GENERATION Z / DIGITAL GENERATION
Who: Also known as Generation M, Net Generation, Internet Generation • Grown up with world-wide-web. (Became available after 1991) • Born during minor fertility boom around US Global Financial Crisis • The children of Generation X
Population: 23 million and growing
Characteristics: Highly connected to the use of communications • Like Instant Gratification • Thrive on acceleration and next, next, next • Independent people, lacking a community – oriented nature due to social media • Are very open book with little concern to privacy and personal information. Except for when it comes to money • Thrive on small bits of information. Think in terms of status’s and Twitter language • Under a lot of pressure to succeed
At Work: Very collaborative and creative • Will have to solve the worst environmental, social and economic problems in history • Will not be team players • Will be more self directed • Will process information at lightning speed • Will be smarter
Historic Events: 9/11 attacks – 2011 • Great Recession – 2008 to present • Terrorism – these individuals do not remember a time without war • Swine Flu outbreak – 2009 • Hurricane Katrina – 2005 • iPod – 2001 • Facebook – 2004
Generation Z or App Generation
With more than 60 million in the US, this generation is at yet unnamed. But have also been referred to as the Homelanders (grown up under the threat of terrorism), the Plurals (historic diversity) or the Founders (by MTV).
They have no concept of life without the Internet, have billions in buying power and are already shaping our culture. Have grown up totally and utterly connected, there are concerns about their Google-fostered expectations that everything be instantaneous, their inability to tolerate even five seconds of boredom and the demands that come with maintaining several identities online from Facebook to Instagram to Snapchat. There is so much pressure on young people, who are still forming their identities, to present a crystallized, idealized identity online.
There is optimism in their entrepreneurial spirit and finding ways to get offline. Their uberprotective Gen X parents, determined not to raise latchkey kids like themselves, are hovering and helping them digitally detox in screen-less camps and Waldorf schools.
There are parallels to the Silent Generation, the doted-on, risk adverse, “nice” generation of kids who grew up during the Great Depression and WWII. Both came of age amid geopolitical turmoil and fears about the economy and schools emphasize a profound sensitivity to other kids. They will be known for being well-behaved and perhaps “blanding” the culture by playing it safe.