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Generation Z and the Work World: What to Expect

Updated on July 14, 2016
FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist with applied experience in corporate human resources and consulting.

Generation Z: Coming Soon To A Workplace Near You

An estimated 4 million American children have been born each year since 2000.  They make up the post-Millennial generation, Generation Z.  In a few years, they'll be coming to a workplace near you.  What should we expect?
An estimated 4 million American children have been born each year since 2000. They make up the post-Millennial generation, Generation Z. In a few years, they'll be coming to a workplace near you. What should we expect? | Source

So Much Has Changed Since The Year 2000

Along with 4 million other American kids, my daughter was born in early 2000 to a world that she would barely recognize today. What a different world it was when ...

  • green was just a color
  • "the cloud" was something you needed an umbrella for
  • Forbes named Enron "America's Most Innovative Company" — again
  • cell phones were just for talking
  • we rented movies on VHS tapes from the neighborhood Blockbuster store
  • we hadn't yet heard of "hanging chads" or "Al Qaeda"
  • the top search engine was Excite.com
  • we could board a plane without removing our shoes, being patted down, and felt up by TSA agents
  • we navigated streets using paper maps
  • our 35 mm cameras required rolls of film, and
  • having "followers" meant you were a leader.

We don't live in this world any longer.

They'll Be Entering the Workforce Soon

Tomorrow's workforce will be here before you know it.  Ready?
Tomorrow's workforce will be here before you know it. Ready? | Source
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens

The ultimate teenage success guide. A simple approach to help teens improve self-image, build friendships, resist peer pressure, achieve important goals, and get along with parents and others.

 

How Will These Social and Technological Changes Impact the Generation Z Workforce?

Kids born in 2000 and after comprise Generation Z, and they have grown up in a much different world than their predecessors. As they march steadily towards the work world, how will the world they've grown up in affect the type of employees will they become?

Here five things to expect from tomorrow's Gen Z workers.

This Is Generation Z's Reality: Rapid Change

So much has changed since 2000, the beginning of Generation Z.  Today's rapid pace of change will affect tomorrow's workforce.
So much has changed since 2000, the beginning of Generation Z. Today's rapid pace of change will affect tomorrow's workforce. | Source

1. Always On: Hyperavailability and Instant Communication

True downtime is harder than ever to achieve, given the availability of 24/7 communication. Responses are expected instantly. As in "immediate." Yester-now.

Generation Z is the most connected, available, and instantly gratified generation yet, and they'll carry those habits into the workforce.

With always-on, 24/7 communication, it's difficult to achieve silence and time to think like this young woman has.  Digital connections can become a source of stress and disruption.
With always-on, 24/7 communication, it's difficult to achieve silence and time to think like this young woman has. Digital connections can become a source of stress and disruption. | Source

Suggested Reading

Generation Z:  The Zombie Generation
Generation Z: The Zombie Generation

Generation Z is an offshoot of both Generation X and Y, and they have turned into technology addicted zombies in every sense of the word. Those who have been inflicted by the Zombie plague are starved for more technological distractions in all aspects of their lives with an insatiable appetite.

 

Text Messaging: The Essence Of Hyperavailability

Text messages are more likely to be read and responded to.

  • American teens send an average of 60 texts a day, with girls sending twice as many as boys.
  • Over 97% of text messages are opened, whereas the majority of emails (78%) are not.
  • Texts are responded to in an average of 90 seconds, compared with 90 minutes for an email.4

The Cell Phone: A Digital Umbilical Cord?

About 75% of American teens ages 12-17 now own a cell phone, and they tend to keep it within reach at all times. Eighty-seven percent of teens sleep with their phones.1

Unfortunately, however, sleeping with an electronic device is associated with not only taking longer to fall asleep but also spending less time in REM.2 Deep sleep is necessary to restore and refresh the body. Heavy cell phone use is also related to stress and depression.3

Teens who fail to practice good sleep hygiene habits now may be setting themselves up for chronic sleep deprivation and associated health problems as they enter the workforce. So while tomorrow's bosses will appreciate their employees being constantly accessible, this hyperavailability may prove detrimental to Generation Z workers themselves. In particular, they may be at risk of early job burnout.

Technology has both its benefits and downsides.
Technology has both its benefits and downsides. | Source

The Slow, Painful Death of Grammar

While convenient, hyperavailable modes of communication have a downside: overall communication quality.

Text messaging — the essence of hyperavailability — is limited to160 characters. Teens have adapted to these character limits by using "text speak" to abbreviate words and phrases.

The result of this creativity is that the grammar police have all but given up. Punctuation, the use of capital letters, proper spelling ... it is a slow, painful death, and difficult to watch for some of us. Generation Z will likely take these skill challenges into the workforce.

Educators already see detectable differences in written language skills and link the decline to texting and the use of social media (e.g., Twitter has a character limit of 140). With short, quick messages, sentence structure takes too much time, and periods, commas, and apostrophes just take up space. Text speak often discards capital letters and truncates words and phrases using abbreviations ("c u l8r") and dropped letters (would = "wud").

Tweens and teens, however, are still learning how to express themselves through language. Teachers are noticing that students experience difficulties switching back and forth between proper grammar and text speak. Teachers also notice gaps in teens' attention spans, communication skills, self-awareness and emotional intelligence.5

To accommodate changes, teachers report having to adjust their teaching styles to include more showmanship or entertainment. Generation Z will expect employers to do the same. (Is it any wonder why we're having so much trouble recruiting people into the STEM occupations of science, technology, engineering and math?)

