If you remember when you wanted your MTV*, you’re not a post-millennial. MTV announced a new moniker for post-millennials based on a March 2015 survey of more than 1,000 kids who were born after December 2000. While the survey generated 544 names — my favorite is the Navigators for this digitally adept generation — MTV picked the Founders.
In a Time article announcing the nickname, MTV President Sean Atkins says the Founders recognizes millennials have disrupted society and the coming generation must rebuild it. “They have this self-awareness that systems have been broken,” Atkins told Time. “But they can’t be the generation that says we’ll break it even more.”
I’m relieved to know it’s not my generation that broke the planet (although I can’t recall my generation’s moniker, which places me safely in my mid-40s). Still, I seem to recall the Founders might already be taken by our Founding fathers. Let me go ask my household’s Founders. Wait, they are busy rebuilding society, which is code for doing homework.
All I know for sure is that the World Wide Web is in a tizzy over the announcement for a few reasons. MTV is announcing the Founder nickname today, although TIME pre-announced the announcement yesterday. Secondly, the nickname foisted upon the group is a marketing ploy based on market research being used to boost MTV’s declining ratings. And perhaps the best reason for annoyance is that nicknames usually come from unexpected places, as writer Don Kaplan says in a New York Daily News article.
“The good ones aren’t planned or marketed. They just happen,” writes Kaplan. “Monikers for generations have come from novels and scholarly texts. Those nicknames are typically suggestions — not proclamations from multi-million dollar corporations like MTV.”
I’m curious to know what the latest generation thinks. Perhaps I’ll text my teen Founder and she can SnapChat her input back to me.
*Sting sang the line “I want my MTV” in video for the Dire Straits song "Money for Nothing" that first aired on MTV Europe in 1987.