Mark Zuckerberg said he’s the most well-known millennial in a newly revealed email. So, is he?

    Who is the most well-known person of their generation?

    Charles McQuillan/TAS24 / Andrej Sokolow/dpa / Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

    Mark Zuckerberg said in a newly revealed email, “I am the most well-known person of my generation.”It’s a bold statement, and it might be true.But is he more popular than Taylor Swift and Cristiano Ronaldo? It’s basically impossible to know.

    Mark Zuckerberg, who just celebrated his 40th birthday, is a millennial. But is he the most famous millennial? He thinks so.

    In a 2020 email exchange posted by the Tech Emails newsletter, Zuckerberg sent an email to Meta public policy head Nick Clegg, Peter Thiel (who was on the Facebook board at the time), Sheryl Sandberg, Antonio Lucio, and Marc Andreessen, discussing his public image as a millennial.

    Mark Zuckerberg emails Peter Thiel

    January 4, 2020

    — Internal Tech Emails (@TechEmails) July 7, 2024

    The emails were released as part of legal documents in Tennesee v. Meta, one of several lawsuits in which states are suing Meta over its role in harm to children.

    In the email exchange, Zuckerberg said that he and Thiel have been having discussions about the future, how power will shift from baby boomers to millennials (sorry, Gen X, erased again), and how they should focus on thinking about policies that will affect the younger generation. (Meta declined to comment on these emails or Zuckerberg’s fame standings.)

    Then, Zuckerberg writes:

    Finally, I think there’s also some distinction between me and the company here. While our company has a special role in the lives of this generation, this is likely particularly important for how I show up because I am the most well-known person of my generation.

    So, is he the most well-known person of his generation?

    Put aside for a moment the ick of seeing someone say that in an email. And well, he does have a point. He’s got to be at least one of the most famous millennials — especially if you’re thinking globally, not just in the US.

    Globally, there are billions of people who use Facebook. That doesn’t necessarily mean everyone knows that it’s run by a guy named Mark, but probably a good chunk of them do. Young people, old people, people in every country.

    It’s nearly impossible to fact-check his claim, however, because there isn’t a clear way to quantify fame.

    You can look at social media followings, focus group surveys like Q Score, or how many pages of Google results there are. There are also several academic papers that attempt to come up with new mathematical formulas to measure fame. A 2018 physics paper created a new model that attempted to calculate the fame of people who had died between 2016 and 2017, and came up with Muhammad Ali as the most famous (sounds about right).

    Without a concrete measurement of fame, we can speculate on some other top contenders.

    Who else could be the most well-known millennial?

    Justin Bieber: Unlikely to be the most famous. Although he was intensely famous for a few years, I don’t think his fame permeated enough past the membrane of his fellow millennial pop music fans.

    LeBron James: He’s a strong contender, but basketball isn’t the most popular sport globally.

    Cristiano Ronaldo: He has the most Instagram followers, although I think that’s not a perfect measurement because it doesn’t encompass all the young kids and others not using the app. His notoriety in the US is likely less than Zuckerberg’s, but I’m pretty sure he’d beat the Meta chief on a global scale.

    Lionel Messi: As a non-soccer fan, I don’t want to attempt to litigate the popularity between Messi and Ronaldo, although I will say Ronaldo’s Instagram stats seem to put him ahead.

    Beyoncé: She is very, very famous. More famous than Zuck? Maybe. Probably? I think so.

    Taylor Swift: Today, I think Swift would be the answer for most famous. But this email was from early 2020, just between “Lover” and “Folklore.” Very well-known, but more so today than four years ago.

    Shakira: Born in 1977! Not a millennial!

    Prince William: Pretty well-known! But between him and Zuckerberg in 2020? I think it’s a toss-up.

    Kim Jung Un: I mean, he is a very well-known millennial.

    Ultimately, reasonable people can disagree on who is the most well-known millennial. But Zuckerberg probably isn’t too far off.

    Read the original article on Business Insider


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