Transitioning from Gen Y to Gen Z

Posted by on September 4, 2014 in Blog

The following was sent to me by the head of  my teen grandson’s middle school.  If you are the parent or grandparent of a Generation Z, I highly recommend this read.

The following blog is from Tim Elmore of Growing Leaders. Tim continually provides interesting information for parents and those of us who work with adolescents. He often reminds us that we are raising kids in a very different era than when we were growing up. His examples help illustrate this point.

How Generation Z Differs from Generation Y
The numbers are just coming in from studies of younger teens, who are part of Generation Z (also known as “Homelanders,” these kids follow Generation Y). They are part of a population that grew up post-9/11, where terrorism is part of the landscape, a sour economy is all they remember, and uncertainty defines our mindsets.

In many ways, we need to stop assuming they’ll simply be extensions of Generation Y (or the Millennials). They are the younger counterparts to that older generation and have grown up with new technology that’s marked them. While Generation Y grew up with computers, Generation Z grew up with touch-screens. Their phones have always been “smart.” Bill Clinton is a president from history, and Madonna is an aged veteran . . . like Elton John or Michael Jackson. They never knew her when she was “like a virgin.” We live in a new day.

The Shifts This New Generation Will Bring . . .
While Generation Y spent money boldly and with few boundaries, 57% of Generation Z prefers saving money to spending it.
While Generation Y spent loads of time at the mall, Generation Z prefers shopping online for almost all their purchases . . . except for online games. Hmmm.
While Generation Y grew up during a strong economy, Generation Z is growing up in a time of recession, terrorism, violence, volatility, and complexity.
While Generation Y subscribed to everything social, Generation Z doesn’t want to be tracked, preferring Snapchat, Secret, or Whisper to communicate.
While Generation Y watched YouTube, Hulu and Netflix, Generation Z wants to co-create, live stream, and help to make up the activity as they participate.
While Generation Y loved sports and adventure, Generation Z sees sports as a health tool, not for play. Their games are inside. Teen obesity has tripled since 1970.
While Generation Y grew up with slightly longer attention spans, Generation Z has an attention span of 8 seconds. Approximately 11% have ADHD.
While Generation Y initiated text messages as a norm, Generation Z prefers communicating through images, icons and symbols.
While Generation Y worried about their growing social status and their “likes” on social media, Generation Z worries about the economy and world ecology.
While Generation Y enjoyed a life that revolved around them, Generation Z plans on coping with multi-generational households and marriages (400% increase).
According to a recent report from Sparks and Honey, these younger children and teens are from a smaller population that will be more about coping with reality than Generation Y, which was about virtual reality. For instance:
Their movies are Hunger Games and Divergent, where youth are being slaughtered and kids no longer feel as central to their world.
They multitask on five screens, not one or two. They experience FOMO: the “Fear Of Missing Out.” They try to consume it all.
They plan to get educated and start working earlier, but will be “school hackers” and not necessarily attend a liberal arts college.
On the other hand, they are growing up in America, where:
The average Gen Z kid receives $16.90 a week in allowance, translating to $44 billion a year.
They are a major influence on household purchases, including dinner menus, vacations, home furnishings, and even family cars.
Three out of four wish their current hobby could become their full-time job. That was far more than Millennials reported when asked about it.

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