Gen Z falls for online scams more than their boomer grandparents do::The generation that grew up with the internet isn’t invulnerable to becoming the victim of online hackers and scammers.

  • Altima NEO
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    1369 months ago

    Kids these days cant tell which download button is the real one

        • @[email protected]
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          349 months ago

          Yes, it’s called torrenting software. If you are just downloading regular things using a “download” button, that’s amateur piracy.

          • @edgemaster72
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            69 months ago

            You gotta raise those sails up, that’s rookie piracy

          • phillaholic
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            39 months ago

            Running modified executables you find on torrent sites seems worse

            • @[email protected]
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              79 months ago

              Software is software. You’re downloading shady software off the Internet anyway, but there’s one key difference:

              • Torrent sites (such as The Pirate Bay) usually have systems of trusted uploaders. These are marked with a green/purple skull next to the file in search results.
              • A torrent with a large number of seeders (think: hundreds or thousands) is less likely to contain a virus because nobody honest would seed a malware torrent and it’d cost a lot to fake that many seeders across the world.
              • Torrenting software verifies the integrity of downloaded data. It uses a cryptographic hash function for this so it’s impossible for a seeder to send you a tampered file (that is different from the file you intended to download). When you use a torrent file or magnet link, it contains the hash of the file so if what you receive does not match the hash then the torrenting software will discard it.
              • phillaholic
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                29 months ago

                This assumes a bad actor doesn’t flood the torrent with their own peers. It would be trivial to set up a couple hundred peers to distribute malware.

                Not sure if it was ever confirmed, but some years back it was speculated that the MPAA or associated groups were putting out bad torrents full of broken files to stop people from pirating movies.

                • @[email protected]
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                  39 months ago

                  A “couple hundred peers” is a lot easier said than done. That being said, it does happen and you are correct that having a lot of seeders doesn’t guarantee a safe download.

                  All of the three conditions I mentioned are neither sufficient nor necessary for a safe download, but there is a strong correlation. Unless the torrent is official (e.g. official Linux distro torrents), there is always some chance of a bad download. The chance can be low but is never zero.

              • @[email protected]
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                29 months ago

                These are marked with a green/purple skull next to the file in search results.

                do you think gen-z is able to somehow hover over the icons to see the tooltip and understand what these skulls are for when they’re using their phone for everything?

          • z500
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            9 months ago

            I feel like it’s one of the internet’s better kept secrets that you can just Google for blogs that have music downloads, and as long as it’s not too obscure you’ll probably find it. No fake download buttons, at least none that I’ve noticed with an ad blocker. Generally, the gaudier the blog and the goofier the name, the more reliable it is.

    • tb_
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      9 months ago

      One thing about this particular phenomenon that the article doesn’t take into account is that Gen Z is a lot more online than boomers are, hence they are exposed more often to the various dangers.

      • @[email protected]
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        99 months ago

        And not even entirely by choice, a boomer - fairly well off financially - can reasonably spend years without touching the internet if they don’t work.

        Imma fail my classes if I don’t sign on once a day, and depressed as fuck in my apartment if I can’t even watch Netflix lmao

      • wowbagger
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        9 months ago

        Did you even bother to skim the article? That’s literally the first reason they give:

        There are a few theories that seem to come up again and again. First, Gen Z simply uses technology more than any other generation and is therefore more likely to be scammed via that technology.

        • TheWoozy
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          39 months ago

          Read the article? Gen-Z doesn’t read articles! /s

        • @[email protected]
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          29 months ago

          They acknowledge their bias but don’t account for it in their numbers, smells like statistics manipulation to me

    • @waitmarks
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      209 months ago

      new article in 10 years: Is gen alpha ruining the scam industry???

    • @ohlaph
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      39 months ago

      It’s always the toast.

    • @[email protected]
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      39 months ago

      It’s what media does - focuses on the differences between people instead of what’s common.

    • @glockenspiel
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      29 months ago

      Skepticism is good. However, there is a lot of evidence that Gen Z is quite tech illiterate in general, but especially compared to the Millennial cohort. Colleges and universities have had to force Gen Z students into basically remedial computing courses just to teach them how file systems work and other simple-yet-taken-for-granted concepts work. Drop rates for CS degrees are climbing as Gen Z moves into higher education and hits a very difficult wall for them.

