I’m sure you have seen so called “Gen Z Humor” floating around the internet. Characterized by oversaturated images, nonsensical language, and obscure meanings, it is a staple of modern culture.
Why is Gen Z humor so abstract and what started it?
Part 1: The Beginning
Gen Z is part of an age where tablets and phones were on the rise. Due to an instant connection to the internet and excess free time, people of this generation consumed fast media. This created a phenomenon called oversaturation. Basically, the internet worked like this – one person would post a meme, it would become popular, and hundreds of copies with slight variations would appear all over the media.
Part 2: Irony
Gen Z humor hates everything that is mainstream, and proceeds to make fun of it. After a meme or trend gets popular, it slowly develops irony over time. In the summer of 2020, a game called Among Us exploded in popularity. Everywhere you looked on social media, you’d see at least one mention of it somewhere.
The popularity in Among Us saw the rise to popular game phrases such as “sus” and “impostor”.
Soon, people gradually stopped playing the game and this resulted in many children taking over lobbies, which made the game a toxic environment. Because of this, the internet started disliking the game and thus made ironic memes about it, the most notable being “amogus”.
Ironic Among Us humor had many derivatives, including “when the imposter is sus!” which features an image of Twitch streamer Jerma985.
Eventually, these ironic memes got so popular that people started the “everything is Among Us” meta, which involved posts about random objects that look like Among Us crewmates. Users posted images with text about insanity and going crazy as if they are insane for seeing Among Us everywhere.
And that is how a simple game with wholesome memes devolved into madness.
Part 3: Acceptance
All in all, Gen Z is plagued with mental illnesses such as anxiety, social anxiety, and depression.
With the constant social media oversaturation with celebrities telling us what we should do, what we should wear, and what we should eat, many people in this generation are searching for uniqueness. This is why Gen Z hates mainstream memes that were ruined by references by companies, parents, etc. The whole basis of our humor is about not conforming to societal norms, hence the low quality images and bass-boosted audio.