XOTV WEEKLY: Gen Z Is Our Last Hope

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Everything XOTV

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The generation making the headlines was the millennials, mostly complaining about their laziness or how they’re killing different industries because they refuse to spend money they don’t have on things they don’t need. But as the youngest millennials are settling into the workforce and becoming old enough to start families, the attention turns to the next generation, Gen Z. 

Born between 1997 and 2010, Gen Z grew up in a unique time in history. The first president they remember was Black, gay marriage was legalized when they were still in school and most of their lives can be chronicled through Instagram. Unlike millennials who remember a time before smartphones and the internet, Gen Z knew how to use an iPhone right out of the womb. They were born into the age of social media with unhindered access to any information possible at their fingertips; this has opened their eyes to the rest of the world much earlier than previous generations as a result they are maturing a lot faster. 

So before when a tragedy happened it was on the 10 o’clock news, your parents watched this empathetically but helplessly because there was more of a social disconnect between what was happening ‘out there’ and their daily lives. Now Gen Z is notified of a tragedy on Instagram or Twitter and can immediately share and repost it. Their increased access to the horrors of the world has made them more compassionate and understanding. They are more ‘plugged in’, so when someone is killed halfway across the world, they feel it as if it was in their own backyard – and are ready to do something about it.

Taking action is not exclusive to Gen Z, protests and marches have been a staple for fighting inequality for decades, but mobilizing groups around a common cause across the world in minutes is their specialty. Their compassion doesn’t allow them to stand by when injustices happen. When Greta Thunberg stood on the UN podium and pleaded with those in power to do something about climate change before it’s too late, she represented the passion and fire that burns within Gen Z when fighting for a cause they care about. Gen Z didn’t just sit back and listen to her words they took to the streets with signs, screams and an inextinguishable desire to change the status quo. When George Floyd was murdered, they were unafraid to do what it takes until their voices were heard. They didn’t take kindly to Trump's beliefs, so they organized a Tik Tok trend to mass buy tickets to his rally in a bid to have as many empty seats as possible. Whether you agree with their ideals or not it’s undeniable they are a formidable force to be reckoned with.

But this unfettered access has its downsides. Gen Z is also the generation with more depression and anxiety. Targeted ads telling them how they should look and constantly comparing their lives to others on social media breeds insecurity. Feeling the weight of all the world's problems on their shoulders creates anxiety about the future of themselves and the world.  Despite this or maybe because of it gen Z has an openness that allows them to talk about their mental health and get help for when needed. They are more attuned to how they are really feeling and are less afraid to seek help or take a break. They are less judgmental because of this – they know they aren’t perfect therefore don’t expect others to be, and more readily embrace those who are different from them. 

Their dislike to stick to the status quo translates over to careers. They are less willing to accept a job they don’t like and will go as far as creating jobs for themselves that they enjoy. Careers in social media did not exist for previous generations but Gen Z has made millions of dollars monetizing themselves through YouTube, Instagram or TikTok. A traditional career doesn’t appeal to them as much as generations before; they are more willing to sacrifice the stability of a ‘normal’ job for something they love.

Generations proceeding them got the ball rolling but in the past few years, it seems as if progress is slow or even worse, stagnant. Gen Z’s radical young minds bring new ideas and an ax to grind with the world they found themselves in and with access to information and new technological advances they will leave this world better than they found it. 

As the next generation, Gen Z is our future politicians, teachers and parents we want them to learn from the mistakes of the past and be better than all who came before them.

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  About the Author:
Nancy Wise

Nancy is a Londoner who loves to write! Find her at https://medium.com/@nancywise14.

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