      And, in the end, that last bit was definitely another scam targeting their relative ignorance in the space. That is why so many “influencers”/scam artists target/targeted them with “career guides” or code boot camps or whatever. And I think that disillusionment is also part of the backlash against devs in general as “tech bros” despite very few devs actually working in the Valley for those companies under those conditions.

    • ANGRY_MAPLE
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      9 months ago

      I would love to see their sample group. Do their subjects share other aspects in common too, or do they just share a generation? Do they all have similar income? Do they all have similar access to the internet? Do they all have the same educational background? Do they use technology equally? Were the actual poll questions biased? What defines “scam” in this scenario? Who paid what as a result of these scams? Are they of the same political background? Are disabilities and minorities represented fairly across age groups? Were any profits gained as a result from this poll? Do the participants live similar lifestyles at home?

      I’m always suspicious when they don’t list these things. It can be very easy to create biased results.

      They list these things, but education for example, is just overall rated by the country. If we’re making statements about age groups, I think the individual age groups should have equal representation. This would help avoid cherry picking. Otherwise, they could just pick a Gen Z who has poor education and compare them with a Gen X who has a good education. You wouldn’t see it, because they’re from the same country.

  • @scarabic
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    929 months ago

    Gen Z Americans were three times more likely to get caught up in an online scam than boomers were (16 percent and 5 percent, respectively).

    Does this control for the fact that Gen Z are simply online a lot more than Boomers?

    I can’t tell what these are percentages of. 16% of scammed people were GenZ? 16% of GenZ have experienced a scam? Because both of those would be skewed if, for example, 100% of GenZ use the internet daily and 20% of Boomers have never used it.

    Once again, a journalist doesn’t know how to present statistics in a meaningful way. They do this 72%!

    • TheWoozy
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      219 months ago

      I think it has more to do with age and experience than generational labels. Kis who “were just born yesterday” or “are still wet behind the ears” have always been, and always will be gullible. Everyone needs to be fooled a few times before they “wise up”. We need to stop all generational finger pointing and bigotry.

      • @[email protected]
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        89 months ago

        My kid and his friends were convinced they would get $100 of free stuff from Temu, but only if they got 10 people to download the app. I tried telling them it was bullshit marketing but since they “heard so and so got $100 then it will work.”. I downloaded it just to get them to shut up and deleted it.

        Temu. Fucking Temu? It’s the dollar store wish.com and that’s saying something.

        Anyways, it obviously didn’t work and haven’t heard about Temu since, then I’m pretty sure they realize their mistake.

        • @glockenspiel
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          69 months ago

          Gen Z falls for online scams more than their boomer grandparents do

          Temu is legitimately malware. The company had their source dumped and they obfuscated their malware-like practices to avoid Google’s automatic detection. I presume they did the same with their iOS client. It is very telling that they have been extremely successful despite the same exact company and team doing this before with another app, Pinduoduo. That’s right; same dev team and everything. Temu goes above and beyond the normal surveillance capitalism stuff we are used to and circumvents system security in order to sell your raw data on the market. The entire scheme isn’t to build a retail space (although it is doing that as well); it is to get as many people to download the app so they can steal an absurd amount of data which is normally protected.

          • @[email protected]
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            19 months ago

            Pinduoduo is the parent company of Temu. Of course it’s going to be the same dev team.

            This is like saying you’re surprised Instagram shares code and engineers with Facebook.

        • @[email protected]
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          39 months ago

          Referral codes aren’t exactly uncommon for new apps, especially if VC money is involved.

      • @dtrain
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        69 months ago

        Amen. I remember in high school and my early 20, I was gullible af.

        It’s an age issue. Not a generational one.

    • @ohlaph
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      199 months ago

      It’s a terribly written article.

      • @scarabic
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        9 months ago

        Its awfulness is at least 81%

  • @BetaDoggo_
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    869 months ago

    Breaking news: children are more gullible than adults.