The world that teens are growing up in has challenges, expectations, technologies, and conveniences far different from that of prior generations.  They'll bring that to the workforce.
The world that teens are growing up in has challenges, expectations, technologies, and conveniences far different from that of prior generations. They'll bring that to the workforce. | Source

5 Key Changes That Affect Generation Z: Old Reality Meets New

What's Changed
Old Reality
New Reality
Availability & Instant Access
People owned phones due to safety concerns. If the person you were calling was not at home, you left a message on their answering machine. Bosses didn't call on weekends and at night unless it was an emergency. If you were really important, you wore a pager.
We use a variety of digital devices to "stay connected" to friends and virtual friends. We expect immediate responses. We "check in" to restaurants and other businesses to broadcast our location. We can be reached practically anytime, anywhere without even picking up the phone.
Personal Privacy
Social Security Numbers were commonly used identifiers. We openly provided and even printed them on our checks. Embarrassing information was limited to word-of-mouth or the local newspaper. You could tear a photo up or destroy its negative if you didn't want it to be circulated.
All of our personal data (financial, medical, biographical information) is potentially available. Identities can be easily stolen and our data could be used for illegitimate purposes. Photos and information that we intended only for a certain audience could be floating in cyberspace ... forever.
Expertise
Experts were mainly people with formal degrees and experience, and they shared their knowledge through books and academic journals available in print in your local library. You were expected to automatically know how to do the simple stuff like laundry.
An expert can be anyone with a story to tell. Blogs, Youtube how-tos, and crowdsourced sites like Wikipedia rock the internet. There is an audience for basic skills instruction, and we crave time-saving, money-saving tips from someone with the same concerns.
Structure
Hobbies, sports, and other extracurriculars were for enjoyment. You could schedule your life using a day planner or desk calendar.
We are often tightly scheduled, overbooked, and eat on the run. We use electronic devices and apps to help us keep track of priorities, calendars, and goals. When we meet with others face-to-face, we're often multitasking (e.g., texting).
Formality
Adults were often addressed with "Mr.," "Mrs.," or a similar title. Dress codes governed the shoulds and shouldn'ts.
We often dress for comfort and individuality, including at work (e.g., casual Fridays). Even CEOs may be called by their first names.

Personal Privacy Is Crumbling

As a result of technological changes, personal information is available to a wider audience through both intentional and unintentional sharing as well as data breaches.  There are not many secrets anymore.
As a result of technological changes, personal information is available to a wider audience through both intentional and unintentional sharing as well as data breaches. There are not many secrets anymore. | Source

2. Digital Overexposure: The Erosion of Personal Privacy Meets Oversharing

What did we even do before social media?

The statistics are mind-boggling:

  • Over 73 percent of the 500 million Twitter users are between the ages of 15 and 25.6
  • Since its launch, more than 1 billion Facebook users have posted over 250 billion photos, registered over 1 trillion "likes," and created 150 billion digital "friendships."7
  • More than 40 million people use Foursquare, which encourages "checking in" to locations, earning badges, mayorships and promotions all the while broadcasting your physical location and biographical information to others.

On the internet you can post an opinion, share a common interest, gather news, seek attention, and connect with strangers. You can also learn the value of personal boundaries the hard way.

Before Posting or Sending, Consider: What Would Grandma Say?

If you have any doubt about the appropriateness of a photo or message, think about what your Grandma would say.
If you have any doubt about the appropriateness of a photo or message, think about what your Grandma would say. | Source

Personal Boundaries On-line

Personal boundaries are about self-imposed limits that each of us sets regarding how we expect and deserve to be treated. They are about who we are and what we want from others.

Young people face digital overexposure at the same time they are learning what personal boundaries are. Almost 40 percent of all teenagers have posted or sent sexually suggestive messages.8

They accept friend requests regardless of whether they personally know the individual. They "follow" rock stars, politicians, people famous for being famous ... as well as their pretenders.

On-line data is forever, thus some shared images and information may prove damaging when teens apply for college and start careers. Bright futures can be harmed, for example, by on-line evidence of hate speech, tasteless "jokes," suggestive photos, and images that depict drug use or underage drinking.

While still children, Generation Z is learning adult lessons about digital overexposure, and the consequences of these lessons can impact them for years.

While this photo is an appropriate example of what can be posted on-line, teens who post inappropriate images or comments may find that prospective colleges or employers exclude them from opportunities years in the future.  The Internet is forever.
While this photo is an appropriate example of what can be posted on-line, teens who post inappropriate images or comments may find that prospective colleges or employers exclude them from opportunities years in the future. The Internet is forever. | Source

Oversharing and Employer Concerns About Business Discretion

For employers, the upside of Generation Z's habit of oversharing is this: it will be easier to know who you are hiring when an applicant has left digital footprints all over cyberspace.

However, as work life and personal life blur further, employers may face several problems. Too much personal information distracts from the business purpose. (Ask anyone who has ever worked in a cubicle!)

Additionally, employers may be concerned that Generation Z employees -- who are accustomed to oversharing their own personal information -- may fail to exercise proper discretion with business data. Even when unintentional, workers can compromise competitive business information with their on-line comments and social media friendships.

Expect tomorrow's employers to therefore monitor employees even more tightly than they do today. Bummer.

