Thanks to being a current student of hospitality management at Hotel Institute Montreux and thanks to the strong importance that my college and my career choice give to marketing strategies, I have done countless researches about understanding an emerging hyper-connected generation called Gen Z. (which I happened to be part of).
I have read so many times about the topic and I feel confident when I say that most articles I have set my eyes on agree to the same thing: we cannot live without a screen in our faces. Honestly, I’ve read many instances the line “Gen Zers spend so much time on social media that they no longer know how to communicate in the real world” that I’m actually bored of it. When reading all this description on internet, I feel like oldest generations think that mine is full of useless human beings who are only able to function with a smart device in front of their faces.
It seems to me that everybody is extremely focused on the fact that we appreciate technology that they are missing many other characteristics of our generation. For example, thanks to this information, many employers may think that the best way to communication with a Gen Zer in the office is through email or social media. When we actually value face-to-face interaction when it comes to our work. In fact, a survey made by Randstad and Future Workplace found out that 39% of Generation Z say in-person communication is the most effective form of communication and I’m sure this number would be higher if we were older.
Another result of this wildly spread information is how Brands are “targeting us”. Daily, our electronic devices are constantly bombarded with tons of advertisements. Yes, we get e-marketing may be the best way to attract us since we are a “hyper-connected generation”. However, I am sure most of us do not appreciate finding an advertisement every second we go online. All this adds in every video you watch on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram are so annoying that I doubt anyone buy something because of them. Honestly, we just wait the skip bottom to appear to get rid of them. I am sure we would rather watch a 12 minutes video with more insight marketing, with more relevant and interesting information than one that last 25 seconds but interrupts us every time we want to search something our cell phones.
Education have also used our favouritism for internet on a wrong way. In today’s world lecturers think that when the class is boring, displaying a video on a screen will catch our attention. However, the true is that if we were not engaged since the beginning there is no video on the internet that will made our brains process or even retain the information they want to transmit.
These and more examples are prove of how annoying the world have become to us, because internet have classified us as a hyper-connected generation and nothing else. The worst thing is that I am sure all this description only fit to those who live in developed countries. You cannot describe a teenager raised in the U.S and assume their worldwide piers are the same. What happen with the undeveloped countries where culture, economy and the way of living are astronomically different from the USA? Are the Gen Zers from those countries the same? I doubt it. I wonder who is doing all this labelling and based on what?
I am not denying that the vast majority of Gen Zers are more attached to technology than previous generations; do not get me wrong. I know that is a fact but the point I want to highlight is that all this information on internet have made people believe that our generation is all about a smartphone nothing more. Thanks to that, everyone is blindly relaying on useless strategies to engage us. When the internet itself have given us the ability of being more thoughtful and critical about the content that is on the internet and in the real world.
I personally want to believe that we are more than a hyper-connected generation. Because I feel like we are doing more than surviving because of the internet. We are a generation that believe in equality as no other generation have done it. We may become the most educated generation that have ever existed. We are embracing cultures and races as no one have done it before, we want our job to make this world better. Note that we are thinking critically about so many aspects of the future, all this at the age of 22 or less. Therefore, why instead of classified us as a Screen-obsessed generation, the internet do not start calling us the most mindful or thoughtful generation that have ever exist. Because, I believe the generation z have a mind-set that will change the world and yes, perhaps with a smartphone in front of us, but with a functional brain behind it.
Am I the only one who think this way? Do you agree or disagree? Let me know your opinion in the comments section and do not forget to share.
Author: Ms Christine Murillo, Hospitality Bachelor Student at Hotel Institute Montreux from Panama