Quiet quit your annoying hashtags Gen Z: There’s nothing new about girl jobs or masterdating


Another week, another new seismic “discovery” or “trend” being disseminated by the hashtagerati.

Most recently, we’ve learned about “masterdating,” which has 1.6 million views on Tiktok and is the practice of lavishing oneself with gifts or solo pursuits that make you happy so you’re ready to pursue a romantic relationship.

Or in olden times was simply called, “treating yourself.”

There’s “girl dinner,” “girl math,” “silent walking,” “hot girl walking,” “lazy girl jobs,” the fashion-centric “tomato girl” or the dating method of “conscious swiping.”

And also the earth shattering eureka moments announced on Titktok, like the “introduction” of pastina soup or the newly-unveiled fact that those orange cylinders on Big Apple streets are spouting steam.

Well, it’s time to “quiet quit” those oh so clever proclamations, because these concepts are as new — and as exciting — as syphilis.

A tiktok posts shows a dog walking and a caption about "silent walking."
A tiktoker posts about their silent walks, which are just walks wiithout listening to music or podcasts.

A man in glasses talks about "masterdating" and taking himself to a concert.
The dubious practice of “master dating” is espoused by this content creator,. He takes himself out to concerts.

But in the collective minds of the TikTok generation, they are intrepid explorers and social scientists navigating virgin earth. Modern day Vasco de Gamas, Juan Sebastian Elcanos or Neil Armstrongs armed with facial filters and storytelling apps.

Sure, every generation borrows from the earlier ones, recycling trends and articulating them in new ways.

But never has it been done with the breathless, self-importance and frequency of the TikTok Gen Zers, whose main export seems to be cultural plagiarism: Taking mundane aspects of living and breathing in modern society, slapping on an infantilizing hashtag and calling it a sweeping trend.

Unleashed with the power of the internet, these hashtags can coalesce almost instantly and spread across the earth even quicker.

A young woman carries coffees in a tiktok about quiet quitting.
The idea of “quiet quitting” inspired a slew of content creators to be lazy at work and post about it.

Damn the slow simmering, observational strokes made by artists and writers in literature, movies and magazines. Now it’s all been replaced by derivative thought bombs dispatched through social media.

Virality, not insight, dictating its potency.

There’s the laughable “silent walking,” which just means walking without headphones, aka walking — a practice dating back a few millions years ago when our ancestors became bipedal.

Of course, “quiet quitting” which means doing the bare minimum at work, a concept known to lazy folks for millennia, and perfected into an art form by the master, George Costanza.

Recently, I’ve learned about this crazy dish called Pastina soup, which can cure everything. Having been fed a steady diet of pastina throughout the ’80s and ’90s, courtesy of my best friend’s Grandma Florence, I can report, it cannot cure your taste buds’ boredom.

Pastina soup being held up with a spoon
Another earth shattering discovery on Tiktok: soup called — brace yourself — Pastina.

A bowl of Pastina soup.
Pastina soup became a viral hit because of Tiktok, which it significantly pre-dates.

Which brings us to “girl dinner” which has sparked many a conversation, including among dietitians concerned that it can lead to eating disorders.

After graduating college in the early 2000s, this was called supper. It was how most of us cash-strapped, time-crunched, kitchen-challenged chicks sustained ourselves. A dollop of hummus, a spoonful of last night’s pasta, the fries from lunch, baby carrots, a handful of pretzels.

“Tomato girl” is a dumbed-down, slutted-up version of a Mediterranean style, that has been romanticized in dreamy movies starring greats like Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida.

Girl dinner is better known as hodgepodge of leftovers and whatever is in your fridge, and definitely not “medieval peasant.”

But according to too many publicist emails frequently landing in my inbox, the look is exemplified by young influencers like Alix Earle, a 22-year-old, surgically enhanced girl from my native Jersey Shore, who through the blessings of familial wealth and brand sponsorships recently toured sun-soaked southern European coasts in a curated wardrobe of ruffles and lace — apparently the first to do so.

God bless these influencers leading the life we all envy, but they’re vessels for mass consumerism, not groundbreaking, arty tastemakers.

A fitness influencer started “hot girl walks” which encourages females to walk while telling themselves Goop-y affirmations about their goals and self-worth.

Alix Earle in a ruffled bikini.
Influencer Alix Earle sports a pretty ruffled bikini top while on the Amalfi Coast, and many publicists have been touting her vacation wardrobe as the ultimate tomato girl look.
Alex Earle/ Instagram

Cover of "Sophia Loren In the Kitchen with Love"
“Tomato girl” is a dumbed-down, slutted-up version of a Mediterranean style previously the hallmark of, among others, Sophia Loren, who almost literally wrote the book on it.

It’s like taking a stroll with Stuart Smalley whispering annoying sweet nothings in your ear.

Personally I enjoyed the comedian Tom McGovern, who in song wondered what is coming out of those orange cylinders sticking out of the streets. It notched 5.5 million views before he learned the truth (which anyone with impaired vision could have concluded.)

“I found out what is happening here,” he sings. “New York City put some pipes underground so they can carry steam from giant boilers out to buildings that can use it every day year-round.”

Comedian Tom McGovern and a picture of orange cylanders that are on the streets of New York City.
Comedian Tom McGovern wrote a song about
Tom McGovern / TikTok

Though McGovern gets extra points for arranging it in a catchy way, it made me wonder what novel wonder Tiktok will deliver us next? Sewers? Toilets? Rat carcasses flattened by yellow cabs?

Like the girl dinner, this whole schtick is nothing more than warmed up leftovers.

But hidden in the habitual hashtagging and news breaking is an inherent boredom enabled by a First World, tech-centered life; a narcissistic need to dissect, analyze and exalt every movement, every burp and every spit.

A young woman in a sports bra takes a selfie while on a walk.
A hot girl walk is where you walk and tell yourself nice things about yourselff – and then post about it.
Courtesy Julia Salvia

Perhaps the next big thing should be to stop trying to redefine or slap a cutesy label on everything. Simply live in the moment, without “mindfulness” and a preoccupation with every exercise session, social interaction or purchase you make.

It will set you — and us — free.

And whatever you do, don’t make a Tiktok about it.


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