Even though you're probably one of them (hey, I am too), you're probably sick of hearing about them (trust me, I am too). Yup, we're talking about "millennials." Fortunately, one man has decided to take a stand against the millennial surge. Earlier this year, Web developer Zeke Weeks created a Chrome extension called "Millennials Begone!" that replaces "millennials" with "pesky whipper-snappers" in every instance of the word online. Talk about putting your tech skills to good use.
As Merriam-Webster simply and straightforwardly defines it, a millennial is "a person born in the 1980s or 1990s." So now, in 2014, these people are in their mid-20s to mid-30s, making up a crucial piece of the demographic that shapes much of our culture, and decides trends — which, these days, is often driven by social media. Which apparently means we have to hear about the generation, over and over again.
This oversaturation is the impetus behind Weeks's nifty creation. Not only is it viscerally satisfying to see the facetious moniker appear in large numbers (i.e., in the Google results page for "millennials"), but "pesky whipper-snappers" is also so tragically apt. We can be pesky whipper-snappers, and that's putting it lightly. Given that we're sometimes known as the "Me Generation," and we've been characterized by laziness, narcissism, selfishness, and apathy, the nickname is lenient. "Little sh*ts" might be more accurate, but it might not have worked as well as an extension.
I love that it automatically corrects you when you search for "millennials." "Did you mean 'pesky whipper-snappers'?"
And when replacing "millennials" with "pesky whipper-snappers" in the multitude of current headlines, one can't help but chuckle. The serious context of the news invaded by such a cheeky term is a wry statement in itself. Weeks' extension is technological satire delivered in the spirit of a Monty Python skit.
My favorite might be this standard online quiz, the original version of which is nothing more than online filler, but when introduced with the new term becomes a powerful tool for self-analysis. "How Millennial Are You?" would make most people shrug their shoulders and keep browsing, but upon seeing "How Pesky Whipper-Snapper Are You?" one suddenly sits up and thinks to himself, "I don't know ... I should find out!"
As a pesky whipper-snapper myself, I applaud Weeks's invention, if only for providing amusing fodder for my work. I am a freelance writer for a website's news section, possibly the most pesky whipper-snapper job there is.