      • @[email protected]
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        89 months ago

        Yeah, that’s my suspicion too. If more gen z are using the internet compared to boomers, then it makes sense that more of them would fall for scams.

      • TheWoozy
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        39 months ago

        Breaking news: many Gen Zs’ grand parents are not boomers, but Silents.

    • @Redredme
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      159 months ago

      “children”.

      “Researchers and popular media use the mid-to-late 1990s as starting birth years and the early 2010s as ending birth years”

      (source wikithingy)

      • @[email protected]
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        59 months ago

        As per usual, everyone above the age of 40 is a Boomer and everyone below the age of 40 is a Millennial. All other definitions have to bend to accommodate.

      • @Fondots
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        59 months ago

        early 2010s as ending birth years

        Which means, depending on what exact years you’re going with, the youngest gen z are roughly 13 years old, possibly younger, and roughly half of them are minors, I think it’s fair to call those parts of the demographic children in a lot of contexts. Most of them aren’t old enough to drink, only a handful of them are old enough to rent a car from most companies. Most of them are still in school, still living at home with their parents (not that I’m throwing shade, I was still living at home at their age, my wife didn’t finally graduate until she was in her 30s, that’s just kind of the way things are these days for a lot of people)

        Teenagers and younger 20-somethings are capable of a lot of things, but they have little to no firsthand experience with the real world. They know enough to get themselves into trouble, but not enough to avoid trouble or get themselves out of it. That’s just part of growing up.

        I know plenty of people the same age as me who fell for various kinds of scams in their teens and 20s, a lot of craigslist scams, MLMs, various phishing emails, sending money to random online “friends” only to have them disappear afterwards, every week someone’s Facebook was getting hacked, etc. And while we grew up with the internet, a lot of the potential avenues for scams hadn’t really fully matured yet, so it was easier to sort through the noise. There wasn’t a whole lot of user-generated content and many websites didn’t need any kind of account to use, so after you learned not to click the flashing banner ads saying you won something and ignore weird emails, you were mostly pretty safe, and we adapted to all the new stuff as it came around and mostly learned how to sort out the good from the bad.

        If we’d been thrown headfirst into the internet of today, I’m sure we would have fallen for just as many if not more scams.

        There’s probably also a lot more research now into who is falling for what kinds of scams and how frequently. If you got scammed in 2003, there’s a good chance not too much came of it, maybe you had to close some bank or credit card accounts that got compromised, but cops often wouldn’t really know what to do about it, you couldn’t really post about it anywhere unless you had your own blog, Myspace was just getting started, Facebook wasn’t out yet, maybe your 12 friends on xanga would read about it. And unless some survey taker at the mall or at your college or something asked you about it, there probably wasn’t too many good ways for researchers to gather data about your experience from you.

        Nowadays everyone has their own little soapbox, there’s a lot of ways for people doing research on this sort of thing to find you and reach out, and overall it’s a lot better understood.

  • @[email protected]
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    659 months ago

    Doesn’t surprise me, really. With all the stories you hear about the younger part of GenZ not being familiar with things like files and directories because everything is just saved in this enormous bucket of things called “the cloud”. I’m sure some of the things I’ve read are ragebait, but from my own experience, the increased usability of mobile operating systems has really influenced their ability to work with “traditional” stuff, which is nothing more than logical. But yeah.

    • akwd169
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      59 months ago

      I imagine it has more to do with phones being the most common and main way GenZ becomes familiar with tech, with which you mostly just open an app and it knows which files and where they are, presenting them in a way that skips the whole file/directory experience for 95% of use cases

      • @[email protected]
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        29 months ago

        It’s definitely that, yeah. I just wonder how it’ll go once (if?) they have to use a computer at work later.

  • u/lukmly013 (lemmy.sdf.org)
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    449 months ago

    Compared to older generations, younger generations have reported higher rates of victimization in phishing, identity theft, romance scams, and cyberbullying.

    Why include cyber bullying?

    • @[email protected]
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      479 months ago

      Yah, that really seems out of place with the rest of the list. How does one “fall for” cyberbullying? Where’s the scam?

      • @OrteilGenou
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        39 months ago

        Maybe being bullied into compliance?

