We Asked Generation Z to Pick a Name. It Wasn’t Generation Z.

9

Some people at a music festival who, our respondents suggested, belong to a generation you could call “memelords” or “dazers” or “the over anticipated cleanup crew.” Kendrick Brinson for The New York Times

When we asked readers last week to suggest new names for the generation after millennials, we received thousands of replies, both from those we had called on (22 and under) and those we hadn’t (everyone else).

Hundreds wrote in only to ask why we had bothered. They argued that this was an empty exercise.

Kiernan Majerus-Collins, the 22-year-old chairman of the Democratic Party in Lewiston, Me., wrote: “Don’t call us anything. The whole notion of cohesive generations is nonsense.”

It was the second-most popular comment on our Facebook post. He has a point. Malcolm Harris, the author I interviewed for the original reader callout, described those jostling to coin a lasting name as hacks and salesmen. (He’s 29, a year older than I am.)

Mr. Harris, an editor for The New Inquiry, is more amenable in his book, “Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials,” which makes a case that these labels help explain the political, economic and social trends that shape our lives.

“I do believe that it is useful, or can be useful, clearly,” he said. “It can also be less than useless.”

Source: The New York Times