So Much To Share

Young people dominate Twitter and other social media sites.  They send an average of 60 texts a day, and 87% of teens even sleep with their phones (often using them as alarm clocks).  Generation Z is a technological force to be reckoned with.
Young people dominate Twitter and other social media sites. They send an average of 60 texts a day, and 87% of teens even sleep with their phones (often using them as alarm clocks). Generation Z is a technological force to be reckoned with. | Source

Cell Phone Owners Are Getting Younger

Percent of kids with cell phones:

  • 20% of third graders
  • 26% of fourth graders
  • 39% of fifth graders
  • 83% of middle school children
  • 86% of high school aged teens

3. Crowdsourcing: Expertise Meets Common Experience

Expertise Meets Common Experience

It used to be that expertise resided in individuals who spent 10 years, or roughly 10,000 hours, painstakingly honing their craft.9 Their journey to world-class performance was fueled by:

  • devoted coaches
  • enthusiastic family support, and
  • consistent and deliberate, structured practice that was designed to improve their performance.

Then the realization hit us: some of the work reserved for experts could be handed over to crowds. Volunteers and freelancers could be trusted to do the work. The notion of crowdsourcing took root.

How Connected Are You ... Really?

Digital devices allow us to maintain our connectedness 24/7, but there are potential downsides in lost verbal communication skills that come with practice.
Digital devices allow us to maintain our connectedness 24/7, but there are potential downsides in lost verbal communication skills that come with practice. | Source

Career Success Starts Now: Tips For Teens and Their Parents

  • Develop good sleep hygiene habits now. Let the cell phone charge in another room while you use an alarm clock to wake up.
  • Practice the art of disconnecting from technology to spend uninterrupted, focused time on other pursuits.
  • Avoid health issues associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Get moving.
  • On-line data is forever. Never share photos or information that you wouldn't want your grandma, a future employer, or your preacher to see -- because they might!
  • Consider everything you "like" on social media and everything you enter on partnered websites to be public information.
  • Periodically Google yourself and check your privacy settings, especially on Facebook.
  • Consider the potential consequences of information that you share. If in doubt, keep it confidential.
  • If you want to develop expertise, go narrow and go deep into a subject area.
  • Scrutinize the validity of any source. As appropriate, consider the author's purpose, credibility, objectivity, sources used, and how recent the material is.
  • Pay attention to developing your soft skills, such as communication and negotiation. Look at conflict as an opportunity to build interpersonal skills. No matter what career you choose, connecting with people (in non-digital realms) will still be essential.

Expertise Becomes The Wisdom of Crowds

Crowdsourcing refers to assigning large-scale projects to the general public, often across a wide range of geographies, expertise levels, and interests.10 Individuals accomplish micro-tasks such as writing reviews or submitting suggestions, photos, and ideas for products.

Wikipedia is the most prominent example of crowdsourcing, comprised of over 20 million contributors who research, write, edit, and verify over 4 million encyclopedia articles.11 Other examples include:

  • TripAdvisor, a website that offers member-generated travel reviews
  • American Idol, a television singing competition using viewer voting to select the winner
  • Justin Bieber, a teen pop idol who asked Twitter followers to select the cover of his single, "Boyfriend"12
  • photo sharing sites that offer creative commons licensed images for students, bloggers, and others
  • Indiegogo, a site which raises money from users for projects ranging from the arts to charity to small business, and
  • teen novel competitions in which fans comment and vote on book manuscripts. (The winning author lands a publishing contract.)13

Crowdsourcing is thus firmly entrenched in popular culture.

Trust Without Scrutiny

Generation Z is growing up with the democratized expertise of Wikipedia and YouTube, where anyone can contribute, regardless of qualifications or intent. As a result, Generation Z defines expertise more loosely than we have in the past. They trust without scrutiny. As they enter college and the workforce, however, young people will need to hone their skills at assessing the reliability of sources they use.

Uber-Specialists and Freelancers

Expect Generation Z to be a workforce of uber-specialists. They will also be the most digitally collaborative generation yet. In order to compete successfully, they will need to develop personal expertise in areas that are deeper and narrower. Successful consultants, for example, often develop a focused niche and endeavor to "own the space."

In the workforce, this will mean more work-life balance options, as telecommuting and freelancing opportunities grow. By 2020, it is expected that 40% of American workers will be freelancers.14

To gain leverage in competing with large companies, freelancers will increasingly band together for visibility via crowdsourced platforms. (These are the "managed, focused crowds" referred to in the video below).

Great VIDEO: The Key To Crowdsourcing Is Managed, Focused Crowds

The Generations At A Glance

Generation
Birth Years
Traditionalists
1925 - 1945
Baby Boomers
1946-1964
Generation X
1965-1980
Generation Y/Millennial
1981-1999
Generation Z
2000 - ?
Source: United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund

4. Overscheduling and Struggles With Structure

Today's children have about half as much unstructured play time outside as they did three decades ago. Instead, Generation Z will have spent more time in front of a television set than in the classroom by the time they graduate from high school.15 As a result, Generation Z will face health issues associated with their sedentary lifestyles.

Also, many kids of Generation Z have their schedules tightly packed with college-résumé building activities. Their parents shuttle them from after school sports to art lessons to karate. What is falling by the wayside in our fast-paced world is a lack of unstructured time spent playing with other children.

Unstructured play promotes socialization and emotional intelligence. Children must negotiate which games to play, determine their rules of engagement, and resolve interpersonal conflicts. Such child's "work" promotes the development of self-awareness, empathy, emotional and behavioral self-regulation, and flexibility.

