Gen-Z won’t scroll phone with index finger: ‘old’ boomers do that

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The infamous generation that cancelled the thumbs up emoji is now going after the index finger.

As if Gen Z wasn’t spoiling enough fun activities of late, Zoomers are now reportedly refusing to scroll phones with their pointer fingers — to avoid looking like “old and out of touch” Baby Boomers.

That’s according to a nationwide poll conducted by the makers of Candy Crush game, who set out to shed light on the differences in the ways different generations use their mobile devices.

They found that 80% of Generation Z-ers — those borne between 1997 and 2012 — use their thumbs to peruse their smartphones, Jam Press reported.

This is also the modus operandi for 65% of millennials, aka anyone born between 1981 and 1996, per the scroll poll.

Why are they giving the index finger two literal thumbs down?

To distance themselves from Baby Boomers, i.e. those born between 1946 and 1964, 73% of whom scroll through their phones with their index finger, according to the survey.


An older person scrolls through their phone.
A meme mocking Boomers’ digit-al preference.
Jam Press

Indeed, four out of 10 Zoomers admitted that they felt self-conscious scrolling or playing games on their smartphone in public using their index finger.

Their finger preference is based in a fear of being ridiculed that was sparked in an uptick in memes mocking boomers for their method of interfacing with their devices, per the survey.

Several years ago, a picture circulated on Reddit purporting to depict a “Baby Boomer with smartphone starter pack,” which entailed “unlocking the screen overly aggressively” and using the index finger for “everything” like a “dinosaur.”

In other words, they’re saying this MO is “not ok, Boomer.”

However, Boomers aren’t caving to digit-al peer pressure.

A whopping 61% of boomers declared that they would never consider ditching their phone-tapping technique no matter the amount of societal pressure.


A smartphone user scrolls with their finger.
The “old and out of touch” way” “Technological progress, in particular, often occurs rapidly, leading to vast generational differences in technological literacy,” said futurologist Rhiannon Jones while describing the trend.
Jam Press

A person plays Candy Crush on their smart phone.
The “Gen Z” technique: Interestingly, 41% of millennials were open to changing up their phone-tapping technique.
Jam Press

Meanwhile, 36% of survey respondents deemed it unfair to mock Boom-scroller’s swiping habits via online memes.

Unfortunately generation Y seems more susceptible to ridicule.

According to the survey, 41% of millennials claim that they’d be open to switching up their scrolling methods, indicating that this author’s generation is essentially Switzerland in the great phone use debate.

Perhaps our malleability was inspired by our prior ridicule at the hands of Gen Z, who’ve infamously mocked everything from our alleged penchant for drinking pumpkin spice lattes to watching “Seinfeld” reruns and referring to canines as “doggos.”

Futurologist Rhiannon Jones chalked up the disparity in digit preference to the “social and cultural content” in which each generation grew up, including “broader societal expectations.”

“Technological progress, in particular, often occurs rapidly, leading to vast generational differences in technological literacy,” he explained.

”As a result, younger generations, digital natives who have grown up in a world of global connectivity and tech-integrated living, lean towards a more intuitive scrolling style based on the size of their handheld devices and a passive scrolling attitude.”

Interestingly, finger-scrolling is far from the first activity to get poo-pooed by seemingly puritanical Zoomers.

In 2022, the wish-they-were-silent generation was ridiculed after attempting to cancel thumbs up and smiley face emoticons on the grounds that they are “passive aggressive” and performative.”

Coincidentally, a recent study found that Zoomers are the hardest generation to work with on the grounds that, among other factors, they’re the most prone to getting offended by language.

“I feel kind of hamstrung on what I can and can’t say,” Peter, a New Jersey-based manager in the hospitality industry, told The Post.

“I don’t want to offend anyone or trigger someone. I always have it in the back of my mind that I’m going to get angry one day, and I’m going to get freaking canceled.”

Gen Z’s seemingly hall monitor-y like tendencies extend beyond social media too: Zoomers apparently turn down more after-work drinks than a temperance marm.

Indeed, many Z-totallers claim they prefer not grab libations with colleagues as it impinges on their efforts to maintain healthy work-life boundaries.

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