sweat out in private and dissect to the tenth degree. I’m not sure when we went from wanting a personal phone line for our own room and memorizing phone numbers to having to look up our emergency contact and just wishing our phones would lose the ability to receive any and every call in general. The only time we don’t freak out when we hear the marimba tone is when it’s Mom. And even then… we’re still probably going to send her to voicemail. .
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