What is the Millennial Pause?

April 1, 2024
David Sunnyside

There’s a split second—maybe a tenth of a second, maybe half a second—where you can hear no sound at the beginning of some recorded videos. This pause is called the millennial pause and it’s been the subject of plenty of memes over the years.

Millennials are the first generation to fully integrate all manner of digital technology into their lives, using it to keep up with friends (on social media sites such as Instagram and TikTok), date and network (on dating apps like Tinder and Bumble), and make and share video content online. As such, they’re used to sharing their everyday moments instantly on social media and, in doing so, often forget the technical hurdles that older generations experienced when using their old-school cameras and phones.

For example, many millennials have developed the habit of pausing for a brief moment before they begin speaking in a video to intuitively circumvent the recording delay that used to come with hitting the record button on their cameras and phones. This pause is known as the millennial pause and it’s a habit that’s largely been carried over to the new generation of short-form video creators on platforms such as TikTok.

Interestingly, it’s become a bit of a trend for younger TikTok users to mock millennials and their quirks when it comes to filming photos and videos. For example, there’s been a lot of videos on the platform that ridicule the way baby boomers take selfies from extremely low angles and pause for a moment before they start talking.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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