Because they will have had fewer opportunities to develop these skills growing up, as employees, Generation Z will face challenges with soft-skills such as interpersonal communication (the non-digital kind) and conflict resolution.

Unstructured Time Outside Is Important

Today's children have about half as much unstructured play time outside as they did three decades ago.  Unstructured play promotes socialization and emotional intelligence.  This will affect Generation Z in the work world.
Today's children have about half as much unstructured play time outside as they did three decades ago. Unstructured play promotes socialization and emotional intelligence. This will affect Generation Z in the work world. | Source

5. Informality: Dude, We're Like, You Know, Equals

Generation Z has integrated the informality of digital communication into their lifestyle.

They declare "YOLO" (You Only Live Once). They wear skinny jeans for nearly any occasion. They know the familiar details of celebrities' lives. They connect with people of diverse backgrounds and prefer to address people by first names and nicknames like "dude." Informality is the name of their game.

Alexis Ohanian, one of Reddit's founders, dresses down.  While not a Generation Z member himself, he provides a good example of how to achieve the look.
Alexis Ohanian, one of Reddit's founders, dresses down. While not a Generation Z member himself, he provides a good example of how to achieve the look. | Source

As they enter the work world, Generation Z workers will need to be selective on how they address others. Titles convey respect and are often earned. Also, dressing professionally communicates a common focus on the job and promotes an image of competence.

On the positive side, however, informality often confers egalitarianism and familiarity. It is inclusive and can break down communication barriers that would otherwise separate people.

Generation Z's ability to treat others inclusively — as peers — will be an advantage for both themselves and business. America is rapidly becoming more diverse so that by 2050 there will be no racial or ethnic majority in the American labor force.

By this time, Generation Z will attain key organizational leadership roles. Thus, they will finally bring to the boardroom the inclusiveness that helps define their generation.

And what a contribution that will be!

There are both upsides and downsides to the trends that Generation Z will bring to the world of world.  The key for business is adaptation.  Are we ready for them?
There are both upsides and downsides to the trends that Generation Z will bring to the world of world. The key for business is adaptation. Are we ready for them? | Source

What Will Be the Impact? Upsides and Downsides of 5 Generation Z Trends

Trend
Upsides
Downsides
Oversharing
It's easier to know who you're hiring when an applicant has left digital footprints all over cyberspace. Employee monitoring will increase.
Increasingly blurred lines between work and personal lives. Excess personal information distracts from the business purpose. Shared comments and social media friendships may compromise business interests, even when unintentional. Businesses will increase monitoring of employees.
Hyperaccessibility & Instant Access
In a competitive global climate, it's convenient to have quick access to employees even when they are on vacation or not at work. Such access allows more flexible work arrangements (e.g., working from home).
Chronic sleep deprivation from sleeping with cell phones. Risk of early job burnout. Skills gaps in communication, self-awareness, emotional intelligence. Shorter attention spans.
Crowdsourced Expertise
Expertise comes in different forms and from different sources (e.g., education, life experience). Freelancers can provide a valuable, unique perspective and can perform the job efficiently.
Expertise needs to be scrutinized for reliability, no matter the source.
Overscheduling & Overstructured
Companies want employees who can contribute their ideas and efforts in a variety of ways. They want employees who "can do more with less." Companies assume busy employees are productive employees.
Gaps in soft skills such as interpersonal communication (the non-digital kind) and conflict resolution. Health problems associated with sedentary lifestyles.
Informality
Informality often confers egalitarianism and familiarity. It can breaks down communication barriers between people.
Not everyone wants to be called "dude" or by their first names. Titles convey respect and are often earned. Dressing professionally communicates a common focus on the job.
Generation Z refuses to be stereotyped.
Generation Z refuses to be stereotyped. | Source

Reader Opinion Poll

As Generation Z marches steadily towards the work world, how do you feel about them?

See results

Generation Z: They Won't Be Stereotyped

For all the statistics and generalities presented here, make no mistake -- Generation Z embraces their individual differences. They can be described but not stereotyped.

They're talented, connected, and for any challenges they may have, there have the ability to push beyond any limitations. They'll work in jobs that don't even exist now and invent solutions we haven't yet imagined.

They won't just change the future of the work world. They are the future.

Are you ready?

The Path Ahead Is Bright For Generation Z

Generation Z is resilient, digitally connected, and inclusive of diversity.  Their path forward looks bright!
Generation Z is resilient, digitally connected, and inclusive of diversity. Their path forward looks bright! | Source

Notes

1peHUB. "87 Percent of Teens Sleep with Their Cell Phones and Other Alarming Statistics." Last modified April 20, 2010. http://www.pehub.com/2010/04/20/87-percent-of-teens-sleep-with-their-cell-phones-and-other-alarming-statistics/.

2The Huffington Post. "How Mobile Phones Affect Sleep." Last modified February 15, 2013. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/15/phones-sleep-mobile-_n_2680805.html.

3Prigg, Mark. "OMG: Researchers say text messaging really is leading to a generation with poor grammar skills." Mail Online. Last modified July 27, 2012. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2179808/OMG-Researchers-say-text-messaging-really-leading-generation-poor-grammar-skills.html.

4Hopkins, Jeanne. "9 Amazing Mobile Marketing Statistics Every Marketer Should Know." Inbound Hub. Last modified September 6, 2011. http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/24082/9-Amazing-Mobile-Marketing-Statistics-Every-Marketer-Should-Know.aspx.