    • @Buddahriffic
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      49 months ago

      I’m also curious about what their threshold for being “victimized” by romance scams is. I’ve wasted time chatting with romance scammers (both bots and ones with real people responding to messages), but haven’t ever given them or their shady sites my CC info, would I count as a “victim”?

    • @[email protected]
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      29 months ago

      Why include cyber bullying?

      I believe they mean something like being victim in a case of someone extorting them by threatening to leak photos/videos?

        • @[email protected]
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          19 months ago

          I think some of these just overlap. For example there can be a scammer pretending to be someone who is not. Then the victim may share content that wouldn’t share otherwise. Then the scammer extortions the victim by threatening to leak content in the victim’s social circle.

    • @theluckyone
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      119 months ago

      Xennial here: Come back and talk to me after spending a good chunk of your childhood editing config.sys and autoexec.bat, loading drivers and freeing up conventional memory.

      • @[email protected]
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        49 months ago

        I’m not old enough for most early computers but I do remember changing an IRQ channel once.

        • @theluckyone
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          19 months ago

          My parents got me a subscription to Family Computing. Spent way too many hours typing in the lines of BASIC code contained in each one, debugging my mistakes, and playing them. There’s a joke in there somewhere…

  • @[email protected]
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    209 months ago

    Yeah no shit I’m surprised even 8% of boomers are online, they’re using the only perfect antivirus - abstinence

    • @[email protected]
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      139 months ago

      That and a lot of stuff is no longer email scams. They have moved on to platforms like Discord that would be rare for a boomer to use. Even viruses are hardly an issue for them because everything is mostly done on mobile now. I know zero boomers who would say I am going to install this random .apk for a cool app that was suggested to me… instead it would just be “the app you recommend doesn’t exist, it’s not in the Play/Apple store”

      It’s this weird Era where you almost need a little more technological literacy to be scammed, but not enough to actually recognize a scam.

    • TheWoozy
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      69 months ago

      Been online before you were born, kid.

  • @Asudox
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    9 months ago

    I was interested in computers since like I am 6 so I am not one of those type of GenZ teenagers that only know how to use social media platforms like Instagram. Not all GenZ are like them.

    • Vincent Adultman
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      9 months ago

      Yeah. But ngl, my family is pretty big and between my 6 cousins, I am the only one that tries to understand computer and how things work. They just use internet for gaming and social media, don’t even care to see why their wifi is slow and just blame the ISP. Fixing is my only utility to my family, but I’ll take it.

  • @ieightpi
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    179 months ago

    Maybe it’s just a wisdom kind of thing? Gen Z is still young and learning the ropes of adult life. Boomers have more years on them to learn what is or isn’t a scam.

    • @[email protected]
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      339 months ago

      I don’t think so. I heard Millennials are the best with this stuff making us the outlier because we grew up in an age of constant tech advancement and during a time when a lot of things weren’t totally consumer friendly yet so we had to problem solve tech a lot.

      Pirating played a big role in this with limewire and stuff but so did Xanga, Myspace and Tumblr having you learn basic coding to make shit cool.

      The article could rather flip and say Millennials don’t fall for scams like everyone else does. They grew up with the Internet but we pioneered it.

      • @ohlaph
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        89 months ago

        Exactly. I’m a millennial and had to troubleshoot a lot for my boomer parents and gen x siblings.

        Although I work in tech now, I didn’t until my third career.

      • @ieightpi
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        69 months ago

        i like this take. especially since im a millennial haha

      • @[email protected]
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        9 months ago

        also add that we, millennials, grew up with the common knowledge that internet is a wild place, never give out your personal data, credit card numbers or personal photos. Gen-z grew up in a world that they needed to purposefully upload their whole life on the cloud.

      • phillaholic
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        59 months ago

        I’ve felt the same. Millennials with tech and the silent generation / early boomers all seem to be much better with mechanical things like cars. Growing up having to troubleshoot is big.

      • @[email protected]
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        29 months ago

        idk, here piracy is still very prevalent with all generations and doesn’t seem like it impacts scammability.

