Like it or not, millennials, a new generation is coming into their own influential power. Knowing how the previous generations tend to skewer those succeeding them, let's prove that millennials actually do care about not being jerks, and that all of their waxing poetic about kindness and fairness is more than just the lip service of a poor generation. A part of that is understanding the generation coming of age in our stead, as our influence shifts from the newest fashion to the fanciest minivans. These 7 totally astonishing facts about Gen Z should go a long way in helping us get to know the next generation.
Generation Z is said to begin in the middle of the 1990s, around 1996, and ends around 2010-2015, depending on the metrics that you're using, reported Business Insider. Unlike millennials, they did not get to grow up in the idyllic period of the 1990s, before we understood the severe consequences of the shift from public to private debt in the 1980s, according to Complex. They were raised post 9/11, through the Great Recession, and are well aware of the student loan crisis that still plagues millennials, explained an article on Quartz. School shootings, once anathema to the majority of people, (remember how shaken we were post Columbine) are now a common occurrence, as CNN reported. This has fundamentally changed the generation. Their generation more closely resembles The Greatest Generation than millennials or their Xer parents. Only it's entirely more diverse and completely over everyone's crap.
1. They're More Than Digital Natives, They're Native Influencers
Gen Z isn't the generation that watches television all day, and they're not all about Netflix. Nope, Gen Z is the generation of YouTube, Snapchat, Music.ly, and other quick sharing apps, according to Tubular Insights. That means that they not only understand the power of these platforms, but that they have a native ability to recreate that magic all on their own, and they're doing it. Time magazine predicts that this will be how they change the world.
2. They Are The Smartphone Generation
Sure, millennials were raised with computers, but Gen Z kids don't remember a time when iPhones didn't exist. Think of how often you placate your screaming toddler with a game on your phone. That is all they know. They use it for everything from reading textbooks, as The NY Times reported, to recording hip hop albums, noted Wired.
3. They Make Smarter Use Of Social Media
They saw our water bong instagram post, and said "You know what? Maybe we shouldn't do that." They favor anonymous posting sites, or sites like Snapchat, noted Social Media Today, that delete posts after a period of time. Meanwhile, millennials are still searching for pictures we can try to delete ten years later. Not that anything on the internet ever really dies.
4. They're More Political
The upcoming generation is much more political than millennials or Gen X. Business Insider wrote that this is likely because they've grown up in hyper-political times, when each decision lawmakers make have a tangible, marked impact upon their daily lives. They also posited that it might be that they're simply less optimistic about life than their parents were. After all, Boomers raised us to believe that anything can happen, that we all have bootstraps that could be pulled and a dream that can be held by all of America. Gen Xers put not one bit of that nonsense into their children, and it shows.
5. They're More Diverse
Nearly half of all of Gen Z are non-white, for the first time in America's history since colonizing the continent, noted NPR. (As we all should know, the land where America is situated was once 100 percent non-white.)
6. They're Not Tied To Gender Norms
Boys will be boys, girls will be girls, right? Not if you're from Generation Z, noted Forbes. They cited research which found that "38 percent of Gen Z respondents 'strongly agreed' that gender no longer defines a person as much as it used to." It's about dang time. Good on you, Gen Z. With the rising popularity of "make up boys" and famously gender-fluid YouTube stars, they're shifting the foundations of gender which were long considered immovable, even in the face of reality.
7. They're More Self-Reliant
A groundbreaking survey completed by Sparks and Honey showed that Xers raised kids that weren't the victims of helicopter parenting the way their parents were. Instead, they were raised in safe environments, with access to a great deal more information than previous generations. Sure, kids used to get to play in the street, and largely grew out of their carseats before their third birthdays, but the minute they looked up a taboo word in their Encyclopedia Britannica they were grounded. These kids have Google and know how to use it.
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