Why millennials and Gen Zs believe in beating the matrix

To our baby booming and Gen X parents, we do not have a rule book

In Summary

• Our baby booming and Gen X parents think they know us very well

• But while interacting with my seniors, I heard many phrases of surprise

A grandmother and grandson interact with a tablet
A grandmother and grandson interact with a tablet

I recently sat through an intense discussion with some of my seniors, and the way they tried to figure me out was really humorous.

The topic discussion revolved a lot around social life and how different it is for baby boomers, Gen X, millennials and Gen Zs.

It was very funny to hear them talk of booty calls while today, they are referred to as appointments.

Please do not crucify me as I do not encourage such behaviour; it is the reality of things.

As they say, Nairobi is a big bedroom, but that is besides the point.

The way we keep evolving is something that needs continuous study and analysis.

Our baby-booming and Gen X parents think they know us and often, the argument revolves around, “We started out just like you.”

While interacting with my seniors, this was not the case because all I could hear is, “That is interesting… This is new… I have never heard of this before” among many other phrases of surprise.

The thing is, our parents do not really know us, let alone how we think or do things.

It is true that we often think like our parents and we behave just like they did, but times have changed and frankly speaking, we have incorporated some ‘ujuaji’ and new tricks along the way.

I remember I was the youngest around the table, and one colleague asked if I felt weird sitting among senior people.

To be honest, it was fun interacting with them and learning how they view and understand their own sons and daughters.

Some have an open way of parenting, while others look for interesting ways to engage with their children.

In this context, most of them are in campus and others are through with campus and are either in their early or late stages of work life.

Soemthing that stuck with me throughout the conversation was that our parents lived their life following an unwritten rule book, and as millennials and Gen Zs, we have defied the norms of social life.

I do not represent all millennials and Gen Zs when I say that we do not have a standard way of doing things.

We live in a 50/50 kind of way of life. To us, it is a matter of it’s neither here nor there.

The discussion also involved a topic of where to draw the line on sexual harassment in places of work.

For such two uniquely similar generations, for a specific situation, it depends on a lot of things.

Sometimes we believe in beating the matrix and making the process trust us, whether it is socially, physically, financially, spiritually or even mentally.

We never dismiss our parents' wise sayings and deep advice, but we believe that we cannot carry everything over to our era.

Those days, financial independence was ideally for the male gender so that he can support his wife and children but today, both males and females feel the need for financial freedom.

Our generation of young women will argue, "I do not need a man to survive if I can do it on my own."

Going to school nowadays is an arguable topic as most will see an opportunity that does not involve sitting in a classroom and can yield a lot of money.

The argument is if so and so did it and they succeeded, we can also beat the matrix and make it out in our own way.

Most of us view university education as a money-minting business yet we can learn all those things online and for free.

We believe the system needs tweaking and we all don’t need to follow the unwritten book of laws of life.

I heard over the radio some time back a team of young hosts that I usually like listening to compare our lives today to the setbooks we read in high school.

“Saa hii sifa zinakuja kulingana na setbook ulifanya. Watu walifanya 'An Enemy of The People', they have very high chances of divorce,” one said.

“Sijui kama walichukulia kitabu seriously,” the other said.

“So many single dads and mums ni mbogi ilifanya 'The River Between',” the first guy continued.

“You can get it from the name… 'The River Between',” they both broke into laughter.

“Alafu kuna sisi wenye tunaogopa ndoa, mbogi ya 'The River and The Source'. Hapo mwisho kuna msichana anaitwa Becky mwenye alifanya tuogope maneno ya ndoa sana,” the second guy said.

We are so dynamic in our thoughts and actions that our very own parents find it hard to keep up with the new.

Every day we wake up, the rules keep changing, and to our baby-booming parents, it is not what you think it is.

You might have a hint of things but things keep changing.

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