Gen Z Workers Say Boomer Employees Are 'Tech-Shaming' Them: 'It Makes Me Feel Silly'

They might be able to film and edit TikToks with ease, but don't ask them how to use a printer.

learn more about Amanda Breen

By Amanda Breen

Witthaya Prasongsin | Getty Images

Usually, it's younger generations that have an easier time with technology — they grew up with it, after all.

But older tech equipment is proving the exception to the rule in offices across the U.S. Some Gen Z workers, frustrated by cumbersome printers and fax machines, are accusing their Boomer colleagues of being less-than-understanding — even "tech-shaming" them, The New York Post reported.

Related: 5 Simple Tips for Incorporating Gen Z Into Your Workplace

According to recent data from Hewlett Packard, "One in five young office workers feel judged when experiencing tech issues" — a phenomenon that has become known as tech-shaming, per the Post.

It's worth noting that laser printers first broke the "street price barrier" (they were made available for about $1,000) when Hewlett Packard introduced its model in 1990, per MIT — nearly a decade before Gen Zers were born.

"Whenever I can't get the printer at my job to work my older colleagues laugh at me in good fun. It makes me feel silly," Megan Whittaker, a 29-year-old social worker from Brooklyn, told the Post.

Other Gen Z workers reported similar stories to the outlet: feeling bewildered by scanners and fax machines while their older co-workers have no problem navigating them.

Related: Gen Z Employees: The 5 Attributes You Need to Know | Entrepreneur

"My friends and I joke that printers are [run] by Boomers — if it was up to us, everything would be a lot different with a much better interface," Randall Wade, a 26-year-old IT worker from Alabama, told the Post.

Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a features writer at She is a graduate of Barnard College and recently completed the MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts during the 2020-2021 academic year. 

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Everyone Wants to Get Close to Their Favorite Artist. Here's the Technology Making It a Reality — But Better.
The Highest-Paid, Highest-Profile People in Every Field Know This Communication Strategy
After Early Rejection From Publishers, This Author Self-Published Her Book and Sold More Than 500,000 Copies. Here's How She Did It.
Having Trouble Speaking Up in Meetings? Try This Strategy.
He Names Brands for Amazon, Meta and Forever 21, and Says This Is the Big Blank Space in the Naming Game
Thought Leaders

The Collapse of Credit Suisse: A Cautionary Tale of Resistance to Hybrid Work

This cautionary tale serves as a reminder for business leaders to adapt to the changing world of work and prioritize their workforce's needs and preferences.

Business News

These Are the Most and Least Affordable Places to Retire in The U.S.

The Northeast and West Coast are the least affordable, while areas in the Mountain State region tend to be ideal for retirees on a budget.


Think Your Hybrid Workforce is Procrastinating? It Could be a Sign That You've Overlooked This Critical Management Technique.

Are managers' concerns about procrastination among their hybrid workforce justified? The story is more complex than it seems.

Business News

A Holocaust Survivor Is Using TikTok to Share Her Story — And She Keeps Going Viral

After garnering significant social media traction, Tova Friedman and her grandson now use the platform to educate young people on the tragedy of the Holocaust.

Business News

Gen Z Loves the Toyota Camry. Here's What Car Brands Boomers Love Most

S&P Global Mobility provides data on what types of each age group likes the most, based on car registration.