Saturday, 2 August 2014

Generation Z

Regular readers will be well aware of my interest in the differences between the generations from Baby Boomers, through to generation X and Y. 
The next generation I'd generation Z which due to their age there is little information.

"There is an increasing number of people starting to research this generations and set out some initial thoughts. This week there was and excellent article in the Times about this very subject. I have copied it here...

Get ready for Generation Z: a more driven, less vain, more puritanical cohort that is poised to make its mark on the world.

Precise parameters are disputed, but “Gen Z” is broadly said to include those born after 1995, a group that includes two billion people worldwide. Brought up in the shadow of 9/11 and amid a great recession, they were raised, say researchers, “in a socio-economic environment marked by chaos, uncertainty, volatility and complexity”.

The challenges seem to have moulded a new maturity: studies suggest this group is brimming with prudent, if rather puritanical, socially-aware, self-starting entrepreneurs. They have also been called the “first tribe of true digital natives”, or “screenagers”.

Gen Z members, it is said, are smarter than the baby boomers born in the wake of the Second World War. They also appear quite distinct from the slackers of Generation X — born roughly between 1960 and 1980 — characterised as “stuck in a terminal cynicism”.

A report by Sparks & Honey, a US advertising agency, highlights a number of defining Gen Z characteristics. It suggests they are more driven and less narcissistic than the millennial generation, or Generation Y, born between 1980 and 2000. Most say they would rather save money than spend. They drink less and smoke less cannabis than their elders, get into fewer fights at school and have less “risky sex”.

They plan to change the world for the better: 60 per cent of Gen Z “want to have an impact on the world” through their job, compared with 39 per cent of Millennials. A quarter of America’s Gen Z are already volunteering. More than 70 per cent would like to start their own business. A separate survey of 11,000 Gen Z children, cited inMaclean’s magazine, found 69 per cent would rather be smarter than better looking.

Sparks & Honey suggests that the 16-year-old activist and author Adora Svitak fits the Gen Z profile perfectly. Her writing ability made her a media star at the age of six, and she has campaigned to promote literacy and feminist values. A talk she gave, entitled, “What Adults Can Learn From Kids” has been viewed more than 3 million times online.

Other prominent members of Gen Z include Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani 17-year-old who defied the Taliban to go to school and was shot by them – only to emerge as a globally recognised activist. Logan Laplante, 13, also fits the profile: while being homeschooled in California he designed his own progressive curriculum. A talk he gave on his “hackschooling” philosophy has been viewed more than 5 million times.

Meanwhile, researchers have suggested that The Hunger Games is the perfect Gen Z film. Depicting a dystopian future where teens get slaughtered, it reflected their bleak post 9/11 world – and the need for coping mechanisms to deal with it.

“Gen Z is already being branded as a welcome foil to the Millennials, who have been typecast as tolerant but also overconfident, narcissistic and entitled,” said Maclean’s magazine.

However, it also warns that their aptitude with technology means that “this is the first time in history kids know more than adults about something really important to society”.

The result, it suggests, “could well be the most profound generation gap ever” -- between parents at odds with the internet the their kids who driving a new type of digital society."

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