Many characteristics of those born between 1995 and 2010 are grounded in hope and good.
Now that the millennials have taken their place in public and political life, as well as developed their own reputation, we have a new group to discover: Generation Z.
Born between 1995 and 2010, they are labeled “Z” because they are the successors of the millennials, who are also sometimes referred to as Generation Y. And despite all the doom and gloom that people have used, much of it unfairly, to describe our younger generations, this list of qualities may help us to realize that they bring their own unique gifts to the world of today — and tomorrow.
So, what defines Generation Z?
1. They are digital natives. They were born amidst smartphones, tablets, and flatscreen TVs, but unlike millennials, they learned them from babyhood. They know how to take a selfie or follow a list of videos on YouTube. The Z babies grew up talking to Grandma on FaceTime or Skype, and they played their first puzzles and games on Mom’s cell phone.
2. They’re very independent learners. They use the internet for everything and learn from online tutorials.
3. The YouTubers are their teachers. There are real gurus who have authority over their audience and project a well-defined lifestyle: ways of dressing, brands, consumption of products, opinions about alcohol or drugs …
4. They have very short attention spans. The average is about 8 seconds. We have to bear this in mind if we want to reach them with a specific message. Their most effective way of communication is via Instagram and Snapchat: one sentence, max.
5. They’re immersed in multitasking: they are able to watch a TV series, check a computer screen, write a document, talk on WhatsApp … all at once.
6. They have entrepreneurial ambitions. About 73 percent of the Generation Z teens dream about having their own business or implementing a business idea.
7. They’re independent. While the millennials are comfortable in their parents’ house, Generation Z values financial independence. They want to have their own place.
8. They’re demanding consumers. They want transparency in the market, and they want brands to tell them about how they manufacture the product. They look for corporate social responsibility, respect for the environment. They read the labels, and they leave favorable or critical opinions about products and services online.
9. They’re similarly demanding with their future employers. They want to have time for their personal life and they want a fair salary.
10. They’re preparing for professions that we don’t know about yet, linked to the technological sector (related to artificial intelligence, communications, and so on).
11. They’re friends without borders. They contact other young people from their generation from other countries and travel to meet each other. It’s globalization in terms of friendship and love. They are very open to learning other languages.
12. They were born (or raised) in the midst of an economic crisis. They know they have to earn their living by their own merits, and that everything can change from one day to the next. They are not the type of people to sit back and settle in comfortably.
13. They prefer images to words. They love images (real or virtual) and emojis. That’s why Instagram is their favorite communications territory: it’s fast, based on a photo or two, plus a brief text. This can lead to serious communication problems, as they may have trouble communicating with empathy and depth.
14. They’re altruistic. About 60 percent would like to have a job that makes the world a better place. About 26 percent have done some type of volunteer work. And 76 percent are worried about protecting the environment.
15. They have a higher IQ than previous generations. A Stanford University study said their higher IQ is due to cultural or generational transference.
Translated from Spanish by Patricia Bailey.