What Do We Call Kids Born in 2000

kids born in 2000

If you were born in the year 2000, you’re part of an interesting generational cohort that doesn’t quite fit into the typically defined Millennial or Gen Z categories. Those born in 2000 have grown up straddling the line between the old analog world and the new hyper-connected digital reality. So what exactly do we call kids born in this pivotal year?

The Rise of the Zillennials

While there’s no official agreed-upon term, many have started referring to this micro-generation as the “Zillennials.” As the name implies, Zillennials are the group born between the late 90s and very early 2000s who don’t perfectly align with either Millennials or Gen Z.

Zillennials experienced childhood in a unique transitional era. They were young kids in a pre-smartphone world, but came of age just as social media, ubiquitous internet access, and new technologies went mainstream and changed how we live, work, and socialize.

In their earliest years, Zillennials enjoyed classics of 90s kid culture like Pokemon cards, TrollDolls, and watching VHS tapes. But by elementary and middle school, they were already adopting iPods, Facebook, and YouTube. This generation experienced major societal shifts like 9/11, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the 2008 financial crisis, but through a distinctly modern lens.

While not the first true “digital natives” like their younger Gen Z counterparts, Zillennials displayed an innate fluency and open embrace of new tech from a young age. The first iPhones and Androids, the rise of Instagram, Snapchat, Netflix streaming and other paradigm-shifting tech defined their adolescence and young adulthood.

So in many ways, the Zillennial micro-generation embodied a cultural transition into the digital age that placd them squarely between the old analog world and the brave new hyper-connected reality of today.

Generational Cusp of the Zillennials

Zillennials roughly encompass anyone born between 1995-2000, give or take a year on either end. But why don’t we consider them part of the preceding Millennial generation or subsequent Gen Z?

Well, in many ways they straddle both—displaying tendencies and experiencing formative periods typical of each—without perfectly aligning with the definitions of either group. Here’s a quick overview of how Zillennials stack up compared to older Millennials and younger Gen Zers.

Millennials (Born approx. 1981-1995)

  • Came of age just before widespread access to social media, smartphones, etc.
  • Spent core childhood years in 80s/90s analog culture
  • Adopted tech like internet, texting, social later as teenagers/young adults

Zillennials (Born approx. 1995-2000)

  • Early childhood in 90s analog era, adopted digital tech like internet/social in late childhood/adolescence
  • Pioneers of earliest social platforms (Myspace, Facebook, YouTube, etc)
  • Lived through but too young to be imprinted by major 90s events like Gulf War, Columbine, Clinton era, etc.
  • Most likely had core adolescence fall around 2008 financial crisis and Obama era

Gen Z (Born approx. 2001-2012+)

  • First true “digital natives” who don’t know life before smartphones/social media
  • Avid early adopters and pioneers of newer platforms and tech (Insta, Snap, TikTok, etc)
  • Core adolescence/young adult experiences shaped by COVID, racial reckonings, Trump era, etc.

As that overview shows, Zillennials don’t fit neatly into the reigning cultural narratives and defining moments of either Millennials or Gen Z. They’re the ultimate tweener micro-generation.

Why Defining Zillennials Matters

At first glance, arguing over precise generational boundaries and labels may seem like an unnecessary academic exercise. But specificity in defining cohorts like Zillennials allows us to understand some key transitional dynamics happening in our society.

Being part of that first generation to grow up amid the normalization and democratization of social, digital, and mobile tech no doubt imprints certain tendencies, values, and expectations on Zillennials. Understanding those mindsets is critical for those making decisions around technology, media, marketing, product design, and anything else involving digital platforms and behaviors.

There’s also tremendous value in validating the unique shared experiences of any generational group. To some Zillennials, always feeling like a “tween” stuck between the Millennial and Gen Z camps may feel unsatisfying and leave them in search of an identity. Coming to understand yourself as part of a newly defined generational micro-group can create a stronger sense of belonging and community.

And from a sociological/anthropological perspective, mapping the fault lines between generations helps explain shifting values, consumption patterns, and macro societal shifts happening in the transition between major generational cohorts.

Other Potential Names for Zillennials

While “Zillennials” has gained popularity, some other nicknames and labels have emerged to categorize this in-between micro-generation:

Millipedes Cusp or Cuspers The Lucky Ones Zembies (“Z” for Gen Z and “embies” for Millennials) Zillions Moxies Xenials (From the ’70s videogame Xena’s Paradox embodying transition) Catalano Generation (From the cult classic 90s TV show My So-Called Life)

Only time will tell if one of these ends up sticking as the popularly accepted name. For now, “Zillennials” seems to be the term with most traction in describing this tweener generation caught between analog and digital worlds.

Signs You Might Be a Zillennial

To wrap up, here are a few telltale signs you were born at the cusp of the Digital Age and are likely a member of this Zillennial micro-generation born around the turn of the millennium:

  • You remember life before smartphones and social media as a small child
  • Going online involved dialing up on a desktop and fighting over “getting off the internet” so someone could use the phone
  • While you had a ChildNet or kid-safe homepage early on, Google reigned supreme for you during the late childhood/teen years
  • Your childhood included equal helpings of 90s goodies like N’Sync, Pokemon cards, and watching VHS tapes…
  • …but also early digital products like apple iPods, flash drives, and MySpace/Facebook during adolescence
  • You recall when Netflix went from a mail-order DVD service to an online streaming platform
  • You experienced core adolescence around era-defining events like the 2008 financial crisis and election of Barack Obama
  • While you’re a digital native in many ways, you perhaps remember certain tech “firsts” with a sense of novelty that younger Gen Zers never experienced
  • You had a childhood balanced between active outdoor play and also lots of stationary gaming and computer time
  • You may have gotten your first cell phone in late elementary or middle school
  • Social media, Instant Messaging and texting defined your high school/adolescent communications
  • You probably feel too young to be a “true” Millennial but also maybe a tad too old and analog to relate to the always-online lives of Gen Z teens today

So there you have it—if you were born in that pivotal window around the turn of the millennium, you’re part of the “Zillennial” micro-generation that serves as a transitional bridge between the old analog era and new digital reality. While it’s a relatively newly defined term, “Zillennials” captures an important cohort with its own unique identity and influence in shaping our increasingly digital world.

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