Gen Z is everywhere—news, social media, psychology books—but we don’t know much beyond the fact that they are a batch of kids born between 1995 and 2012.
The iGen, as Gen Z is sometimes hailed in the media, are kids who have grown up in the digital age with smartphones, social networking, and few (if any) memories of 9/11. They are socially savvy, incredibly tolerant, risk-averse, frugal, and realistic, and as the oldest of them are graduating college and entering the workforce, they bring with them an entirely different mindset than the Millennial generation.
Some fast facts:
- Gen Z is the most ethnically diverse generation in history, and they often reject binary categories, especially in regards to sexual preference or gender identity.
- Half of American Gen Zers spend 10 hours a day on screens. 91% of Gen Z use at least one social media platform, and 51% report they use social media almost constantly.
- 77% of Gen Z claim social media provides more benefits than drawbacks in their lives, but 41% admit social media has a negative effect on their happiness, making them sad, depressed, or anxious. 58% are seeking relief from social media, and 34% have left or deleted a social media account permanently.
- 79% of Gen Zers worry about getting a job and display more “realistic” attitudes compared to more “idealistic” Millennials. Although Gen Zers widely believe that “the system” is broken, 70% prefer finding a steady and reliable job over a job for which they are passionate but would lack security and stability.
- Gen Z students prefer academics to be hands-on and job-applicable.
Teen pregnancy has significantly declined from earlier generations, as have rates of binge drinking, cigarette use, and substance abuse of illicit drugs. However, misuse of prescription drugs, such as Adderall and Ritalin, has increased, which may suggest that Gen Z uses drugs less for recreational purposes and more as aids.
Gen Z is an incredibly socially-connected generation with an innate drive for success and stability. As a generation which has had active shooter drills since kindergarten, they are receptive to messages about safety and are less experienced with sex and alcohol. They fear failure and tend to avoid activities which would, in their perception, hinder their development or potential.
Gen Z, born and raised on technology, looks toward the future. They are a generation criticized for always being on their phones, but their ability to digest information is unparalleled. As they begin to drive change and push for the ability to solve the world’s problems, we will begin to see just how capable Gen Z is of altering the world’s fabric.