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Gen Z Wants Your Garbage

By Andrew Sanford | TV | April 20, 2023 |

By Andrew Sanford | TV | April 20, 2023 |


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I have always been an early adopter. While I don’t wait overnight in long lines for a new phone or reserve the newest video game system (anymore), and the money isn’t always there, I upgrade my tech when I can. Part of that mentality comes from growing up as a video game kid. If a new console was coming out, my “older” one would look weak by comparison. My Walkman felt like a brick in my pocket when MP3s came out. My comic collection slowly but surely converted to digital over the last decade (though that’s all being undone thanks to Amazon, so f*** me).

This is all to say that I don’t fully understand when people cling to outdated tech. I get the aesthetic aspects. Some movies look better when you see them on film … because they were shot on film. I’m sure there is a difference to listening to an album on vinyl, but it has never appealed to me (and I have a copy of Sports by Huey Lewis and the News to prove I tried). This attitude toward old tech is where Gen Z and I differ (aside from that, we’re totally the same).

On the most recent episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the host with the most explained that Gen Z has been reclaiming the flip phone. I had a flip phone. It was fine until I got a smartphone. Then it sucked. I even had one with a camera, and the pictures it took were terrible even then. Gen Z has found a way around that problem through 20-year-old digital cameras. Fun sidenote, a digital camera is the last present I bought my high school girlfriend. It also sucked. Even then.

The sketch takes a hilarious turn when Colbert advertises “18th Century Flag-Based Communication.” It’s silly and over the top and escalates in funny and unexpected ways. You also get an A+ Brian Stack appearance. Then again, every Brian Stack appearance is an A+ in my e-reader.

There will likely be a point down the road where I say how much smartphones suck. “Can you believe we used to hold our phones in our hands instead of the chips in our temples?” That’s what I’ll be saying! Will I be happy about it? Probably not. But accepting and adapting to new technology is how I feel young. If these Gen Z people want to use flip phones and digital cameras, let them. Because the other thing I remember about the digital camera I bought for my girlfriend is that it needed four batteries. Enjoy.