So it is now the point where millennials are not the babies anymore. Those born between 1980 and 1994, are now in the middle of the line if the queue is by age, youngest in front. So if you are a millennial, you probably wonder what it’s like to be a Gen Z, to live in a time when everything is online.
It is probably normal to have an aversion or maybe confusion (that is a lighter word) about the life of the generation after yours. You are always comparing. You are always criticizing. After all, “Gen Z” is capitalized, and “millennials” is not. That could be a source of conflict somehow.
You probably think, “Oh these kids don’t play out in the streets anymore, they are just stuck in front of their iPads.” You also probably know them as the generation with the shortest attention span. So, to help you understand the nuances of being born from 1995 to 2010, here is how Generation Z lives their life.
1. Gen Zs are redefining creative career paths
While social media was often vilified in the past as a tool for corrupting kids’ morals, it is now an avenue of endless possibilities for youngsters. Social media allows for creative freedom. Because anyone is free to create content and post it online, expression is not restricted.
This is especially helpful for kids who want to pursue a career in the arts. Before, there is no other path to being a director but to finish college, do an internship at a production company, and land a job.
However, anybody’s social media page right now stands as their portfolio. Internet sensations are given breaks as actors. Photographers land gigs by posting their content online. Someone can be a professional director at age 20.
Social media is not just a stepping stone, it is the stage itself. Before, social media presence can guarantee that you get noticed by producers for a role. Now, if your passion is acting and you want to earn money at the same time, you don’t even have to get off the online platforms. You can make money right there while doing something that you love.
Bella Poarch got her ticket to the music scene after becoming a viral personality on Tiktok. She posted a lip-syncing video on her account in August 2020 and a month after, it became the most liked video on the platfrom. In May 2021, she released her first single.
2. Gen Zs value their passions
It’s probably time to break the stereotype you subscribe to that Gen Zs are on social media 24/7 and that they have nothing better to do. In fact, Gen Zs could be the most passionate people you know. They may get overwhelmed with the number of opportunities around them that the Internet has enabled. But, when they find their craft, they stand by it.
Their environment has also allowed them to be multi-taskers. They know everything and they don’t care about stereotypes.
You probably know a Gen Z who has multiple hobbies and is curious to try everything. They could be collecting all kinds of traditional coffee makers or pour over started sets one day and deciding on becoming a Starbucks barista. The next time you meet them, they just finished saving up for a sewing machine, and they tell you they want to be a full-time mom in the future.
They are passionate, and they are unapologetic about it. What’s not to love about that?
3. Gen Zs advocate for political and social causes
Market research shows that a unique characteristic of Gen Zs is their preference to support brands that express their stand on social causes. It could be an effect of growing up in an environment that allows them to be eternally aware of every issue that is going on.
That awareness has created movements calling out celebrities, brands, and politicians for their stand on issues about the climate, gender equality, and oppression.
Greta Thunberg, a young climate activist, stood up to Former President Donald Trump. She was only 16 when she was awarded “Time Magazine’s Person of the Year“. Trump tweeted that she should take anger management classes. Soon after, she changed her Twitter bio to, “A teenager working on her anger management problem.” Now, that is some Gen Z energy.
You millennials are also known to have firm opinions on these things and that is something you share with them.
Every generation’s strengths and weaknesses stem from the conditions of their time. So, it is only natural for generations to have different behaviors and values. Gen Zs, despite the wealth of knowledge around them, also have to deal with all the issues the previous generations did not uncover. It’s better to understand each other’s shortcomings and copy each other’s greatness.