The Out-of-Touch Adults' Guide to Kid Culture: Generation Alpha's Memes (2024)

Stephen Johnson

The Out-of-Touch Adults' Guide to Kid Culture: Generation Alpha's Memes (1)

Credit: Lithiumphoto

This week we're talking generational conflict! Gen Z and Millennials are fighting over Eminem (kind of), a YouTuber has been elected to the European parliament, and the game industry keeps remaking games for dads. The only thing we can all agree on is that Generation Alpha consumes disturbing memes.

Beyond Skibidi Toilet: the nonsense memes of Generation Alpha

Generation Alpha—kids between one and 10—are too young to have a fully formed generational identity, but the growing popularity of Gen A memes gives a clue what they’re about, and it’s all nonsense. Where older generations (like 16-year-olds) might gravitate toward art meant to express something, Gen A seems enamored with consuming, spreading, and creating meaninglessness.

The most well-known example of Gen A gibberish is Skibidi Toilet, a YouTube cartoon series with hundreds of millions of Gen A views. Skibidi resists attempts at explanation. But Skibidi is ancient—over a year old—and newer memes are even more inscrutable.

There’s E-E-EI, a short video of a piece of meat singing “Vacation" by Dirty Heads with the lyrics translated to “"E e ei, Imon vagayxon, Evrizingou dei, Cus ailov mawackupaxien.” Although the original video has been taken down from TikTok, responses and remixes crowd Gen-A spaces. They are empty of meaning, but over 11,000 videos using the song have been posted on TikTok alone, including videos like this one that feels like an avant-garde experimental film, except it’s been viewed 1.7 million times, which has never happened to an actual avant-garde film.

The current king of nonsense is TikToker Razi, who has nearly eight million followers on an account that is just videos of gibberish covers of popular songs. Their Gegagedigedagedago video (a cover of “Cotton Eye Joe”) has over 30 million plays alone, and resulted in a supposed three billion listens to the original track, and many, many videos, like this chicken nugget from RoBlox singing the song.

My initial thought about these memes was, “what’s the big deal? Everyone likes funny noises,” but I spent several hours actually watching Gen Alpha gibberish videos today, and it felt like witnessing the collective unconscious of humanity glitching out. Brain rot is too mild a term: It's what you’d see on your monitor right before a terminal error state is reached and the entire mainframe is hard-rebooted. I'm not usually in the "what about the children?" camp, but the thought of a five-year-old spending hours every day consuming this is beyond depressing. I hope I just feel this way because I'm old and I don't get it.

Is Gen Z cancelling Eminem?

Rapper/NFT-aficionado Eminem has released a new video in which his past self travels through time and confronts the world in 2024. In the video, Eminem finds the present world lacking.

The song is the latest salvo in a long-running imaginary war between Gen Z and millennials over the rapper. Many millennials seem to feel that Gen Z is trying to cancel Em for his controversial takes. I asked my teenage son about this and he said, "No one is trying to cancel Eminem; we just think he's corny."

He's right. Even a Gen Xer like me can see that Eminem is corny as hell. I can only think of one thing cornier than Eminem: millennials talking about how Gen Z is canceling Eminem.

What do "glizzy" and “fax, no printer” mean?

The ever-changing jargon of young people has spat out these two interesting new slang words:

Glizzy: Glizzy means hot dog. The word was originally slang for “gun” or “Glock,” but it seems to have shifted in meaning. The theory is that the extended magazine for a Glock looks like a hot dog, hence glizzy = hot dog. (Beats “weiner,” anyway.)

Fax, no printer: This is a colorful way of saying, “I am telling the truth.” Because “facts” and “fax” are pronounced the same, you might say “fax, no printer” instead of “facts, no cap.”

YouTuber elected to European Parliament

Fidias Panayiotou has 2.6 million followers on his YouTube channel where he posts videos of things like spending 10 days buried alive. The 24-year-old’s latest stunt was running for the European Union’s parliament as an independent from Cyprus. He says he wasn’t actually trying to win the election and doesn’t know how parliament even works, but Panayiotou received almost 20% of the vote, enough to win the office.

“This maybe means the world has reached a moment at which a new chapter in the book of democracy begins,” Panayiotou said.

Whether that’s true or not, Panayiotou isn’t the first joke candidate to win a seat on the EU parliament. That honor goes to Di Partie (“The Party”), a satirical political party founded by the editors of German humor magazine Titanic. Die Partie, whose slogans include ""Education starts with 'E'" and "Aunicornfor everyone,” won its first parliament seat in 2014, and picked up a second seat this year.

What is a “hot rodent boyfriend?”

Dudes who wonder what women are really looking for might be surprised by the new type of guy women say they want. The trend is "hot rodent" men—guys who resemble mice, rats, voles, and/or chinchillas, both physically and spiritually. Often mentioned pop culture examples include Timothée Chalamet, Jeremy Allen White, Barry Keoghan, and Matty Healy. The two original rodent men, though, are actors Mike Faist and Josh O’Connor, the stars of Challengers. As the below post from X/Twitter user Francesca Fedele points out, they do look like cute little mice.

The Out-of-Touch Adults' Guide to Kid Culture: Generation Alpha's Memes (2)

Credit: Francesca Fedele/X

From that post, the entire genre of rodent men gradually took form. Rodent men are, generally speaking, more svelte than muscular, with angular faces, and a certain not-conventionally-attractive attractiveness. Personality-wise, rodent men lean toward sensitivity, wittiness, and intelligence instead of brawn. Unlike loyal-but-dumb Golden Retriever boyfriends, hot rodents boys are good at finding the cheese no matter where it is in the maze.