5Galinsky, Ellen. "Texting, TV and Tech Trashing Children's Attention Spans." The Huffington Post. Last modified November 5, 2012. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ellen-galinsky/kids-and-technology_b_2068862.html.

6Beevolve. "An Exhaustive Study of Twitter Users Across the World." Social Media Analytics. Accessed November 17, 2013. http://www.beevolve.com/twitter-statistics/.

7Smith, Craig. "92 Amazing Facebook Stats You Need to Know." DMR. Last modified October 30, 2013. http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-17-amazing-facebook-stats/.

8Anson, Alex. "11 Facts About Sexting." Do Something. Accessed November 17, 2013. https://beta.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-sexting.

9Ericsson, K A., Michael J. Prietula, and Edward T. Cokely. "The Making of an Expert." Harvard Business Review. Last modified July, 2007. http://hbr.org/2007/07/the-making-of-an-expert.

10Phys.org - News and Articles on Science and Technology. "Making crowdsourcing more reliable." Last modified October 10, 2012. http://http//phys.org/news/2012-10-crowdsourcing-reliable.html#jCp.

11Wikipedia. "Wikipedia: Wikipedians." Last modified November 17, 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedians.

12Music Ally. "Crowdsourcing." Last modified March 20, 2012. http://musically.com/tag/crowdsourcing/.

13Strauss, Victoria. "Swoon Reads: New "Crowdsourced" Teen Romance Imprint." Writer Beware. Last modified October 1, 2013. http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2013/10/swoon-reads-new-crowdsourced-teen.html.

14Neuner, Jeremy. "40% of America’s workforce will be freelancers by 2020." Quartz. Last modified March 20, 2013. http://qz.com/65279/40-of-americas-workforce-will-be-freelancers-by-2020/.

15American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. "Children and Watching TV." Last modified 2012. http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/Facts_for_Families_Pages/Children_And_Wat_54.aspx.

© 2013 FlourishAnyway

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    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 16 months ago from USA

      Rajan - Oh, I agree. My daughter is attending a Pre-College session at an Ivy League institution and as a part of introducing themselves, they had to say what gender pronoun they prefer to be referred by. It's a new world. Thanks for stopping by. Have a lovely day and rest of your week.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 16 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      How fast times have changed recently. With all their hyperavailabity, the current generation will burnout faster in all areas of life. I guess there is an equal but quicker downside to everything. Unfortunately for Generation Z, there is no choice but to go with the flow.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      David - Thank you for taking time to leave a comment. You are obviously an intelligent young man from the brief text you offer here, and I wish you well as your future unfolds. Go grab all the opportunities you can and appreciate life to its fullest.

    • profile image

      David 2 years ago

      I am writing a paper in college first-year writing about the death and rebirth of synesthetic communication and the role electronic literacy has played in it. This article was enlightening when it came to the current generation — one that I am a part of — and how dependent on technology we are. More eye-opening, though, is your take on how you see the future unfolding for "Generation Z." Thanks!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      ologsinquito - Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend yourself and don't miss that freshman college student of yours too much!

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      It is mind boggling to think of how quickly things change nowadays, and what's in store down the road. Have a nice weekend. :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Rozalyn Winters - Thanks for stopping by. We have teens about the same age. Looking back, it's stunning to see all the changes that have taken place in a "mere" decade and a half, isn't it? Have a great day!

    • profile image

      Rozalyn Winters 3 years ago

      This is a fantastic hub! It really is amazing how much things have changed just since the year 2000. My son is a typical Gen-Z (born two months shy of the millennium). I absolutely agree that the cell phone has become a digital umbilical cord! He *does* sleep with it, though I keep telling him to stop--that just cannot be healthy. Great HR information here too. :-) Thanks for sharing!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Tim - Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Have a great weekend!

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 3 years ago from Escondido, CA

      I compliment you with opening this person's awareness. I never even considered pondering those five distinct points. Now, with where I sit and life decisions I wonder how to position myself with both the emerging lifestyles of our changing society(s) and converting thoughts of tradition with innovation within cultures and creating cultures. Thank you . . .

      tim

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Mindi - Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. Like every generation, theirs is a mixed bag, but overall I am hopeful. Compated to other generations who could just enjoy childhood, they have more pressure on them to succeed at such early ages in athletics, academics, and other competitive spheres.

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      That's a great read. I started out feeling pretty gloomy about the prospects for our generation Z but by the end of this I feel much more buoyant and hopeful.

      'They can be described but not stereotyped' is a very important phrase in here. Your tips about handling what amounts to tech-dependency are excellent and I'm glad that you focussed in on the many positive aspects of this generation's experience and potential.

      I have to have assume that the current generation is better equipped for the future than mine. After all, I won't be there to see it.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      LWhip - Thanks for reading. If you think about the very different cultural environments that each of our generations grew up in, it's understandable that we are very different in work style, motivators, values and preferences. I am hopeful about Generation Z's prospects. There is surprisingly little written about them at this point, but that will change as they get closer to entering the workforce.

    • LWhip profile image

      LWhip 3 years ago

      Wow, this is a wonderfully written and insightful hub.

      Some time ago I attended a workshop on the effective leadership of baby boomers, gen-xers and gen y team members. It looked at how expectations in respect of reward, satisfaction, attitude and ethic might differ between the generations and how to be responsive to each. I'd be fascinated to see the gen-z perspective.

