By Emma Ingenohl – 1851 Contributor
What and who are Generation Z? Young people? Gamers? Peace-makers? “Digital-ites”? Generation Z is a unique generation which has become a controversial topic of the last few years. Those who are considered Generation Z, or Gen Z for short, are born between the years of 1997 and 2012, though some sources say mid 90s to mid 2010s.
Some of the leading characteristics of Gen Z are that we are a diverse generation that are the first “digital natives.” According to The Annie E. Casey Foundation, we tend to be politically progressive, financially focused, independent, and mental health conscious.
It seems Gen Z gets a bad rep from older generations. We are told that we spend too much time on the internet, we are bad at interpersonal communications, lazy, and too sensitive.
I get it. We grew up in the digital age, I got my first cellphone in fifth grade. Many of us knew how to navigate Facebook before our parents did. Additionally in an article from Businesswire.com, the technology that was around in our childhood impacted our generation in many ways.
Gen Z is bold, we stand up for what we believe in, we live ferociously, we have big goals. According to Pew Research Center, we are on track to be the most educated generation. If you ask me, Gen Z has the power to change the world.
Gen Z is passionate. We care deeply about the preservation of life and happiness for all people. Greta Thunberg was fifteen years old when she began practicing environmental activism. She, like many other young people, have strong concerns about the state of the world and wish to do something about it. ‘Strike With Us’ is a youth climate strike that holds strikes all over the United States, helping to fight climate change by demanding action from our policy and law makers. According to CBS News, in the summer of 2020 when millions of people hit the streets to protest George Floyd’s murder and in support of Black Lives Matter, it was Gen Z leading the pack.
Maybe it’s not that we are too sensitive, maybe we have exposed patterns and systems that were normalized and refuse to let them continue.
Growing up with the internet has allowed Gen Z to perfect the ways to use social media as a tool for activism. As technology advances, ideas are spread faster, young people are using this to their advantage.
Remember when young people on TikTok spread word to reserve fake tickets for Donald Trump’s Tulsa Rally, resulting in the arena to not have as much of an audience? I believe this is just the beginning of what Gen Z can do with the power of the internet.
This, combined with our never-ending drive and aspirations, is going to be what changes the world. We juggle school, extra-curriculars, our family, mental health, activism, social lives, and more just to keep up with the ever-changing present. We never take no for an answer and we never apologize for who we are.
Generation Z has the power to change the world.