Monday, March 29, 2021

Insights from Gen Z lingo


Every generation has its own lingo that reflects what matters to them. Today I will be sharing three really amazing words/phrases I picked up from hanging around younger colleagues and influencers and why older folks should add them into their vocabulary. 

As I have also finished The WEIRDest people in the world by Joseph Henrich, a masterpiece in the evolution of Western societies, I will attempt to interpret these Gen Z ideas in a novel way. The book was a tough read and took me more than a week to cover. It felt like reading a piece of work by Thomas Piketty. Maybe one day I will flesh the book out in a more amateur review.   

Here's what I learnt from my younger friends :

a) Flex

When people say that you are "flexing", what they are saying is that you are showing off your brand and wealth. For young people, there exists a flex culture. Some FAs who earn a lot of commissions may drive a flashy European car. Other young men may buy sneakers that are now collector's items. Of course in financial groups and forums, flex culture is currently experiencing a backlash because everyone hates a showoff.

I have bad news for Gen Z - humanity has been flexing for thousands of years. The correct anthropological term is potlatch - where leaders flex their power by destroying their wealth and gift-giving.  

One way of framing flex culture is that they are largely perpetrated by younger males who are seeking attention from females. When a young male buys a European car, in essence, he is playing the script of a male peacock, displaying his wonderful feathers to attract a mate. As peacocks can attest, there is an evolutionary price to having such a beautiful plumage. It is easier for predators to eat them. In similar vein, it is also easier for speeding European cars to smash into buildings resulting in great tragedies.

b) Simp

If you are very attentive and submissive to women, gen Z will label you a Simp. It's quite nice already considering that liberal men are called cucks in the US. Some guys are really nice and will go quite far for a Beautiful lady. I'm sort of sympathetic because my generation has its own SNAGs or Sensitive New Age Guys.

If you can't flex, maybe you can simp. 

Human societies got out of polygamous relationships only after intervention by Churches so for the broad part of human history, powerful men have multiple wives. It's worse for us Han Chinese as Polygamy only was banished by the Communist Party only in the 1950s, so we're still playing an ancient script when it came to dating and mating. 

Polygamy created a lot of social instability as 70-80% of men, naturally would not have sexual access throughout their lives. For men to spread their genes, they either had to signal more power wealth or signal willingness to share this wealth. 70-80% of men fail to spread their genes under the old system.

This maps exactly to the Flex or Simp strategies.

c) You do you

When I was young, I did not have enough wealth to Flex. I also refuse to Simp. Many guys, however can't decide and want to know which strategy to employ.

One of best lingos I picked up from Gen Z can be applied when a guy asks for dating advice, but you know will devolve into a basic Flex/Simp script depending on where he is in terms of economic resources. 

The solution is to just reply with "You do You." 

"You do you" can affirm someone's action if it is something that they genuinely believe in. It can also dismiss "askholes" - those folks who seek your advice but will not follow it anyway.

Example #1

"Dude, should I buy an Audi so I can park tor with my girlfriend in Labrador park ?"

"You do you, man  !"

Example #2

"Dude, I bought $100k of binary options on Dogecoin after applying for a home equity loan. What do you think ?" 

"Cool ! You do you !"

I love the idea that different generations have their own lingo. 

If you spot a mistake and I misrepresented the application of these terms, do let me know. 

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