The Future Belongs to Gen Z
Updated: Mar 26
Agree or disagree, the future always belongs to the next generation, the new generation, and this time, the imminent future belongs to generation Z. Inevitably, no matter what generation you are, you will immensely get involved with the Gen Z in many aspects of your life. Therefore, we need to be in touch with Gen Z, factually and completely understanding the upcoming dominant generation will help each and everyone of us blend into the future society much easier.
The human specie does not like new things, and it is the human nature for mankind to dislike, criticise and even attack when they feel threatened. We could easily tell this by observing the advancement of human history. Every time a new generation starts to emerge and take control, the old one will have to degrade them in the first place and create a scene. However, the finale of the story always happened to be in favour of the newcomers.
If you have lived a few more years than the Gen Z, I believe you still remember the last time we faced this generational transition. Personally, myself being the “villain”, I had heard enough about the “disgraceful” Millennials, critiques and distrusts had been all over the “new” generation, but only millennials ourselves and people who are really in touch with millennials, know what is true or false about the millennials. That being said, if we are going to talk about Gen Z factually and subjectively, I believe myself as a millennial who is dealing with mostly Gen Z in my daily life, should have the eligibility to make some authentic comments.
So, first of all let’s be traditional and conservative, what are some of the opinions and stereotypes about Gen Z in general? According to research, Gen Z is extremely eccentric in terms of social media, but they slightly shifted the focus of using social media platforms in comparison to the millennials, this is only a glimpse of Gen Z’s preferences;
● Snapchat and YouTube are necessities
● Prefers YouTubers than movie stars
● Uses Facebook to browse news rather than socializing
● Checks social media 100 times per day
Apart from the extreme dependency of social media, Gen Z also value their privacy very much. Being digital natives, Gen Z are definitely a lot more proficient and sophisticated in terms of utilizing internet. Because of this, Gen Z understands the importance of online privacy and therefore tend to be very sensitive about it.
Another quite unexpected characteristic of Gen Z is that they feel insecure about the world they live in. The reason for this is due to the growth of terrorism in recent years, which is the period of time Gen Z was growing up in. Ironically, the insecurity kind of created another characteristic of them-health consciousness. The understanding of nutrition has advanced profoundly in the era where Gen Z is living in, this resulted to make them a relatively healthy generation.
Unarguably, the era of the world where Gen Z grew up in was super compelling in many ways; technology, politics, environment, humanity and so forth, all of these changes happened during their lives, and the influence of these changes made them very adaptive and acceptive.
All in all, in public’s eyes and stand from a general perspective, being digital natives, Gen Z care about privacy, they are health-conscious and adaptive to changes. However, all of these characteristics still cannot define what is Gen Z really like in a certain environment and how are they different than Millennials. That said, it is necessary to look into a specific spectrum and find out the specials, and to do so, we need to be in touch with Gen Z.
As a millennial who is studying in HIM with peers who are mostly Gen Z, I think I have a pretty good sense about Gen Z in a higher education environment. Therefore, I will discuss about the characteristics and behaviors of Gen Z from my own experience, as well as neutrally and factually.
When I am in touch with Gen Z in HIM, one of the characteristics I agree the most with the general opinion is the extreme dependency of social media. This sign also shows that Gen Z being digital natives, they are actually quite efficient in terms of learning when proper technology is equipped. I also found out that Gen Z prefer working in groups than individually. They are normally quite proactive in group discussions but passive in classes. The traditional way of teaching does not trigger their interest, unless technology gets involved. Moreover, Gen Z are very demanding in terms of facilities, they have a much higher standard and more needs. However, they are also very easy to be satisfied.
Aside from myself being in touch with Gen Z, I got to know Gen Z from a millennial’s angel, but according to research, there are many other characteristics of Gen Z at a higher education environment. One survey shows that when it comes to learning, Gen Z are better at absorbing the knowledge when they are doing it rather than listening. Gen Z like to be trusted, they normally perform better when they are empowered and given responsibilities.
Speaking of which, HIM as a higher education environment, it certainly does understand some of the characteristics of Gen Z. HIM advocates students to be independent and thoughtful, also one of the core approaches of study in HIM is to be cooperative and practical. As a result, Gen Z students are quite comfortable with this type of learning. On top of that, knowing Gen Z being digital natives, HIM also has top notch facilities and technology which meet the high standards of Gen Z.
After all, Gen Z will be the dominant force of the society very soon, getting to know Gen Z from a broad perspective can certainly help us understand what is Gen Z like in general, however, only if you really be in touch with Gen Z, you will have a much more complete and factual understanding of them. Ultimately, being in touch with Gen Z interactively will clear the prejudice and misunderstanding that older generations had about the Gen Z, and make the future society much more harmonious.
Hopefully, this article helped you in a way to get in touch with Gen Z and got a better sense of the generation, if you agree with my opinions, please share and like. Of course, comment below if you have your own opinions about Gen Z, or if you are Gen Z, tell your story and share with us!
Author: Mr Xin Luo, Hospitality Bachelor Student at Hotel Institute Montreux from China