“Warning: Low Battery.” Reading that alone can make you twitchy.
We’ve officially reached the stage where “low battery + cracked screen + no signal” is a literal life catastrophe. At any rate, it’s worth a meme. Also, let’s not get started on how parents of millennials need the whole meme thing explaining. If they don’t get what it means to swipe right, they won’t get making a meme about it.
Mostly, they’re irritated– your parents, that is. To be fair, we are throwing them curveballs. Clouds are suddenly a place for storage. Well, that, and a fragrance from Ariana Grande. Digital albums that have no physical weight are “dropping.” Explaining how selfies are now “okay” to the grandparents (or parents?) “Honey, these kids… I don’t get them.” And they never will.
The older generation will never understand the need to describe a situation with a reaction. Nor will they understand how a phone is so, so much more than just a phone. Millennial problems are broad. There’s sneaker envy, celebrity envy, shading. Life will, in some way, always be a literal goal. No, wait. It needs a hashtag.
“Thank U, Next.” Our parents will never be on that wavelength. Ellen Pompeo might have posted an Instagram video of herself bopping along to “Break up with your girlfriend, I’m bored,” but she’s an anomaly. Being over 50 doesn’t generally come with that much understanding.
Problems, problems, problems. Unfortunately, there isn’t just one. Here are 15 millennial problems that our parents will never understand.
The Sheer Rage When No Reaction Gif Is Right
For anyone who has ever been accused of being part of “the generation that doesn’t communicate,” the reaction gif is literally proof that you’re communicating. Also, for the parents who think that “communicating” is sitting around the dinner table– just, no.
The moment when no amount of “Kanye West face”, dancing Single Ladies, or Tom Cruise on the couch can express your exact level of “talk to the hand?”
Reaction gifs are actually pretty innovative when you think about it. Except for that one moment when you so badly need to find the right one, and not a single one will do. Basically, the time you need to find a reaction gif to explain your frustration at the lack of finding a reaction gif. Congratulations, your life problems have officially peaked.
What To Do During A System Upgrade
Literally, what to do. First off, the system upgrade will always come when you least expect it. You just settled into bed for some Netflix. You haven’t got long (but Microsoft doesn’t care).
Yes, we want the security. No, we don’t want it interrupting us. And apparently, we don’t get a choice. You’re about to leave the house. You’re installing apps. Absolute worst? You’re low on battery.
Exactly what we’re supposed to do while the genie dust does its stuff? Well, we could check the phone (that’s in the other room because it needed charging). There’s always the option of doing the dishes. The ultimate worst has to be that the upgrade will never really tell you when it’s done. 30% of 100%. “Oh, I’ll be done after 100%.” Nope, that was just stage one.
My Life Is Officially Over
It just doesn’t get any worse, right? Walk past anyone in the street with a smashed screen and you’ll pity them. Why? Because you can see they’re at that stage. The stage where they’ve become used to the cracked screen. It’s enough to make you wish you could buy them a new one.
Remember that Friends episode when Joey saves his sandwich over Chandler? You’d probably do the exact same thing if that sandwich were a smartphone.
There is only one possible “good side” to this. It’s called the immeasurable relief and sense of new life when you get a new one. It basically feels like a whole new world. Also, people who make phones. If you could stop charging us the earth for something that takes ten minutes to replace? Yeah, that would be great.
Having To Ask For The Wi-Fi Password
Over in Scandinavia, free Wi-Fi is a legal human right. In the United States and other parts of the world, the comfort of connecting to Wi-Fi is guaranteed in the following places: Home, McDonald’s, Starbucks, and anywhere you’ve vetted before (and are returning to for this precise reason).
Who do you ask? Do you bother? Do you write and complain? You can’t! You’re not connected.
Admit it– it’s awkward. You’re in an independent cafe. The artsy flat whites and bleached-wood decor are great, but there’s zero sign of connectivity. Most irritatingly? Everyone around you seems absolutely fine with it. To your right, there’s a family with toddlers. They have other priorities. To your left, it’s a first date couple. They don’t care. Apparently, you’re alone in this one.