      Hah (or lol) you've made me curious to learn more - thanks FlourishAnyway!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      MosLadder - Thank you! When you look back at the last decade or so, it is astounding all we've been through technologically, socially, economically. Kids truly are growing up in a world that is very different from the one we did.

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      Chris Montgomery 3 years ago from Irvine, CA

      What a great hub, I'm an instant fan! As someone who clearly remembers life before the internet, smart phones, etc., and who is raising two kids, I have pondered this drastic shift in lifestyle due to technological advances a lot. Impressive work, thanks!

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Thelma - I find myself having to remind my daughter to put the punctuation back and to spell things out in essays. Oh, that streamlined communication can be like trying to solve a puzzle. They do keep you feeling young, though. Have a great week.

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      Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

      Brilliant! Very well said as well. Some of my nephews and nieces were born in 2000 and I sometimes feel old reading their texts which has a lot of short cuts and no punctuations at all. Thanks for sharing.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Rebecca - Thanks for stopping by. Gen Z definitely has much to contribute, but so do we all.

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      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      This is quite the impressive and comprehensive article. Love all the charts and explanations about the generations.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Heidi - Thanks for the kudos. I thought of Gen Z today when I was shopping and there was cologne marketed for "dudes." (Seriously?) I like the freelance trend. It will be either sink or swim. Have a great day!

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Peg - Professional attire could be its own hub. I've seen awful, awful stuff in the corporate headquarters. Probably one of the worst was black lace hose with the line up the back that reminds you of a cocktail waitress or a hooker.

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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Great review of Generation "Next." I'm speaking on Marketing to Millennials/Gen Y in a couple months and told the client I'd include info on Gen Z because, as you note, they'll be making their mark before we know it.

      The trend you note that's already underway is the freelance generation. As a freelancer myself, I am painfully aware of how the business world is so not prepared for this scenario. This goes for both freelancers and those that employ them. Things like insurance (both the commercial and health types), contractual working arrangements, data handling and much more are so chaotic and non-standardized, causing risk for both sides of the virtual desk.

      Another awesome hub! Voted up & shared. Keep the good stuff coming!

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      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      We are truly living in a different world - sometimes that is hard to swallow. The examples you've given listing the differences now versus the past are truly eye opening. I like your statement, "Dressing professionally communicates a common focus on the job and promotes an image of competence." So true, and our clothes affect the way we behave in what we've chosen to wear.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Writer Fox - Thank you for the marvelous compliment. The quote you provided is really awesome and brings unique perspective about how rapidly technology has leapfrogged ahead.

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      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      This is an amazing presentation. There is definitely a continental divide in time between the days BG and AG (Before Google and After Google) that changed how modern civilization works. I think that kids who have grown up with the ability to communicate globally at the touch of a cellphone and to have unlimited access to information and resources instantly are well-equipped to invent the future.

      Paul Saffo once said, "Each time you toss out a 'singing' greeting card, you are disposing of more computing power than existed in the entire world before 1950."

      Voted up and shared!

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      LKMore01 - Thanks for the kind compliment. My daughter is a young teen so I definitely have an advisor helping me out. Have a great weekend!

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      LKMore01 3 years ago

      Flourish,

      My youngest nephew who I love and adore will be eighteen next month so he is a Gen Z'er. This HUB is amazing and comprehensive. Outstanding research and insight.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      marcojour - As the parent of a 13-year-old, I recognize they are still adapting, still in transition, but there are so many things they need to learn that computers and social media cannot teach. Thanks for reading and commenting. Have a great Thanksgiving.

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      Maria Jordan 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Very comprehensive and insightful to this Baby Boomer reader.

      I admire my great nieces and nephews for many reasons. However, I agree and am concerned at their lack of the softer skills and the critical thinking skills that are so necessary for coping in life.

      And as a teacher of adult nurses, I mourn the death of grammar.

      Thank you for this summarization of what to expect from Generation Z. Great writing!

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      TotalHealth - Thanks for reading and commenting. I used to work for a large consumer products Fortune 500 company who already was seeing skills decrements in college new hires' communications/interpersonal relations. It was a major requirement for salespeople but noticeable that all the social media was having an impact.

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      TotalHealth 3 years ago from Hermosa Beach, CA

      Excellent hub and extremely relevant! It is interesting yet alarming to witness how Generation Z embraces and puts to use technological advancements. Although all concerns expressed are valid at the same the world is changing and, in some respects, I am happy to see our youth adopt to these transformations. But the red flagged raised about communicating and dealing with emotional issues is troubling. Voted up!

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      MPG Narratives - Thanks for stopping by. The world is changing so much and the pace of change seems to be speeding up. The key to success for us all will be adaptability. I appreciate your reading, voting, and sharing.

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      Marie Giunta 3 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Fantastic hub, I really enjoyed reading it. Agree with a lot of your points but I do feel life is always full of changes. I remember watching tv shows like Get Smart with the 'shoe phone' and thinking how cool it was but never really believing we would one day be talking and walking with a phone in our hands.

      Technology is great and Gen Y/Z know how to use it to their advantage, I think the young workers of today will manage the internet minefield with greater ease because they're learning about the pitfalls everyday. Voted up, interesting and shared.

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      dragonflycolor 3 years ago

      Very insightful.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      chinesetea - Yes, you are right. And as diverse and collaborative as ever. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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      Lisa Lin 3 years ago from China

      Really enjoyed reading this hub! The future work place is online ;)

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      JPSO138 - You speak the truth about two sides of the coin. We all have that, just a part of being human. Thanks for reading, my friend.

