Opinion: Gen Z is too sensitive


Nathan Ohea

Gen Z often takes jokes too seriously.

There is a difference between being overly sensitive and being respectful.

As a member of Generation Z, every day, it feels like society has something new to tiptoe around. Whether that is the language you use or what you post on your social media. It is so hard to keep track of what we can and cannot do anymore, begging a fundamental question: Is Gen Z too sensitive?

Gen Z has been trying to undo all nativism and environmental damage that former generations have created and continue to exude. Gen Z has grown up in an era where appropriation is a standard, not a wish. Being immersed in this sensitivity to others, jokes are often taken too seriously.

Throughout 2020 there was a rise of sensitivity on Twitter and other social media platforms. People who express their opinions will often receive backlash and be called “weak” or “overly sensitive.” For example, many people have opposing views on whether a word used to describe neurodivergent people is ok to use, while others don’t.

The main argument that has been surfacing all over the internet is if someone who falls under the neurodivergent spectrum says they are not offended by the word, then it should be allowed for everyone to use. However, the opposing side argues that just because one or two people say it is okay to use, it doesn’t mean it won’t offend everyone else in the group, as that word places a stereotypical umbrella over a large group of people. One person approving it doesn’t remove its negative connotations. So, why not try and avoid offending someone by removing that term from your vocabulary, rather than hope you say it to the right person.

Gen Z takes a lot of pride in being “more educated” than other generations, to which I would agree. As a group, we have made it easier for everyone to express their opinions, and we speak out against what we believe is wrong. Many people think that this behavior of calling out racist, sexist and homophobic actions is precisely what makes us too sensitive.

Since there is a habit of calling out disagreeable behavior, there is often a lot of misfiring regarding what is being called out versus what should be.

The definition of cancel culture says it is “A desire to cancel out a person or community from social media platforms.” My question is: is cancel culture a mob mentality or simply finally addressing the issues that have taken too long to be spoken about?

Gen Z uses this idea of cancel culture to argue against celebrities and turn everything into a vile way to drag each other down and, in essence, counter product whatever we are trying to get done.

This enthusiasm for change could be better distributed and on something like companies contributing to pollution or companies who still hire people charged with rape and sexual assault to try and get rid of their platform. But that is no fun, right?

The larger battle at hand is often forgotten because Gen Z spends so much time trying to tear each other apart for actions that won’t matter next week. There needs to be a re-evaluation of where our opinions and aggression are truly needed.

“A person can change his future by merely changing his attitude,” said Earl Nightingale.