Generation Z is the demographic cohort for people born around the mid-1990s’ to the early 2010s’, which also encompasses the age group who complain the most, oftentimes about technological advancements other generations weren’t so lucky to have in their younger years.
Gen Z exists in a world of modern technology and solutions, with access to resources so vast that they will likely never experience a shortage of basic needs in their lifetime. And yet, they’ve found a way to turn their first-world problems into daily struggles.
According to a 2019 Voice of America article, “Gen Zers are the first digital natives, born between 1997 and 2012, into a world of vast technological advances and innovations. They are unlike other generations, who either grew up without or came into adulthood during the rise of social media, smartphones and instant accessibility of information.”
With this generation’s upbringing occurring at the same time as the emergence of modern technology, it is apparent that these youngsters are not as appreciative of recent technological advancements as they should be.
For example, while COVID-19 is not the first biological mutation to cause a world-altering pandemic, unlike other generations, Gen Z has been fortunate to continue their education in the face of a crisis due to the privilege of online learning. Yet, complaints from Gen Z about receiving an education virtually have yet to cease.
If this pandemic had occurred even a decade earlier, accessing education at all, let alone remotely, might have been close to impossible. It is important for Gen Z to recognize their blessings with online learning before taking it for granted.
With access to online cheat sheets and study platforms like Quizlet, Chegg and the depths of Google, Gen Zers have had academic success practically handed to them. There is no excuse for being unable to do the bare minimum, especially when students can do it in bed or while watching TV.
Similar to the phrase, “Not all men,” it is only fair to address the fact that not all of Gen Z are ungrateful, privileged and lazy. But enough have exhibited these qualities where a victim mentality is starting to look normal for anyone who identifies in this cohort.
Surrounded around the normalcy of accessibility and ingratitude, Gen Z has plagued itself with a victim mentality, often encouraged through the generation’s humor.
That being said, Gen Z can easily overcome this mindset through exposing themselves to more positive influences. Though there is no tutorial to life, there are foundational ideas and attitudes that Gen Z currently lacks to ensure bright futures for themselves and the generations after them.
Gen Z needs to show more resilience, and they will do exactly that as they conquer this pandemic and use the things they have learned living in a remote world to help them live a better non-remote life.
Additionally, they need to refrain from smartphone reliance. Although Gen Z can leverage technology to find information in seconds, this has also become a major distraction.
It is easy to become emotionally detached from the world and complain about minor inconveniences when their eyes are locked to their phones. The cure to this addiction is quite simple: Gen Z needs to go outside.
Gen Z did not choose to be the center of this technologically driven world, but they should acknowledge that they are lucky enough to be raised by it. They should take advantage of these modern tools rather than let it control or distract them.
As a start, Gen Zers can work toward altering their pessimistic, victim-oriented mentalities, and society can acknowledge that this generation didn’t choose to be born into such a technologically advanced era. By appreciating the technology many have misused and taken for granted, this generation might have a shot at redemption.