Move over millennials, here comes Generation Z, today’s youngest group.
Born in 1995 or later, a lot of Gen Z-ers are entering into adulthood and will soon join the workforce. People of Generation Z have grown up with the internet. They are said to be *tech-savvy and *obsessed with social media.
They live in a progressive era where gay marriage is being legalized in more and more societies. But they’ve also witnessed the rise of global terrorism. Generation Z will shape our future. Policy makers, sociologists, as well as employers and marketers, are trying their best to understand these young people. So, how should we pin down the Gen Z-ers?
Most people will agree that the single biggest difference between Gen Z and other generations is how connected they are. This is a group of people who were hooked up to social media as soon as they were born. Social media has changed the way Gen Z-ers interact with each other and how they get and process information. A recent Guardian article says that the average teenager in the UK has at least 150 followers on Instagram and spends around half an hour a day on Snapchat, an image messaging app. “We are the first true digital natives,” Hannah Payne, an 18-year-old UCLA student and lifestyle blogger, was quoted by The New York Times as saying: “I can almost *simultaneously create a document, edit it, post a photo on Instagram and talk on the phone, all from the user-friendly *interface of my iPhone.
“Generation Z takes in information *instantaneously,” she added, “and loses interest just as fast.”
Becoming more active
Generation Z-ers may have a shorter attention span than a goldfish, but they are conscientious and *civic-minded. Gen Z-ers are coming of age in the era of the economic *downturn and global terrorism and they have their eyes open from the very beginning, says Lucie Green, a top executive from international advertising agency J. Walter Thompson.
Green told The New York Times: “If Hannah Horvath from [TV series] Girls is the typical millennial – self-involved, dependent, flailing financially in the real world as her expectations of a dream job and life *collide with reality - then Alex Dunphy from Modern Family represents the Gen Z *antidote,” Green said. “Alex is a true Gen Z: *conscientious, hard-working, somewhat anxious and mindful of the future.”
格林在接受《纽约时报》采访时表示：“如果（电视剧）《衰姐们》里的汉娜•霍瓦特是典型的千禧一代 —— 专注于自我、依赖他人、由于她理想中的工作生活与现实相冲突而在现实世界中为钱发愁，那么《摩登家庭》里的亚历克斯•邓菲则代表了Z世代的解药，”格林说道。“亚历克斯是一名真正的Z世代：认真尽责、勤奋努力、对未来抱有几分忧虑和关注。”
The Guardian also notes that young people in the UK are becoming more active in politics. According to a British Election Study that is cited by the newspaper, an estimated 58 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds voted in the 2015 general election in the UK, a significant jump from the 38 percent turnout among the same age group in 2005.
Voting is just one way of making one’s voice heard. The Guardian cites 2013 research carried out by the European Commission which found that “young people regard voting as one option among many, and they show their political *engagement in many different, issue-specific ways that can potentially influence policies more directly”.
Most of Generation Z are still too young to vote, says The Guardian. Instead of party politics, they focus more on single-topic issues such as *feminism or climate change. And “much of the civic engagement and organizing they do takes place on social media rather than through traditional political structures,” according to the newspaper.