What Gen Z Wants You to Understand


Olivia Liljegren, Staff Writer


*All quotes in this article are taken from an anonymous nonscientific survey where names were not recorded. The survey was conducted by Janice Johnson through a nonprofit organization called Invest LOV, in February 2019 and over 2,000 people responded.

Whether they’re called Gen Z, iGen, the Founders, or Post-Millenials, there are many misconceptions about the generation born between 1996-2010.

Many believe that this generation is addicted to their phones, and because of this, they are losing key social skills. Others will argue that they are too socially aware and accepting of other individuals and their identities. So, what’s the truth?

Generation Z has grown up in an age of technology, and because of this, some have said they lack skills in face-to-face interaction. However, many people who are a part of Gen Z  believe that with technology being integrated into their lives from a young age, they have been exposed to many environments through the internet, and have a deeper understanding of the world outside of their communities.

“We thrive on the growth of technology and are adapting as it does,” said one Gen Z’er from the survey who was born in 2000.

“We’re not just constantly on our phones, and we should have the right to speak up and feel heard by all generations.” said another Gen Z’er who was born in 1998.

Many people who are a part of Generation Z have ideas on how to help the world. Global warming, economic inequality and police brutality are some of the issues they strive to eliminate

“We were born into and given a world that’s extremely messed up; we’re trying to find ways to both deal with it and make the world better for everyone,” said one person born in 1997.

Gen Z would like to be heard by older generations and often feel silenced when they try to express their opinions about national and global problems. “We want change in the world because whatever’s going on right now isn’t working. We deserve to be heard and not pushed aside,” said a teenager born in 2003.

Another topic that is largely stressed by Gen Z is that they are not millennials. Although Gen Z did adopt some of the same values that millennials have, they are often more reserved in expressing them.

Michael Dimock, the president of Pew Research Center, believes that the defining quality of Gen Z vs. millennials and other generations is that “Generation X grew up as the computer revolution was taking hold,” he said, “and Millennials came of age during the internet explosion. In this progression, what is unique for Generation Z is that all of the above have been part of their lives from the start.”

Yet, some Gen Z’ers do not believe that this is correct and think of themselves as millennials even though they were born after 1996 and during the era of technology.

“I believe I am actually a millennial,” said an individual born in 1997, “but I imagine Gen Z kids wants older people to understand that they actually do have aspirations in life; it’s just the methodology they implement to achieve those aspirations likely differs from that of older generations.”

Many Gen Z’er’s feel ridiculed by older generations who feel they are ignorant about things going on in the world. “We are not an ignorant generation. Yes we post memes online but most of us are activists in whatever we believe in,” said someone born in 2000.

Generation Z is a widely diverse group who make up roughly 32% of the population. They were raised to be aware and inclusive and are a generation of innovation, but whether that innovation is good or bad is up for the individual to decide.

If you would like to hear about fellow Vista del Lago students opinion on Gen Z go listen to the first episode of Told by: Gen Z featuring sophomore Hannah Karsting.