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Generation Z Characteristics

Updated on July 15, 2013
Generation Z Characteristics
Generation Z Characteristics

Generation Z, born after 1990, is slowly influencing the world and also being influenced by it. This hub discusses Generation Z characteristics, beyond the fact that they are the most wired generation in history. We delve into the good, the bad, and the previously unheard of.

Generation Z Characteristics

Feeling unsafe in America. Generation Z grew up as young children during 9/11, and also grew up during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. They are familiar with the unpredictability of safety in public spaces.

They have been exposed to the fact that taking a train or plane ride carries potential threats that cannot be predicted. While children of the 60s and 70s will tell you about the riots and assasinations that marked the fear and turmoil of their early years, Generation Z will one day talk about 9/11 and terror cells.

Financial hurdles. Generation Z will have to deal with a lot of realities when it comes to financial stability in their futures. Jobs with healthcare and reliable middle income salaries could become even more scarce than they are for Gen Y today.

In addition, Social Security will be amended for age increases or lower benefits during their lifetimes.

The rising and paralyzing cost of college will be a consistent theme. Such costs are one of the reasons some Gen Z college students are getting sugar daddies to pay their way.

Mistrust in prevailing political systems. Generation Z were in their tweens or teens during the market crash of 2008. They have seen their parents lose jobs and homes, and have witnessed their older Gen Y siblings' inability to get jobs. They have seen politics fail their families and their social circles despite seeing a history-making change in the White House. And this is just Generation Z in the United States. Abroad, Generation Z is witnessing record unemployment in Europe and extreme social upheaval.

Dating Blues. While many Gen Z'ers will fall in love and get married eventually, the casualness of sexual relationships and the breakdown of traditional courtship has made dating amongst Gen Z painful at times. Lena Dunham has smartly captured this frustration that so many young people relate to.

Home Schooled. Generation Z is the most home-schooled generation since the beginning of the one-room school house. Children who are home-schooled have more of a sense of independence from their peer group and are also closer to their families.

If they are home schooled because of bullying or other distractions in the school systems, they also tend to have a mistrust of others their own age. Home schooling has many benefits to it, including family closeness and greater personal safety, which has become an issue in schools in our modern times.

Baggage. Baggage at 20? 22? How is that possible? Life was happy and simple in general for young people at one time. Take a look at Gen Z's out-of-wedlock childbirth rate, Gen Z'ers with divorced parents, and young people with multiple sexual partners in high school and college. There is a lot of draining emotional issues that are turning Gen Z'ers into old souls.

The end of traditional social graces. I bet you still say "excuse me" when you get too close to someone in public, or you say "bless you" when someone sneezes. You've probably also noticed a lot of other people don't do these things anymore. The majority of Generation Z is not being taught traditional manners, so get ready for a world almost entirely without them. As people become more tuned into electronic gadgets, they are tuning out the people actually surrounding them in public. "Community" is more of a virtual presence within their own social circle.

Medicated. A generous portion of the American public has been prescribed medications from their physicians. This includes children and teenagers. It is not uncommon to hear about children with attention disorders and other behavioral problems. And the common solution is usually medical intervention rather than discipline.

All is not lost for Generation Z. Every generation has hurdles and ultimately comes up with their own solutions to problems, and they even find ways to prevent them. It will be amazing to see the innovations that Gen Z creates and how life will unfold for all of us when they are at the helm.


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