Before the term was ruined due to overuse by everyone, the word “snowflake” properly applied to people who couldn’t see someone look at them in the eye without becoming “triggered” and needing a safe space. The comparison was perfect as each of these people thought themselves unique and special, and were so delicate that they would have meltdowns if they ran across anything they considered remotely disagreeable.

According to a new survey, calling someone a “snowflake” is damaging to the mental health of young people, oddly enough making them deserving of the title.

The discovery was made by the insurance firm Aviva, which found that young people seem to have more stress and anxiety than previous generations, according to the Telegraph:

But research by insurance firm Aviva found that 72 per cent of 16-24 year-olds think the term is unfairly applied, while 74 per cent think it could have a negative effect on young people’s mental health.

The figures also show that young people are more likely to have experienced stress, anxiety and depression in the last year.

Almost half of adults between 16 and 24 said they had experienced stress or anxiety, compared to just over a third of all UK adults.

I’m no psychologist but as a man with one foot in separate generations, I’ve noticed that the younger generation comes with a lot of social rules that would put anyone on edge. At any point in time, one could be guilty of racism, homophobia, transphobia, cultural appropriation, etc, at the drop of a hat.

Furthermore, the younger generation is subject to more pressure than anyone in history to attend college, rack up student debt that can’t be repaid due to the jobs they want already being taken. According to studies, the younger generation is worse off than their parents were at their age.

Needless to say, the younger generation has a lot weighing them down that previous generations didn’t have.

Many of these kids don’t know that not going to college and getting a blue collar job is a perfectly valid option, and racking up student debt only to work at a menial job isn’t necessary. Or that simply wearing a Halloween costume isn’t a form of racism, or that supporting free speech doesn’t make you a neo-Nazi.

Society has programmed them with so many rules that this is the least free generation in the west we’ve seen in a while.

Rest assured, the younger generation is a generation of snowflakes, but I think it’s a good idea to understand that society is fashioning them to be so. The peer pressure to be offended at all times is very high. Mainstream articles and news reports left and right promote it. The social movements of our time demand it.

So it’s no wonder these kids are the snowflakes Chuck Palahniuk described in Fight Club, where the term was thought to originate. These kids could use a little de-snowflaking.