        • @[email protected]
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          49 months ago

          Piracy has become kind of easier and standard. I haven’t checked but I bet there is a discord and youtube community about pirating. That didn’t exist. I learned about torrenting from an online friend through Maplestory. Limewire was a thing some kid at school told you about. And we all got viruses doing it.

          It felt like you had to know a guy to know anything. Now you can just google and the communities for pirating are massive now.

    • TheWoozy
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      29 months ago

      You are hereby banished from the internet for even mildly defending boomers!

  • @[email protected]
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    9 months ago

    Bad article that makes it difficult to find the study they’re citing.

    However. It would not surprise me if true. I’m sorry but so many of you GenZ are the most gullible people I’ve even seen.

    Maybe we millenials are good at not being scammed because we grew up during the infancy of the internet. Our mistakes were not punished as severely. There was no widespread PayPal, cashapp, venmo or stuff like that. At worst we’d lose items in WoW that wouldnt matter in 6 months anyway because the new expanaion would come. These days a kid will lose his knife in CSGO somehow valued at $600.

    Still makes me sad to see that MLM scams are thriving within all generations. Just heartbreaking.

  • AutoTL;DRB
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    159 months ago

    This is the best summary I could come up with:


    “People that are digital natives for the most part, they’re aware of these things,” says Scott Debb, an associate professor of psychology at Norfolk State University who has studied the cybersecurity habits of younger Americans.

    In one 2020 study published in the International Journal of Cybersecurity Intelligence and Cybercrime, Debb and a team of researchers compared the self-reported online safety behaviors of millennials and Gen Z, the two “digitally native” generations.

    But because Gen Z relies on technology more often, on more devices, and in more aspects of their lives, there might just be more opportunities for them to encounter a bogus email or unreliable shop, says Tanneasha Gordon, a principal at Deloitte who leads the company’s data & digital trust business.

    Staying safer online could involve switching browsers, enabling different settings in the apps you use, or changing how you store passwords, she noted.

    Gordon floated the idea of major social media platforms sending out test phishing emails — the kind that you might get from your employer, as a tool to check your own vulnerabilities — which lead users who fall for the trap toward some educational resources.

    But really, Guru says, the key to getting Gen Z better prepared for a world full of online scams might be found in helping younger people understand the systems that incentivize them to exist in the first place.


    The original article contains 1,313 words, the summary contains 228 words. Saved 83%. I’m a bot and I’m open source!

  • Zelda Goats
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    139 months ago

    Generation X forgotten once again. Whatever.

    (It was kind of expected at the time that the Millennials would be named Generation Y because they followed us, but that name never took hold. So they skipped Y and went straight on to Z, then continued with A.)

    • @Z3k3
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      9 months ago

      It wouldn’t be so bad but when they do remember us it’s to lump us in with our parents

      • Zelda Goats
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        39 months ago

        This right here. More poignantly perhaps since the Boomers (not everyone in that age group, obviously) ruined Gen X lives first, before they destroyed the futures of subsequent generations, so we’ve been watching this dumpster fire for decades and warning about how bad it could become.

        What might be unique to X-ers is that we witnessed the social fabric in the U.S. falling apart in the 80’s under Reagan–when the likelihood of a blue-collar worker having a solid career at a good company for life, supporting a family on one income, and being able to retire without living in poverty went from being a common thing to more of a lost dream.

        So yes, to be lumped in with the same generation that pulled the rug out from under us is adding insult to injury.

    • @[email protected]
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      19 months ago

      Amusingly, your post forgets either the Millennials or Generation Z.

      Gen Y are the Millennials and Gen Z are the Zoomers, which sounds more like a street gang from a Silver Age comic that it has any right to. Millennials and Zoomers tend to get conflated just like Boomers and Gen X do but they are distinct.

      If you were born before the early 80s or after the mid-90s you are not a Millennial, you’re a Gen Xer or a Zoomer. Generation Alpha are typically the kids of Millennials and some of them are starting to enter puberty already.

      Basically, you can divide generations Y and Z by whether they have any clear memories of before 9/11.

  • @[email protected]
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    129 months ago

    For all the older folk pointing fingers: “But because Gen Z relies on technology more often, on more devices, and in more aspects of their lives, there might just be more opportunities for them to encounter a bogus email or unreliable shop”