When it comes to the quirks of modern Millennial behaviour, no-one captures it quite like comedian Jake Lambert. Known for his compulsively watchable Insta-insights, this is a man who can expertly dissect the difference between us avocado toast lovers and other generations on everything from napping to the weather and office banter.
In fact, his recent video on friendship across the ages was so relatable, it racked up nearly half a million likes and was shared all over the internet – including by Flash Pack. So, as a Millennial himself, what more does Jake have to say on our generation’s somewhat neurotic approach to meeting and making new friends? We caught up with him to find out…
1 - We’re all about boundaries
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Millennials grew up as the internet came of age. “As teenagers, we talked to everyone from school on MSN Messenger,” says Jake. We loved a text message, and when Tinder and Bumble came along we became well-versed in that, too. That’s why, as Jake points out in his friendship video, “Millennials don’t see their best friend anywhere near as much as they used to. And we mainly communicate now just by sending each other memes.”
To Millennials, the friendship habit of Baby Boomers – turning up at one another’s homes completely unannounced on a Sunday night – “is chaos. It’s insane,” says Jake. “Even with calls, we have to text ahead and say, ‘Are you free for a chat today?’” That way, we can prepare for it. And if someone really is coming over, we need a.) exact timings and b.) plenty of notice, so we can recreate our house and make it look like a showroom.
2 - We take comfort in scripts
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When Millennials are forced to do small talk, it’s helpful for us to rely on a script. “Every conversation is like an escape room and we’re searching for the best codes to get out of there as quickly as possible,” says Jake. Take the conversation you have to have whenever you bump into somebody on the buildup to Christmas, where “one of you is legally required to say you can’t believe it’s Christmas already”.
Then there’s the unofficial rules around office small talk – for example, “on Wednesday, you all become motivational speakers as you remind each other that you’re halfway there”. Or on Friday, you of course end the week by asking everyone what they got up to the weekend – but nobody ever listens to the answer.
“There’s no actual script for what you’re supposed to say on Saturdays and Sundays, and that is why there is no awkward panic quite like the one you experience when you bump into a colleague at the weekend,” says Jake. The same reliance on scripts explains why, when you see a work friend outside of work, “you end up having this huge identity crisis,” says Jake. “It’s like, ‘I don’t remember who I am. Who was I at work, and who am I now?”
3 - We hate awkward silences
@jakelambertcomedy Why are we like this? #millennial #introvert #comedy #sketch #funny #millennialsoftiktok ♬ Party Ambience – Anton Hughes
For any Millennial, says Jake, “the worst thing will always be awkward silence. I can’t even stand them when I’m on my own. Like, I’ll get off this interview with you, I’ll grab a cup of tea and I’ll put a podcast on.” In this same vein of smothering all potential awkwardness, if a Millennial asks someone how they are and they reply with the truth – rather than just a stock response – they’ll “look at that person like that they’ve just met Jesus. That person can basically fly”.
That person may also be Gen Z, whose ability to be unerringly honest in friendship and in life makes them “like Millennials on truth serum”. In fact, Gen Z “have managed to achieve something which no other generation has managed to do, which is to sit with each other in complete and utter silence”, says Jake. Whereas “even the idea of doing that is enough to cause a Millennial to have a full-on panic attack”.
4 - 2am alien chats are our biggest intimacy
Aka that magical friendship moment that occurs when you get home after a night out; or when you used to have sleepovers back in the day. As Jake explains, “At some point during the night, the deepest conversation you’d have is, ‘Do aliens exist? How small are we. Look at the universe!”
For Millennials, that conversation means “we’ve gone through a night together. It’s this sort of sacred space”. It’s one of the few times where we Millennials give ourselves permission to get deep – and it nearly always happens at two in the morning.
5 - Cousin-friends are everything
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Because Millennials are so neurotic about socialising, when we do have great friends, “we really cling onto them”, says Jake. “We like to rave to everyone about how we’ve grown up together. And how, whenever we meet up, it’s like no time has passed.”
That particular friend “is more than a friend, they’re basically a cousin – they’re family”, Jake says. This type of Millennial friend is typically a generational one; they’re the kids of your parents, who themselves are best friends. And so you have a “special attachment” that comes from a similar upbringing, leading to “this hybrid that is a whole different level of friendship”.
Even taking all these Millennial neuroses into account, it can be tough making new friends as an adult. People have busy lives and competing priorities; and often, we simply fall out of the habit. Jake says his main tip for anyone going through the process of meeting new friends is, “just grab a tea or coffee and go for a walk”.
“That’s definitely the thing to do and I would take the same approach with a date,” says Jake. “That way, there’s other things happening around you, so your meetup doesn’t fall into this uncomfortable, interview-style back and forth.”
Because of its format, going to see comedy together is another safe bet when it comes to laying the foundations of friendship. “As long as whatever you’re seeing together isn’t too risqué – you don’t want to be sitting there thinking, ‘Should I laugh at that?’” says Jake. “But the good thing about comedy is that it’s not as long as a film. You’re not there for three hours in silence. That’s too long. Instead, you get breaks along the way so you can talk about what you’ve just seen.”
Described as ‘a joke machine’ by The Telegraph, Jake has performed stand-up all over the world supporting the likes of Michael McIntyre, Romesh Ranganathan, and Jack Dee. Follow him on Instagram or check out his latest tour dates here.
Flash Pack is a group travel company that specialises in small group adventures for solo travellers in their 30s and 40s. Find out more about how we work, and our mission to build a global community of friendships.