Every Generation Has Its Cringe

Millennials and Gen Z are at war, and the latest battlefront is reaction GIFs.


Episode Notes

On this episode, Rachelle Hampton and Madison Malone Kircher report from the latest front in the battle between millennials and Gen Z: the use of reaction GIFs. First, they trace this conflict back to its origins in skirmishes over middle parts and skinny jeans. Then they speak to culture writer Jenny G. Zhang, who recently encountered the fury of thirtysomethings scorned when she tweeted about what using reaction GIFs says about your age.

Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Derek John.


About the Show

Join Rachelle Hampton twice a week as we gaze deep into the online abyss—and tell you what’s gazing back.

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  • Rachelle Hampton is a culture writer and reporter at Slate and co-host of ICYMI. Her work has appeared in the New Republic, Pacific Standard, Smithsonian Magazine, and In These Times. She still hasn't recovered from Tumblr’s demise.

  • Madison Malone Kircher is a senior writer at Slate and co-host of ICYMI. She was previously a staff writer at New York magazine, where she covered internet culture and edited New York’s Approval Matrix. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Vulture, and the Cut. Madison lives in Brooklyn, where she regularly drops her phone on her face watching TikToks in bed.