Entertainment And News

The Sad Reason Why Gen Zers Talk So Much Faster Than Millennials

Photo: @NathanielEdward / TikTok
TikToker Nathaniel Edward and stitched Gen Z TikTok

Amongst a changing landscape of developing research, egregious headlines, and narratives of a social media infiltration, one key player remains the same — Gen Z. 

Gen Zers' social media usage has been blamed for disruptive sleep habits, increased bullying, and depressive symptoms. Gen Zers’ adoption of social media reflects unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety. Gen Zers' young minds face immense vulnerabilities in the face of modern-day social platforms. 

Use of social media from a young age has irreversibly altered Gen Zers. But if it’s so widely documented that social media is disproportionately harming Generation Z — why are we so quick to judge them? 

Adding grace to an immeasurably massive conversation, Millennial TikToker Nathaniel Edward takes an interesting angle on the effects of social media on Gen Zers. 

Gen Zers have questioned why they speak so much faster than millennials.

Has the ever-expanding, all-consuming virtual landscape of social media hurt us all more than we’d like to admit? 

It’s no surprise that the answer to that question is likely "yes" — respected institutions like Pew Research Center post findings almost daily that highlight the destructiveness of social media. Mental health deterioration, identity crises, and a widespread anxiety epidemic that’s only grown more rampant over the past decade — all common threads back to social media usage. 

Outside of these typical "punch lines," Edward presents another effect that many have been quick to judge, rather than acknowledge — Gen Zers tendency towards faster speech and slang. 

“This is going to sound meaner than I intend it to,” Edward begins in a video from August 26th, “but hear me out.” 

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Edwards suggests Gen Zers adopt performative personalities from the internet. 

“Not everything millennials do is a performance,” Edward says to an audience likely largely made up of Gen Zers, myself included, fighting the urge to defend themselves. Regardless, the video continues, “We grew up in a time,” he admits in reference to millennials, “long … long ago, with very little social media.” 



Amidst references to MySpace and the beginnings of Facebook, he paints a picture that clearly identifies the landscape millennials grew up in — one that’s a complete one-eighty from the one Gen Zers know all too well. 

“The lack of social media interference allowed us [millennials] to develop our own personalities,” he continues, “mostly based on television shows, comic books and cartoons. We were able to just be ‘humans’ in the world… kinda nice right?” 

Edward illustrates a concept not completely foreign to the general public — social media has altered Gen Zers’ childhoods, stripping away the ability for many to form genuine identities and connections. 



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“It all just kept going and going and going,” Edward mentions in reference to the inundation of social media platforms, “younger people started to realize that you could have this visible metric for success and likeability.” 

Rewarding performances from creators and consumers alike, social media platforms continue to blur the realistic line between obnoxious and engaging. 

If you’ve ever watched a TikTok ‘news anchor’ you’ve seen this in action — loud, fast, and direct language that catches the attention of viewers regardless of content. It’s this same concept that sadly, in Edward’s opinion, trickles into Gen Zers’ personalities long after they receive validating comments or social media likes. 

Gen Zers ‘lost the opportunity’ to grow up outside the internet.

Social media didn’t magically appear when Gen Zers were born — so why is it the root cause of so many of these negative conversations? 

“The trends and the language of this content,” Edward says about Gen Zers feeds, “makes its way to the real world. You start acting the way you see online, in the hopes it will get you the same attention in the real world,” Edward assumes of young Gen Zers — the first generation to grow up alongside social media. 

Why are Gen Zers prone to this behavior? Younger generations, in Edward's opinion, “weren’t given the opportunity to make friends without performing.” Millennials had the choice to engage with social media later in life, while Gen Zers were thrown in before fully developing their identities. 

You see a trend, you do a trend. You speak quicker to ensure everyone hears your jokes and nuanced perspectives. 

Suddenly, you’re telling your boss about a new "slay soft girl era" in the middle of an 8 AM check-in meeting. In many cases the "sad truth" about the reality of social media for Gen Zers is overlooked by the "spice" it adds to an otherwise boring Corporate America.

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Gen Z creators help facilitate a false, performative view of reality.

Creator Brittany Broski is the first to admit the performative nature of social media — “if you met me in real life,” she says on The Bald and The Beautiful podcast, “you’d realize we’re not always like this — we talk about real [expletive].” 

Broski’s new podcast The Broski Report often discusses the unhealthy nature of social media on Gen Z — parasocial relationships with creators, unhealthy comparison, and performativity lay at the foundation of her discussions. 



So, while thousands unsuspectingly adopt the personalities of their internet heroes, many creators are quick to drop them as soon as the camera turns off. 

We love many social media creators — love to watch their content, love their insightful jargon and witty jokes. From a parasocial eye — they provide a joyful escape. This discussion of the internet does not always have to be so sad and scary. 

Videos like Edward’s can initially spur defensiveness, in some cases rightfully so, but they can also foster conversations that help Gen Zers and Millennials alike become more self-aware. Social media is not going away, neither is the digital landscape that we see evolving and growing around us every day. This world is our new reality. 

Be kind to yourself, be kind to others — regardless of their age, speech, or preference for Facebook over TikTok. 

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a news and entertainment writer at YourTango. They cover topics ranging from pop culture analysis to human interest. Catch up with them on their Instagram or TikTok