When Your Uber Ghosts You
Are you kidding me? You broke your back earning that five-star rating. Ordering an Uber has become such a millennial life essential, it’s referenced on TV more casually than O.J. at breakfast. It’s all smooth sailing– in theory.
It’s the moment when you see your Uber arriving, you start to put your phone away, then…ouch. The dude just drives off. Uber ghosting is a rarity– the app-based taxi service has an excellent reputation, but it’s been known to happen. When it’s you? This dog can totally relate.
Also, quite what you’re supposed to do once the Uber ghosts you isn’t clear. Do you run after the car in the dark and drop all your stuff? Do you write in and complain? Do you just order another one? If someone could provide a handbook for this, that would be great.
9% Battery And Nowhere Near Home
The closest that the older generation will get to understanding this is… oh wait, they can’t. Back before smartphones were an extension of our arms, we would get ourselves home in a remarkably normal fashion. Options included: walking with the sound of our footsteps as music, driving with no Sat-Nav, or hopping on a bus.
9% battery and nowhere near home.Literally: “What do I do on the way?” (And how will I tell people about my trauma if I can’t update?)
This situation also comes with some rules. It will definitely be raining. It will be the middle of winter. Some random bus will pass, you will frantically wave, and it’ll totally ignore you. The worst part? That stupid setting that uses up more battery to tell you that you’re low on battery. Seriously.
When You Assumed It Was Already On Netflix
Abandonment. Disappointment. The worst feeling in the world. Netflix has an estimated 7,000 movies and 1,606 TV shows. Every time you log in, the streaming site offers you hundreds of binge-worthy, tear-jerking, or sci-fi options– all tailored (fairly well) to your preferences. The millennial problem here? That moment when you really, really badly want to watch something specific, search for it, and nope. Nothing.
“This show isn’t available in your region.” International Netflix problems are so much worse than American ones.
Of course, it then turns a thousand times worse when you don’t find your show, browse glitzy-looking ones with slick previews, and realize you’ve just wasted 45 minutes finding, well, nothing. We do love Netflix, but really, no words for that feeling when your expectations let you down.
When New Privacy Settings Come Out
Millennials have got a pretty good grip on tech, overall. Multi-tasking an Instagram DM while choosing a Snapchat filter (and snoozing Gmail until 6 p.m.)? We’re on it. Getting tailored apps to improve our daily steps, water consumption, taxes, bill splitting, and sleep cycles? Also great.
It’s when the privacy setting updates arrive, that everyone feels like they’re being faced with this. Are they in “general” or “my settings?” Where has “view as x” gone? Why is everything suddenly visible, and why is getting it to stop so sensationally complicated?
The frustrating part here is that privacy settings are no longer something you can ignore. You need to lock down that Facebook page (unless you want your potential boss seeing your antics). Plus, you know, random people and stuff.
Unable To Decide If You Love Or Hate Siri
Apple users are on the fence right now. As Vanity Fair runs headlines like: “Can Apple Save Siri, The World’s Most Annoying A.I.?” millennials are still trying to figure out whether life is better with or without the supposedly helpful Apple assistant, Siri. Google Now, Amazon Alexa, and Echo seem to have suffered less in the exodus, but it’s still a tough one.
If you disable Siri, will you miss her? If you tell her to disable herself, will she just reply snarkily?
We’re almost at the point where that phone is a total virtual assistant. Google can set timers. You can also shut it up. “Hey Google, Shut Up” actually works. Although we’ll always love Paris Hilton for being who she is, there’s a Siri feel here, right? It’s someone you can love to hate. We’ll assume that Paris has a set of assistants to deal with her Siri.
Random Starbucks Neighbor Can Connect, You Can’t
And so collapses the concept of “free Wi-Fi for everyone!” We’ve all been there. That moment when, unlike your neighbor (whose screen you’ve totally checked out), you actually need the internet. For, like, work. You’re in Starbucks, everyone around you is happily connected, and your screen is just sitting there… “connecting, connecting,” but very much not connected.
