Who makes up “generation z,” also known as gen z? This demographic (the age group immediately following Millenials) designates people born between 1997 and 2012. One of the defining characteristics of this generation is their ease and comfort with modern technology. Whereas millennials can remember life before mobile devices and the internet, gen z young adults in developed nations are completely ingrained in the conveniences of modern life, and at this point, this generation is inextricably tied to this way of life.
Additionally, gen z kids in the United States have no memory of a time when the United States has not been at war — this has resulted in a generational feeling of instability and insecurity but has also driven many young people to be more politically active than ever before. The spread of information and wealth of knowledge available to young people has completely changed the way that this generation engages with the world, which has also led to some pretty interesting trends. While vape websites and YouTube are certainly more along the lines of what people expect of gen z, there are so many interesting trends coming from this group of young people.
Another interesting trend appearing from this demographic is centered around mental health. Kids and young adults in gen z are much more likely to report and speak openly about mental health concerns and problems. As each generation has become more and more perceptive and receptive to conversations around mental health, gen z has taken it to the next level. The acceptance that tends to permeate the positive parts of youth culture extends to erasing the stigma around mental health issues. While people in this demographic are also more statistically and urgently stressed than many of their predecessors (due to overarching issues like mass shootings), they are also more likely to share the way that they are feeling.
Since gen z kids are digital natives, the methods in which they communicate are also quite different. Millennials paved the way for online friendships, and gen z kids have kept this true via platforms like Instagram, Twitter, or even through shared interests on places like YouTube. Beyond the methods of communication, though, are the ways that these young people are communicating. The search for truth and habits that promote inclusivity is also on the rise. Young people seem to want to build a community and engage actively in an important dialogue with one another. While there are many misconceptions about young people, there are also so many great positives about people shaping the future of the world.