We are Generation Z

Kayla Vittore, Reporter

    Ever heard of Generation X? The Baby Boomers? Millennials? Most people are familiar with these categories. They are the labels given to generations based on what was happening during their generation. For example, Generation X is known as a very cynical and untrusting generation, and they grew up during the Watergate Scandal and an economy crash.

    If you’re in between the ages of 20 and 5 as of 2016, you belong to the newest generation: Generation Z. We asked several teachers at Belvidere North how they would describe us Generation Z kids (Gen Zers), and some of the answers I got were “naive”, “tech-savvy”, “lazy”, and “screwed”. Honestly, we should’ve seen that coming. It’s almost a tradition for older generations to see nothing but negatives in the newer ones. Seeing as most of Gen Z is a teenager or younger, it’s especially hard for adults to not see us as a bunch of clueless kids who don’t know what we’re walking into.

    There’s good news for Generation Z though. While we are associated with being addicted to cell phones, social media, and ect. our attachment to electronics can also be a big positive. The virtual world has helped reshape our thinking, so unlike previous generations who are stuck in three dimensions we can think and imagine in four dimensions. Also, the vast networks of social media is helping adolescents diversify whom we can interact with. Our communities are full of more ideas, beliefs, and differences than ever before and Gen Z has full access to all these unique ways of thinking.

    Another great thing about Gen Z is our work ethics. Sure, right now we might seem lazy but in a survey of Gen Z students, almost 50% of them said they were planning on starting their own business when they were finished with their education. Our generation is filled with people wanting to make things, and learn things for ourselves. When we want to figure out how to do something, we find a DIY YouTube video or Google search the best strategies, and then we do it.  Generation Z is full entrepreneurs, and even if you’re not one of them you probably have a friend who is totally motivated to reach their goals.

    Everything isn’t all rainbows and sunshine for Generation Z, believe it or not. A little over half of Gen Z teens say that they have felt pressure from their parents to get a job. Many of us feel the obligation or need to get a part-time job once we get our driver’s license. And online, Generation Z is very away of the dangers of posting too much information. While the generation before us — the Millennials — were created with making FaceBook popular and posting everything they ever did, Gen Zers are more interested in quick and temporary forms of communication like SnapChat or Whisper. We know the damage that an inappropriate picture or comment can cause. Some might say that we’re too young to be so serious about work and suspicious of others, but that’s just the culture of our generation.

    So next time grandma says that today’s youth are too technology dependant or your teacher insists that current teenagers are the laziest they’ve ever seen, don’t let them get to you.  Generation Z has some flaws, but we also have some awesome traits and tools at our disposal.  As we get older and start dipping our toes into the “real world”, I think that Gen Zers are really going to make some awesome contributions to society.