An American’s complaint about Gen Z’s “mental behavior” backfired after the internet suggested the problem appeared to be his country’s and not the younger generation’s.
It’s not uncommon for older generations to rant about young people’s behavior online, but one man’s tweet about how Gen Z pays for their drinks in bars really struck a chord.
Last month Willy Staley, Story Editor at The New York Times Magazine, went to social media Complaining that “Zoomers” — another name for Gen Z — “paid with credit cards and completed every round” at the bar he was at.
“It’s psycho behavior. Someone needs to teach these kids how to go to the bar,” he wrote.
According to Staley, the only reasonable way to buy drinks at a bar is to open a barge and end up paying the entire bill.
He even suggested that “it’s empowering to carry a little cash on you” and that Gen Z “should know about things like that.”
The post caught on quickly, and it didn’t take long for people to point out that outside of the US, it’s common practice to pay for your drinks on the go rather than paying in cash.
Many commenters were puzzled by Staley’s emotional reaction to young people not checking out and using their cards to pay for drinks.
People from Australia, Britain, Europe and other parts of the world quickly turned against the US, accusing the country of being in the “dark ages”.
“In Australia most people go round and round because then you know who you’re dealing with and it’s instant payments,” one person wrote.
“I’m Australian and haven’t paid anything with cash in years. Really. America is in the dark ages,” said another.
One simply said, “Tell me you’re American without telling me you’re American.”
While Australians may be used to simply tapping their card or phone in the pub, it turns out the process is quite different for Americans.
Contactless payments are much less common in the US and due to the tipping system, payments take a little longer.
This means that for busy bartenders, getting customers to pay after each drink takes significantly more time than simply writing it down on the bill.
But it seems even some Americans are confused by his odd bar etiquette, and American Haley Horton said it was things like this that made her realize she’s “not as culturally American as I think” .
In a TikTok video, she explained that she’s lived in the UK since she was 18, but when she came back to visit, she paid for her drinks after each round, “because that’s how everyone pays for drinks in any other part of the world.”
“We had absolutely no idea it was a faux pas. “The psychological behavior that this man described is quite literally the way people buy drinks everywhere else,” she said.
“It confuses me. The fact that not only is it the norm in America, but they don’t realize that it’s not the norm elsewhere. What madness.”