Not too young: Gen Z is overly criticized as the world evolves
BY SOFIA MENDEZ
The end of the millennial reign is quickly approaching and they will soon be a part of history because it is now Generation Z’s time.
Those who make up Generation Z are born between 1994 and 2010, a time period aligned with the rise and development of technology. As expected, there are plenty of labels and descriptions assigned to those born in the middle of the digital age, as it makes this group seem like the true digital natives of the world.
Generation Z individuals, affectionately known as Gen Z, have been continuously criticized for their tendency to communicate mostly through messages rather than phone calls. This is because many young adults often feel pressure and are overwhelmed when talking to a young person through phone calls.
“Teens are connected 24/7,” Dean of University of Southern California’s (USC) School of Communication Willow Bay said. “The social and academic development is closely connected to the use of smartphones and it is a generation that is growing at the same rate as technology. Families have had to adapt their lifestyle to integrate with electronic devices.”
According to research by ITA Group Inc., 77% of high school students (Gen Z) are extremely interested in volunteering to gain work experience, compared to 63% of college students (mostly millennials).
On the other hand, regarding technology, Gen Z also demonstrates greater social activism or lends themselves to more volunteering activities with all the chaos in the world through this medium. According to research by ITA Group Inc., 77% of high school students (Gen Z) are extremely interested in volunteering to gain work experience, compared to 63% of college students (mostly millennials).
Gen Z takes part in designing solutions to the problems that are faced in everyday life. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that more than a quarter of 16- to 19-year-olds are volunteering in their daily lives, and 60% of Gen Z individuals want jobs that have a social impact as compared to the 31% of millennials.
However, there are many worries that the world has for Gen Z. This generation exhibits more anxiety and mental health disorders than their predecessors. As the world is currently undergoing a life changing pandemic, anxiety has been evermore present.
Gen Z has grown up with mass shootings and recessions, alongside an unexpected pandemic, which makes them handle things differently compared to millennials.
“Secondary students and even younger kids are increasingly anxious about problems like climate change.”University of British Columbia psychologist Jiaying Zhao
“Secondary students and even younger kids are increasingly anxious about problems like climate change,” University of British Columbia psychologist Jiaying Zhao said. “Although, the issue is so grand, that they feel helpless[…] the public doesn’t know much about COVID-19, which leads to anxiety.”
Supplying Gen Z with the correct information and teaching them what is and is not credible can be very beneficial. Something to remember is that spreading awareness about COVID-19 for younger people isn’t similar to millennials, as these two groups may use and experience social media differently. In fact, many Gen Z individuals have resorted to platforms like TikTok and Instagram to share and post information about significant current events.
With the many modern resources the 21st century has, Gen Z is on track to be the best educated generation yet. When looking at the older members of Gen Z, statistics show that they are in a different educational trajectory than the generations that came before. They are less likely to drop out of high school and more likely to be enrolled in college.
Among 18- to 21-year-olds that are no longer in high school as of 2018, 57% were enrolled in a two-year or four-year colleges. This compares with 52% of millennials in 2003 and 43% of Generation X in 1987, according to Pew Research Center.
While there are challenges that Generation Z will face, people must accept that every generation comes with its own traits and customs. In spite of the fact that Gen Z may have some critical feedback, such as their increased attachment to technology, this age group offers a grand advancement for the future.
Photo by The Lariat Photography
Illustration by Sofie Kahlig