Instead of asking the question “What is Gen Z?” a more appropriate question would be “Who is Gen Z?” since it is a generation filled with complex and vocal individuals born in the booming age of technology. Gen Z consists of those individuals born between the years 1997 to 2012 (Meola, 2021). Therefore, currently making the oldest current member 24 and the youngest 9.
Each generation has its own way of being or behaving and this is most likely contributed to their upbringing. With having parents from the previous generation, most of Gen Z have Gen X parents (Hutton, 2021). It’s probable that most of Gen Z has grown up in less stable homes since both parents had to work due to economic instability (Hutton, 2021). This was not the case for Millennials whose parents were involved Baby Boomers and ‘homemaker’ moms (Hutton, 2021). The lack of home stability has caused the average Gen Z to choose security over taking risks (Hutton, 2021).
Generation Z upholds certain attitudes and priorities over different topics and concepts. Gen Z has come to understand the short life cycle and temporariness of possessions so therefore they seek experience instead of accumulating wealth for material gains (Hutton, 2021). This mindset also pertains to their purchasing habits. With being born in a digital age Gen Z highly values connectivity and prefers streaming services, where one can watch films with friends virtually, rather than traditional cable (Meola, 2021). Another priority of Gen Z is to continue supporting diversity and integration by purchasing from brands that align with their worldviews (Hutton, 2021).
There are characteristics that are unique to Gen Z and one key trait is inclusivity. Compared to previous generations, Gen Z believes in community to a greater extent (Hutton, 2021). Communities based on common causes and interests, not based on any social status. Other characteristics that set Gen Z apart are tech savvy, entrepreneurial, creative and innovative and risk adverse (Hutton, 2021). With being born into a life already with internet and social media, it is no surprise how easy and comfortable technology comes to them and how adaptable Gen Z is with technological advances. Gen Z has a passion for learning and values education. This has contributed to their entrepreneurial mindset (Hutton, 2021). A study conducted by Nielsen showed that more than 50% of Gen Z wants to start their own company (Hutton, 2021). Alongside this entrepreneurial spirit is a constant flow of creativity within Gen Z. Many Gen Z individuals become successful content creators on social media platforms and others use their creativity through their hobbies (Hutton, 2021). Lastly in terms of being risk adverse, Gen Zs’ witness to the 2008 recession has provoked the importance of job security and stable pay (Hutton, 2021).
Generation Z is a dynamic group of individuals who have been born and grown up in a unique and evolving time in history. They offer a set of ideas, views, and characteristics that have not been seen before. Gen Z’s strong belief in diversity and inclusivity will bring about necessary social changes. These are the group of future leaders, politicians, scientists, and engineers who will use technological advances to their advantage and introduce ideas for generations to come.
Hutton, Emily. “What Is Gen Z: Decoding the Most-Educated Generation Yet”. Imagine Restoration Center, https://imagerestorationcenter.com/what-is-gen-z/. Accessed 13 September 2021.
Meola, Andrew. “Generation Z News: Latest Characteristics, Research, and Facts”. Insider Intelligence, https://www.insiderintelligence.com/insights/generation-z-facts/ . Accessed 13 September 2021.