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      JPSO138 3 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Well said and well written. True indeed that so many things have changed. There is always an advantage and disadvantage. As what they say, there are always two sides of a coin. Well, I can relate with all that you have written. Amazing hub once again!

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Amanda - Glad you enjoyed reading it. I did research it pretty thoroughly, so thanks for recognizing that! Most things in life have positives and negatives, and Gen Z is no exception. Overall, I am hopeful that they will triumph, as we place our futures in their hands.

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      amandajoyshapiro 3 years ago

      Very interesting article and strongly researched! It's great that you understand not only the downsides to so much technology for teens, but also emphasize the upsides!

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Jeannie - I agree that the grammar one of the hardest things to get used to. Thanks for stopping by!

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      Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Oh, I can't handle the terrible spelling and bad grammar in the work place. It is slowly killing me, but I realize it is something I have to accept, especially from the new generation. Sigh. I feel so old!

      Great hub and voted up!

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      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Rebecca - Thank you for sharing and commenting, reading. I think they will be fine, too. It's just a matter of getting there. Adjustment is always difficult for everyone involved.

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      Rebecca Furtado 4 years ago from Anderson, Indiana

      An amazing hub. I do think generation Z will be fine. I had grandparents born at the turn of the last century, society was turned upside down on it's head by technology then. Roles of everyone in the world were up for new definitions. They came out of better people I think. Great hub. I am sharing this one.

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      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Suzanne - Thanks for stopping by. Gen Z has a lot to offer. For all the oversharing and hyperavailability, they will be awesome technological wizards who will show us how it's done.

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      Suzanne Day 4 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      It's almost like you took what I was thinking and put it eloquently upon a page! I can relate to about half of this stuff and I do think that the hyperavailability is definitely a stressor, along with hypermultitasking. But Generation Z does stand to benefit from being very hard digital workers who can use the internet in ways previous generations would never have thought of. Great hub and voted up etc!

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      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Larael - My daughter first clued me into the grammar issue when she remarked that she had written a paper for class then realized that whoops, there were no capital letters or punctuation marks in it. Gen Z has a lot of strengths, however. The biggest, I think, may be their resilience. They're growing up with recession and war and technological changes, but they adapt. I have hope. Thanks for visiting.

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      Larael 4 years ago

      You posed many points I haven't thought of. One of my biggest concerns and pet peeves is the decline of grammar. I catch myself not remembering how to properly spell a word sometimes. After my momentary freak-out, I remember and fix the problem. I agree entirely with having unstructured time spent outside. It frightens me to think of having children in the future who are unable to pry themselves away from the iPhones or Wii U's. But I am intrigued to see what kind of new inventions are made. Thank you for sharing FlourishAnyway. A very informative hub!

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      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Mike Robbers - I appreciate the read. Gen Z will be ready to report to work before we know it!

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      Mike Robbers 4 years ago from London

      Extremelly informative and clever hub,great work Flourish!!

      Voted up of course!!

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      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Liz - Thanks for reading and commenting. I agree with you. I like a lot of the amazing technological advancements but miss the carefree days as well. The days of doing research using the family's set of encyclopedias is long gone.

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      Elizabeth Parker 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      What an amazing hub. I miss the older days, even though I do use all of the technology today. Incredible how much has changed. While it is an "advancement" there was something better the way things used to be.

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      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Denden mangubat - Thank you for reading and commenting. I am glad you were able to glean something from the hub. Have a terrific day.

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      denden mangubat 4 years ago from liloan, cebu, philippines

      yes this is true that when 2000 comes things change rapidly.i like your way of comparing expertise and common experience.very well said

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      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Prithima - Thanks for stopping by. I am pleased that you enjoyed reading this. Have a great day.

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      Prithima Sharma 4 years ago from Delhi, India

      Thanks for this hub and pls share it more and more. Many thanks for sharing it wid me.

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      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Koralee - Thank you for stopping by and for the enthusiastic feedback. I appreciate your submitting this for Editor's Choice. I agree with you regarding grammar. Isn't it startling to read some of those statistics? My daughter's teacher showed the class as a demonstration recently how anyone could contribute to Wikipedia -- even if you're unqualified and just screwing around on the internet in your spare time. He changed a Wikipedia page in front of the class to include some silly nonsense. He wanted to show the 13 year-olds they needed to scrutinize their sources better. Of course, he got banned from Wikipedia for 3 years, I am told, but I think he was very effective in proving his point. Thanks again for reading and commenting. Have a great day.

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      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Crafty - Thanks for reading and commenting. I know, right? I recall reading and building forts and lots of exploring outside, no matter the weather. I think they could be missing some vital parts of growing up, although they are amazingly adept at technology. I recall the first time I my daughter Facetimed me, and she tells me there are social media sites I haven't even heard of. Just give them the tools and guidance, try to keep up, and keep the creepers at bay.

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      CraftytotheCore 4 years ago

      Bravo! You get a standing ovation and a loud round of applause for this! I am disturbed by the trending privacy issues with online use. But at the same time, my children are so more advanced in technology than I was that I'm hopeful for them. Just last night at dinner, we were all talking about how when I was growing up we had no computer. We rode bikes, read books, and some tv. The children were mortified. That thought is alien to them. LOL Especially the part about not having internet!

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      Koralee Phillips 4 years ago from Penticton British Columbia Canada

      Excellent hub! I hope you get HOTD. I am also going to submit it for Editor's Choice.

