Hello, my name is Alec MacDonald and I'm the co-creator of "Millennials of New York," a comedic Facebook page, Instagram account and now book (which literally came out yesterday and you should definitely buy right now because I think it's really funny and it might make you or a loved one happy).
But, despite the fact the Facebook page has grown to over 370,000 followers and has been profiled by places like People, Vogue, MTV and Refinery 29, some people STILL don't understand that it's, um, a joke.
And because of this, I've basically had front row, VIP seats to the internet's gullibility and reflex-rage for over a year now.
Let me explain.
If you're not familiar, “Millennials of New York” is a parody of “Humans of New York,” the gigantic Facebook page and general cultural phenomenon that has been responsible for millions of people sobbing salt water all over their keyboards each day for the last few years.
HONY, we realized, is also the absolute perfect framing mechanism for satirizing Millennial culture.
People, even people in our own generation, are so ready to criticize millennials, they couldn't spot satire if it diarrhea'd in their shoes.
To be clear, we don't mention it's satire. We let the readers figure out that it's satire on their own. Because we guessed, mostly correctly, that there are smart people in the world.
But considering what's actually being said in these captions, if you don't realize it's satire right away, you have met some seriously fucked up people.
This caption, for example, especially caused people (mostly Gen Xs) difficulty:
Here we have two fake people literally talking about how many likes they might get on Instagram if they have a baby.
And some people (not the majority, mind you, but more than enough) thought it was real.
OK, first of all, why is it relevant that the guy worked at a Verizon store? Second of all, just cool it, Michael.
There there's this guy, who, uh, just read:
If you didn't think the caption of the couple above was made up, well then you seriously need some new friends.
Because it means you're around people who make these two seem realistic (or you are so prejudiced against Millennials that you can't understand jokes anymore).
Here's another one so many people believed. It's even more absurd. God, it's such a privilege to be able to make stuff like this happen.
Yes, that's a person who thinks the basic necessities of life include a margarita machine.
Now, queue a bunch of Gen Xers (and fellow Millennials) falling for it, because they just can't help but take advantage of any opportunity to bash Millennials:
The success of the page, I think, comes down to the fact that Millennials love to make fun of themselves. After all, I'm a Millennial and I spent a year writing a book about how silly we are (seriously, buy the book, please, my self worth is tied up in it).
Most of the people photographed on the page and in the book are friends and coworkers (here at Elite Daily), who were cool with me making up a bunch of horrible stuff about them. And this kind of thing can be especially hard for parents.
Like with my editor, who is featured in the book with the name "Stacey." She explained it to her mom several times, but it just wasn't sinking in. Then this conversation happened:
When she explained, again, that the caption is made up, that it was a joke, her mom just goes: “Oh, good, you're grocery shopping!”
By the way, the caption for this picture is:
“Whole Foods is the best. It's incredible. I can get avocados from Mexico, salmon from Alaska, pasta from Tuscany, and pretentious people from the seventh circle of Hell."
Now, the above we can chalk up to age-old mother/daughter confusion. Instead of being blinded by prejudice for Millennials, she's blinded by just loving her daughter too much.
Here she is explaining one last time:
In general though, I'm just lucky that I get to be at the front lines of how genuinely weird, angry, confused and funny people on the internet are.
Honestly, what I've learned most, throughout the entire experience, is that most people online are like you. They're smart, witty and kind. It's just that the pissed off and uninformed can be a lot louder.
Oh, one more thing: BUY MY BOOK (also they sell it at all the book stores).
I love you.