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Why I’m Mad at Kids With Drip

Why I’m Mad at Kids With Drip

Am I a bad person for hating kids with drip?

 

 

I’m not fond of kids, especially the ones who grew up on the internet. But if you ask me why, I don’t think I could come up with a good answer. At least, not until I realized there was one advantage these kids had looming over me: the exemption of a “cringe” phase. Anyone born around the early 2000s—and even earlier—has an embarrassing past locked away in a private folder on Facebook. Whether it contained the nastiest photobooth-filtered pictures or the most cringe-worthy, self-taped music videos, we all have a past we’re deeply ashamed of. 

 

@100percentthattim gen z will never understand #scenekid #emophase #2000semo #cringe #nostalgia #rawr #emo #throwback #2000sinternet #aboutdamntime #millennialsoftiktok #myspace #memoryunlocked #fyp ♬ About Damn Time – Lizzo

 

This shared experience of the cringe phase serves as one of life’s greatest equalizers. So, what’s my problem? It’s that these young people jump straight into “cool kid territory” and seemingly live a life free of embarrassing memories from their youth. And if you’re not irked by that, might I remind you that they will never have a picture of themselves in the ugliest printed leggings and a neon-colored “Little Miss Sunshine” t-shirt? Are you really okay with that? Yeah, I thought not.

 

Why I’m Mad at Kids With Drip

 

Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s explore why we’re mad at kids with drip. Are our feelings valid? And how do we restore equilibrium if these kids get less and less cringe-worthy the more tech-savvy they get? 

 

Why do these kids have drip?

The decision is in their hands

 

As the generation born during the height of technology, Gen Alpha (or the intermediate zone called “Gen Zalpha”) finds TikTok and all social media to be their playground. What was once the world of swing sets and monkey bars has now transformed into a pool of trendy TikTok dances and fashion aesthetics that the coolest Gen Zs and early Millennials swim in, too. Reference any trendy TikTok term, and you’ll be shocked how much these kids know. (Trust me, I was surprised to hear my 11-year-old cousin sing “girl dinnerrrr” out of nowhere). 

 

So if these kids are consuming the same media we are, you can only imagine the magnitude of decision-making powers they possess. WGSN notes, “Early research has found younger generations to be maturing more quickly than their predecessors, with modern ‘childhood’ ending at age 12.” Along with this is their increased spending power and decision-making abilities within their households—something we most definitely didn’t have back when we were pre-teens.

 

 

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With this newfound sense of adulthood in tweens comes a heightened awareness that whatever becomes of their lives is now in their hands. With all the information at their disposal, they’re buying the best clothes and following the latest trends that their algorithms recommend. And I can’t blame them! Had my Tumblr feed been filled with refined fashion aesthetics akin to what kids have now, maybe I wouldn’t have had the chance to be a cringey kid.

 

Is there an equilibrium?

And maybe we’re not actually mad

 

Growing out of our cringe phases signified a transition to adulthood. Gone were the days of being carefree and doing “dumb” kid stuff as we welcomed the weight of decision-making onto our shoulders. And when things started to get tough, our cringey youth served as a comfort to us—a reminder that life wasn’t so complicated. So without a cringe phase, what are these kids going to hold onto when life fucks them over? 

 

In a way, that part of us that's mad at kids who’ve grown up without a cringe phase silently grieves the loss of the carefree imagery an embarrassing childhood symbolizes. And I’m not saying we should feed our angry hearts with pity for them. What I mean to say is maybe our anger is misplaced. Are we mad at these kids because they’re cooler than us? Or is it more fitting to be angry that they’ve been robbed of an innocent childhood filled with embarrassing memories that they’ll cherish into adulthood? After a lot of internal struggle, I’ve come to terms with it being the latter. I mean, with social media ruling over everyone’s lives, it’s a shame these kids won’t know a world without it. And maybe that’s the price we paid for technology: the advent of hyper-adulthood.

 

So the next time I see a kid in a pair of cargo pants and a cropped top I was only introduced to at 16, I’ll probably still feel a twinge of anger (maybe even jealousy). But underneath the surface, a little girl inside me wishes to share the magic of her “Little Miss Sunshine” t-shirt with today's youth.

 

Why I’m Mad at Kids With Drip

 

R.I.P. cringe phase. You will be missed.

 

 

Words Vanessa Tiong

Art Macky Arquilla

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