Gen Z on Progression, Technology, and Diversity
Generation Z refers to the generation that starts with the individuals born after the year 1996. This generation is characterized by racial diversity, being native to digital culture, and having progressive mindsets. Statistics show that Gen Z is projected to be the most well-educated generation yet in this country, and those of voting age tend to be more inclined to vote in elections.
I was born in 2002, making me 18 years old and a part of the Gen Z population that is of voting age. I know the effects of social media from personal experience, I am well acquainted with technology, I am not scared to voice my views on political and social issues, and I believe in the power of voting.
A large portion of Gen Z are political and social activists who attempt to educate those around them, attend protests, and use various social media platforms to voice their views. The main issues in the US lately include climate change, systemic racism, LGBTQ+ rights, the COVID-19 pandemic, and government action (or inaction) on these issues.
I grew up in a more conservative and traditional household, but I have progressive or “liberal” views. Climate change, equal human rights for everyone, and animal welfare are all issues that I strongly believe in and will fight for, just like so many others from my generation.
Social media is prominent in society today, and for most of Gen Z, it has always existed. It’s become a part of people’s identity; people use social media to establish their personal brand. The problem with social media however, is that it is posed and fake, creating unrealistic expectations that end up contributing to mental health challenges. Additionally, it causes young people to spend hours online instead of interacting face to face with people and creating interpersonal connections and real friendships. The Annie E. Casey Foundation words it, “too much screen time can compound feelings of isolation and lead to underdeveloped social skills.”
When it comes to progessive mindsets and political opinions, Gen Z hits the top of the list. Gen Z has the highest percentage of individuals who believe that same-sex marriage is positive for society, that there should be more gender options that just male and female on documents, that climate change is caused by human actions, and that the government should be active in solving the current problems. Also, Gen Zers are the more likely to properly wear a mask during the pandemic, and encourage others to do the same.
Gen Z is growing up in a challenged world, and this may be what drives them to succeed and fight for what they believe in. They are the most racially diverse generation in this country and set to be the most well educated, since “they are less likely to drop out of high school and more likely to be enrolled in college” according to Kim Parker and Ruth Igielnik. A generation that believes in positive social change and will fight for justice is hope for the future of this country.