This is where it gets awkward. Do you nudge them and ask how they got past the magic barrier? Ask a barista? Sit in embarrassed shame forever?
Also, people in major cities. Have you also noticed how Starbucks’ Wi-Fi can be super slow? Like, 90 people in there. Everyone is on a tablet or laptop. Everyone is also operating on 1990s-speed Wi-Fi. The free refills are great, but can we get faster Wi-Fi by any chance?
What Millennials Associate 3G With
Remember when the world was excited to have all devices proudly on 3G? No. Because your life has completely adjusted to the high-speed comfort that is 4G signal. There will be that isolated moment though when 4G isn’t available.
In an earth-shattering shift to the Third World, your poor First World soul will have to do with the Medieval connection that is 3G. If you’re a millennial, not being on 4G is basically like living in the Third World. It’s also pics like these that are a humbling reminder of how much we have (and continue to take for granted).
Here we are, nicely complaining that the pic of a Central African family with no food is taking too long to load. They’re still waiting on the food. On the plus side, we can use our 4G to make an actual donation (which you might want to consider doing).
Accidentally Swiped Left On The Love Of Your Life
Also, nice move, Meghan Markle. This Suits actress is now the most-talked-about member of the Royal Family. For all the flack technology gets as a tool for “alienating people from each other,” it does have its perks. Dating apps have conquered their once less-than-savory reputation– enough resulting marriages are proof.
To meet “the one,” though, you’ve got to find them. And that isn’t going to happen when you accidentally swipe left. Unless you want to pay for premium membership to view your accidental swipes, you’ll be landed in this problem– narrowing your search by age and location, hoping you’ll stumble on him/her again.
If you’ve got parents who know what swiping left even means, consider yourself lucky. Then again, that might be the absolute nightmare of having those “super-cool” parents who also infiltrate your life. Please remember that they care.
When Your Parents Call It “The Web”
If you’re a millennial with parents (or grandparents) using the internet, you’ll be one of two things: Secretly impressed at how good a job they’re doing, or utterly horrified at how badly they’re failing.
You could explain face-palming, but, you know… one thing at a time. If your parents are “checking the web,” oh…we are so vibing.
Grandma internet memes didn’t come out of thin air. However well older members of your family are managing their inbox or Amazon shopping, there will still be that moment from your mom: “I’ll look on the web.” From someone whose mother does this, please, remember that they’re doing their best. Also, if you can help out on copy/paste, do it. They might need it.
Random People Photobombing Your Selfie
It just doesn’t get better (or worse) than this. In this particular instance, we’re calling #Epic. In 2014, two Australian hockey players actually got photobombed by the Queen during the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in Scotland. “#SheEvenSmiled,” one of the girls tweeted after the pic went viral. It was enough to make The Sun‘s headlines.
We can’t all be Kim Kardashian. For regular millennials, the chance to take a great selfie in a crowded place is rare. By and large, having someone photobomb your selfie is the most annoying thing on the planet. That said, when it’s the Queen doing it, you make the news.
Selfies, in general, might be something that the parents need explaining. “Remind me, again, why you want your hand holding the camera visible?” We just do, mom. It’s a thing.
Using Up All Your Storage Space With Cat Pics
“Er, I was under the assumption that the Cloud was limitless.” Yes, if you’re an Android user, because Google doesn’t have a limit for pic storage. No, if you’ve got an iPhone. The worst part about finding that you’ve reached your storage space limit?
That inner embarrassment of knowing that it wasn’t work docs or productive spreadsheets. It was 95% pics of your cat looking adorable on your laptop/bed/car/front porch/lap/bathroom sink. There’s only one thing to do here. Blame society.
Also, thanks, Jay-Z for wearing the most epic statement tee, ever. Presumably, with his and Beyonce’s Forbes-listed $1.16 billion net worth, he can afford to buy more space.
Admit it– it’s you. Hit share on Facebook for anyone you know who 100% sees themselves in this.