July 18, 2024

The members of Generation Z were born between 1996 and 2010. The digital age, COVID-19, changing financial conditions, and climate fear have all influenced this generation’s identity.

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With millennials coming before them and Generation Alpha following, Gen Z is now the second-youngest generation. Like every other generation, Gen Z’s upbringing has influenced their conduct. Today’s youth have grown up amid concerns of an impending economic collapse, epidemic lockdowns, and climatic calamity. The internet had only become widely used when the first members of Generation Z were born. The first generation to have grown up with the internet ingrained in daily life is known as “digital natives.” The generation is diverse; the youngest Gen Zers are still in their adolescent years, while the oldest have mortgages and careers. Globally, Gen Z is expanding quickly; by 2025, they will account for 25% of the population in the Asia-Pacific area. Continue reading to find out what drives Generation Z.

A generation: what is it?

You’re probably already aware of the idea of generational differences in households. In comparison to you, the people in your grandparents’, parents’, children’s, and grandchildren’s generations comprise different generations. However, every one of them is also a part of a broader group of their contemporaries, categorized according to their birthdate and life experiences. For millennia, social scientists have examined generations, both theoretically and more practically. In recent times, scholars such as August Comte have contended that societal transformation is driven by generational shifts. More precisely, the pulse that shapes a society’s history is the generation that essentially enters a new stage of existence at the same time as the previous one.

A generation’s perspective can also be shaped by certain significant events, which are frequently reflected in their names. People who survived World War I were depressed and disillusioned, which is why they became known as The Lost Generation. Because of the valiant sacrifices made by many of them during World War II, the Greatest Generation was later titled. The Vietnam conflict and the 1960s social upheavals shaped the perspective of their offspring, known as baby boomers, who were born soon after the conflict ended. More recently, the September 11 attacks and the widespread use of the internet have influenced the worldviews of millennials.

These are generalizations, of course; each so-called generation is made up of a variety of distinct people, each with its own beliefs, attitudes, habits, and aspirations for the future. In fact, some social scientists think that researching generations might obscure the factors that drive people’s own motivations. It is important to keep in mind that generational theory should only be used as a tool for thinking about society and not as absolute truth.

What makes Gen Z distinct?

There are several commonalities among the members of the Gen Z cohort, despite their significant disparities from one another.

Gen Zers, in general, are very online since they are the first generation of true digital natives. In Asia, Gen Zers are reported to spend six or more hours a day on their phones; they also work, shop, date, and make friends online.

When seeking for any type of information, including news and reviews, before making a purchase, digital natives frequently turn to the internet. They jump between social media feeds, applications, and websites, each of which contributes differently to their online habitat. Because they grew up with social media, Gen Zers curate their online personas more carefully than previous generations did. Despite their avid online media consumption, they are more inclined to adopt trends like anonymity, more tailored feeds, and a smaller online presence.

Sharing of videos As Gen Z enters adulthood, social media platforms have experienced a spectacular surge. With over one billion users, 60% of whom are Gen Zers, TikTok presently dominates trends, emotions, and culture. Gen Zers swarm to online communities where they can connect with individuals who share their interests and hobbies, whether it be gaming or K-pop, and form bonds with both online and offline acquaintances.

Additionally, Gen Z is dealing with an unparalleled behavioral health crisis: according to a McKinsey poll, Gen Zers in the US have the lowest positive outlook and the greatest rate of mental illness of any generation, while respondents from Europe report experiencing self-stigma. Growing worldwide unrest, conflicts and disruptions, financial difficulties, and the COVID-19 pandemic-related disruption of schooling are the main causes of this pessimism. A lot of Gen Zers claim to have “climate anxiety,” with many saying they worry about the planet’s future on a daily basis.

They already perceive a decline in economic opportunities and don’t believe that the social safety net will protect them as pensions diminish, retirement savings become more challenging, and the population becomes older. According to a recent McKinsey poll, the highest percentage of any generation, 58% of Gen Zers said they had not yet had a basic social need satisfied.

But compared to previous generations, Gen Zers also have a more nuanced perspective on the stigma associated with mental illness. Though they stigmatize themselves, European Gen Zers are less likely to discriminate against those who suffer from mental illness.

What distinguishes Gen Zers from millennials?

People who were born just before the year 2000 and are on the verge of becoming Gen Z and millennials are frequently referred to as “Zillennials” or “Zennials.” This comprises younger millennials who identify more with Gen Z and older Gen Zers who have been in the workforce for a few years.

On the other hand, Gen Z typically has different formative experiences than most millennials. American Gen Zers vary from their elder counterparts in the following ways:

Generally speaking, they are more realistic and combine complex idealism with concerns about the future. Gen Zers anticipate financial hardships but hope for personal professional fulfillment.

Compared to prior generations, their life outlooks are less optimistic, and their emotional and social wellbeing is lower.

Their greater desire is to be a part of a welcoming, encouraging community.

Their sense of personal expression is greater, and they have a more individualistic outlook.

They use social media to promote their beliefs, making them more politically and socially engaged.