Viral video of the week: This Game is Eggcellent

This week, Microsoft streamed its annual Xbox Games Showcase, where it detailed the games they’ll be selling for Christmas. Trailers for Call of Duty: Black Ops 6, Dragon Age: The Veilguard, Doom: The Dark Ages, and more were all revealed.

These are games for people's dads. The first Doom came out 30 years ago, and the Call of Duty franchise is old enough to be a fan of Eminem. So I went looking for the kinds of games kids are excited about. It turns out, they like games about chickens.

YouTube channel SMii7Y posted a Let’s Play video of a game called Eggstraction, “the game where you play as a chicken and try to steal golden eggs from a farmer,” and over a million people viewed it on its first half-day online. Sure, more people clicked on the COD trailer, but playing the chicken game seems like it would be about 1,000 times more fun than the X-TREME guns and guts borefest of another damn Call of Duty game.

The Out-of-Touch Adults' Guide to Kid Culture: Generation Alpha's Memes (2024)

FAQs

What is Generation Alpha supposed to be like? ›

Gen alpha are often described as digital natives, comfortable with technology and social media from a young age; whereas gen z, also referred to a millennials, are often characterized as independent, socially conscious, and pragmatic, with a focus on financial stability and work-life balance.

Would a 12 year old be Gen Alpha? ›

Kids aged nine- through twelve-years old — the tweens of Generation Alpha (the generation born between 2010 and 2024) — are consuming, and even creating, content more appropriate for sixteen- to eighteen-year-olds, and partaking in trends that are dangerous for them long-term.

What is the age range for Alphas? ›

We're talking about Generation Alpha, the children of Generation Y, and often the younger siblings of Generation Z. Simply put, Generation Alpha are defined as those born from 2010-2024.

What is the oldest Gen Alpha kid? ›

Numbering 2 billion and counting, Gen Alpha (born 2010-2024) is expected to be the biggest generation in history. And even though its oldest members are only 14 years old, Gen Alpha is already an economic force to be reckoned with.

What is the stereotype for Gen Alpha? ›

Generation Alpha is characterised by being digital natives and spending hours and hours in front of screens.

What is the nickname for Gen Alpha? ›

Who Is Generation Alpha? Generation Alpha includes all children born in or after 2010, and they've earned quite a few nicknames, including Gen A, Generation Glass and Upagers.

What is the cut off age for Gen Alpha? ›

The term "Generation Alpha" was coined by Mark McCrindle, a social analyst and demographer. McCrindle defines Generation Alpha, or Gen Alpha for short, as those born from 2010 to 2024. Currently, it is the youngest generation.

What are kids born in 2024 called? ›

Generation Alpha, term used to describe the generation of people born (or who will be born) between 2010 and 2025.

Am I Gen Z or Gen Alpha? ›

As society progresses into the 21st century, attention is shifting from Generation Z — individuals born roughly between 1997 and 2012 — to Generation Alpha, the group starting from 2010 onward. These generations are distinct, each shaped by the technological, societal, and global contexts of their upbringing.

What are alpha kids like? ›

With Generation Alpha, expect to see a new group of people who are more accepting of differences, more socially adept, tech-savvy, and perhaps more cognizant of complex issues like climate change.

How to be an alpha girl? ›

Common alpha female traits include high levels of confidence, assertiveness, and ambition. To be an alpha female, work on defining and achieving your goals. Communicate openly and set boundaries to protect your time and energy.

Is alpha OK for kids? ›

Movie at a glance

A boy and a wolf face constant peril in an epic tale of survival that explores the origins of the human-dog relationship. Although Alpha is rated PG, it's more suited to older children because of its subtitles and its scary, emotionally charged scenes.

What is the problem with Gen Alpha? ›

The biggest problems with Generation Alpha's development are parenting structure, social-emotional factors, and classroom behaviors. To begin, one of the main roots of a child's development and behavior comes from the parents and the environment that they grow up in.

Is 2011 Gen Z or alpha? ›

"Generation Alpha" applies to children born between 2011 and 2025. They will be raised in smaller and constantly evolving families, digital natives, more tech-savvy than previous generations, globally-connected, diverse, and will live and interact with many more generations.

How old can Zoomers be? ›

Generation Z is the demographic cohort that begins after the end of millennials. It refers to the generation born between 1997 to 2012. This generation is also called zoomers. This puts the age group for Gen Z in the range of 6-24 years old in 2021.

What skills does Generation Alpha have? ›

The identified five skills were academic, social, cognitive, motor, and imagination and creativity. The results of the study give solid clarity on the skills that are preferred by Generation Alpha parents through the use of toys.

What will generation beta be like? ›

Generation Beta, the cohort following Generation Alpha, is poised to be the most technologically integrated generation to date. Born into a hyper-connected world, these children are experiencing a reality where digital interaction is omnipresent and profoundly influences every aspect of their daily lives.

Which generation is considered the best? ›

The Greatest Generation, also known as the G.I. Generation and the World War II Generation, is the demographic cohort following the Lost Generation and preceding the Silent Generation. The social generation is generally defined as people born from 1901 to 1927.

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