At first blush it looks like they’re doing absolutely nothing, these Zoomers of mine.
For the last few months they’ve been closeted in their rooms, sometimes working as many as three separate screens at once. They’re whispering into their devices and staring at the wall. They stay up all night and fill the sink with dirty dishes before the dawn. They never go outside.
But they hatched a plan, these kids of ours, using the only things they have at their disposal: time and spite.
My kids were among the million or so teens who reserved tickets for President Trump’s Tulsa disaster in an effort to inflate the numbers, create unrealistic expectations and basically just rat-fuck what was a terrible idea to begin with.
And I get the sense they did it just because they could.
My kids are not particularly political for Zoomers — that’s the generation a couple clicks behind Millennials, for those who need a primer, born in the first decade of this century and sometimes referred to as Generation Z. But like just about everyone else in their cohort, they have friends from across the gender, sexual and color spectra; they have more acquired knowledge than learned experience; and they’ve concluded that the president is a joke.
My kids heard about this Tulsa thing in group chats. Others came into it through TikTok and the encouragement of the K-pop community. It was a real gathering of the tribes, thrown together in moments, on a whim, and disseminated through channels to which adults and other squares are just not tuned in.
And it worked. Trump said on TV that his team had more than 1 million requests for tickets. The actual head count was just above 6,000. By all reports, the president did not take it well.
When my kids told me of this plan, I was way on board, but I never thought it would amount to anything but a blip on the radar. But damned if they didn’t pull it off.
I’m telling you to watch out for these kids, these digital natives who can each muster a few hundred people for a worthwhile cause as easily as I rounded up enough kids to play 2-on-2 in a driveway hoop when I was a kid. They’re connected in a way that the rest of us can’t understand. And they make up 25 percent of the US population.
Change, friends, is coming. The Zoomers have been chatting about it for years.
Join the First Amendment Society, a membership that goes directly to funding TCB‘s newsroom.
We believe that reporting can save the world.
The TCB First Amendment Society recognizes the vital role of a free, unfettered press with a bundling of local experiences designed to build community, and unique engagements with our newsroom that will help you understand, and shape, local journalism’s critical role in uplifting the people in our cities.
All revenue goes directly into the newsroom as reporters’ salaries and freelance commissions.