      It was a little depressing reading how much we've lost and are losing, such as grammar.

      The biggest thing that bugs me about young people today is that they don't scrutinize the validity of any source. They think whatever they read is the absolute truth, even if it doesn't make sense. I just want to shake them sometimes and tell them to use their head once in a while.

      My children are adults now, so I didn't realize kids in grade three had cell phones...What a shocker.

      Can you imagine what it will be like in another 10 years? I can't.

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      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      electronician - Thanks for stopping by. Gen Z will certainly be a force to be reckoned with!

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      Dean Walsh 4 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Very detailed an entertaining look at the new generation workforce -voted up!

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      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      bravewarrior - Thanks for the visit. It is pretty neat. In some workplaces they have not only mentoring programs but also "reverse mentoring" programs in which the youngsters teach us more experienced folks new tricks, especially when it comes to technology.

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Flourish, I'm a baby boomer. I grew up using my imagination and spending more time outside than in. Today's kids can't say that. On the flip side, technology has me rather befuddled, whereas today's kids have a firm grip on how it works and how to make it work for their needs.

      What it all boils down to is they can learn something from us and we can learn something from them. That's kind of cool when you think about it.

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      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      susi10 - Thank you very much for the Editor's Choice submission and for reading and commenting. It is astonishing to consider all of the changes that these kids are growing up with. They will be very different adults -- and employees -- as a result of what they've been exposed to.

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      Susan W 4 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Wow, this is an amazing hub and I never thought of all the changes that have occurred since 2000, its absolutely astonishing at the technological changes that have taken place since then. This is a fantastic hub, it covers each change in depth and I couldn't stop reading it until the end Well done on this hub, voted up, shared and submitted for Editor's Choice.

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      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      DDE - Thanks for the read and comment. It does give us a lot to ponder. They will be in the workforce before we know it.

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      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Ms Dora - Thanks for stopping by. I was surprised to find there was no comprehensive list of these things on the Internet. Maybe I just didn't look in the right place. It is so surprising to look back at all the amazing cultural changes.

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      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Frank - Thanks for reading and commenting. I was so surprised to learn that Twitter is such a you g demographic, but then again no one I know my age who isn't a recruiter actually tweets. Go figure.

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      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Generation Z and the Work World: The Top 5 Things To Expect From Tomorrow's Employees a beautifully presented and thought of hub informative and so much here to think about. The changes are incredible well done on this great hub.

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      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      This is one great article, and very relevant. With our world changing so quickly, it is beneficial to keep us with these differences which create the generation gap. I especially like your opening, and I guarantee I will read this again--more than once. Thank you.

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      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      what a shocking revelation but the truth is in the social networks.. a very interesting read.. perhaps i would never be ready for the Z-Shock generation LOL great share :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Faith Reaper - Thanks for stopping by and for sharing. In researching this hub I was astounded at the changes that have taken place in just 13 years. I also recall spending entire days outside just playing, only coming inside for meals or when called (and reluctantly at that).

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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Yes, let us all get ready! My children are Generation Y/Millennia and I see a lot of Generation Z in them. I cannot even imagine the world my grandchildren will go up in. My main concern is, as you pointed out, that disconnected time of just outside playing with other children! Very important in my mind. I even find my Baby Boomer self now having to keep up with all the instant contact via texting and just Goggling everything right then to get an answer. I do remember when my husband first bought a pager back then, and I laughed and told him that he was not a doctor and questioned him as to why he felt the need to have such. Then of course the cell phone ... only for emergencies LOL I used to be able to remember phone numbers, but now, there is no need, for they are all at my fingertips. Growing up, we were just fine playing outside all day long or even no speaking to another person until the end of the day when we saw them, in lieu of this (it seems) 10-20 times a day thing! So, I guess we are adapting to such at a great pace for sure. The scary part of course is privacy issues and the younger generation being more cautious as to what they post online, as it is there forever! Plus, will future generations even know how to write properly. Even now, we do have casual Fridays, and our top boss ... who is from the traditional generation is okay with all calling him by his first name, and he, too, dresses down on Fridays.

      You have written a comprehensive hub here with much to think about and it is truly amazing all that has transpired just within the past 13 years!

      Up and more and sharing

      Awesome hub,

      Faith Reaper

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      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Bill - I agree with you. They have grown up facing recession, wars, terrorism. Although past generations had their own challenges, it seems like they grow up very quickly. Thanks for stopping by.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      So much has changed; so much is changing as we speak. In so many ways I think this is a much harder time to grow up. I'm quite pleased I was a kid when I was a kid. :) Well done and very interesting.

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      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      ologsinquito - Thanks for reading, commenting, sharing. That is an excellent comparison. Cell phones are like oxygen to them. So far, we have resisted getting my daughter one, the poor dear. She let's us know how she is in a teeny tiny minority. But she does have an iPod Touch which is practically the same difference.

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      ologsinquito 4 years ago from USA

      This is really good. You really know this generation, as you have a member of it in your household. My children are a tiny bit older, but to my youngest, his cell phone is like oxygen. I do my best to prevent him from sleeping with it, because I know that's a really bad idea. Voted up.

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      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Jackie - Thanks for reading, commenting, and sharing. It's true. We rock, too. Our generation invented this stuff. Old dogs, new tricks.

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      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Wow you have said a mouth full, and all true, it is such a different world since 2000. What is amazing though is the way the older generation seems to be keeping up, don't you think?

      Up and sharing!