WOW Word-Of-the-Week #307: Generation Z

June 15, 2010 by · Comments Off on WOW Word-Of-the-Week #307: Generation Z 

Generation Z – born after 1995.

Do you have children born after 1995? How about grand children? They haven’t quite entered the workforce yet, so I assume you don’t have any working for you, correct?

FUN with Generation Z

FUN with Generation Z

This past week the SD Union Tribune featured an AP article titled, “Experts trying to get a read on Generation Z.”  As you can imagine, the marketing companies are busy trying to figure them out, as well as employers attempting to prepare them for the workplace. The oldest ones are just barely out of grade school.

“The one point most everyone can agree on – they are the tech-savviest generation of all time, so much so toddlers can maneuver their way through YouTube and some first-graders are able to put together a PowerPoint presentation for class. They have never known a world without the Internet.”  Do you remember how long it took you to do your first PowerPoint presentation? Mine was in 2001 and it took me 40 hours to create a 90 minute program.

“Many parents are Gen Xers and say they are raising a different brand of kid than baby boomers did.  Gen Xers tend to be more freethinking and not necessarily as compelled to keep up with the Joneses. They also think the recession will play a role in shaping who their kids are, and perhaps make them less ‘entitled,’ a label that – fair or not – has been slapped frequently on Generation Y.”

“We’re not afraid to say that money’s tight, so I feel like our kids are going to have that sense long-term,” says one Gen Xer father. Generational expert Neil Howe says, “2008 may turn out to be one year with a big influence on this generation, due to both the recession and the elections of the nation’s first black president. They could be a new version of the so called Silent Generation, the group that that grew up in the Depression era, who saw the country through World War II and who birthed the baby boomers.”

Does it amaze you at how smart kids are when it comes to programming anything? They just think and process differently than I do. And when it comes to money, do you have a problem letting them know when things are tight? What would you say are the positives about this generation so far?

Reader Responses

“I so agree.  My grandchildren taught me to text and straighten out my cell phone whenever I mess something up or can’t figure it out.  They are very smart and yes – know about money and it’s value.” – Jane

“I look at my eight-year-old daughter and she is reading 200-page books, knows how to operate the DVD, my wife’s iPod, our computer, you name it. I have trouble remembering how to turn the television on properly. Heck, when I was a senior in college in 1980, the Marquette Journalism school still had electric typewriters in the classrooms. The year before I was still hunting and pecking on manual typewriters! I am just amazed. Even as tech savvy as this generation is, it is still ALL ABOUT ME! It is a very self-absorbed group that does not take the time to build and nurture relationships. They have to have everything now, and they can’t wait. The only commitment this generation has is to itself. And that could be a problem for the future of the country. A generation isolated with its gadgets and no commitments will make it difficult to become one nation. Whatever problems we will face in the future won’t be solved with gadgets. We will need humanity. I don’t see that happening with the Generation Z. Hopefully, it will change. Not too long ago in one of his speeches, President Obama urged young people to turn away from their gadgets and open their eyes and ears as to what is happening around them. He is still trying to be the change agent that helps us bridge the gap from this generation to the future. I hope he is successful.” – Joe