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What Does It Mean to Be Gen Z?

Gen Z: The generation raised on tech.

By:  |  February 27, 2020  |    434 Words

(Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)

What does it mean to be Generation Z? Defining a group of like-aged people helps to determine how ideals are shaped and changed. Beliefs and values differ across the ages. Each generation has been given a name and a range of years in which its members were born.

The Generation Gap

  • The Silent Generation: 1925 to 1945
  • Baby Boomer Generation: 1946 to 1964
  • Generation X: 1965 to 1979
  • Millennials / Generation Y: 1980 to 1994
  • Gen Z / iGen: 1995 to 2012
  • Gen Alpha: 2013 to 2025

Millennials and Generation Z are alike in a lot of ways, especially when it comes to technology. While Baby Boomers and Generation X grew up with television and some computers, the later two were really submerged into the world of technology, especially Gen Z. In fact, the iGen population was practically raised on the newest gadgets and many had cell phones by the time they were in school.

The Shaping of Gen Z

Older generations obtained their news from newspapers and word of mouth. Millennials experienced the height of the internet growth and learned to get some of their news from online sources. Gen Z almost entirely relies on social media and online resources for most of their information.

Getting news is as easy as typing a few strokes on a keyboard or cellphone. The same is true for obtaining opinions of people from all around the world. This is one reason Gen Z tends to be more tolerant of other cultures and sexual orientations than some of the older groups. Members of this generation are also more likely to think for themselves and not trust authority figures represented by the government and even churches. Drug and alcohol abuse are also lower in this group, likely due to the vast amount of material available on the dangers and risks.

But technology has its downfalls, too, which can be seen in Gen Z social skills. They don’t read as many books or newspapers and depend almost solely on social media for all their educational and societal needs. Even if they have 2,000 Instagram and Facebook followers, Gen Zers often feel more alone than older generations. This group has been more protected than former generations and have had less experience working as teenagers and entering the world of employment. As Gen Zers enter adulthood, all eyes are turning to the newest Gen Alpha to see how much technology (and other factors) are shaping the youngest people. It is suggested that the Alphas will be much like Gen Z, but even less social as more people retreat from public activities and focus on getting all of their social needs met from the impersonal internet.

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