Who we are

Young people are diverse and fiercely individualistic. But what truly defines the hearts and minds of Generation Z?

Stubborn, naive, screen-obsessed zombies.

Think back to the number of times you’ve been told that having an opinion makes you “difficult.” That envisioning a better future for our world makes you “impractical.” That being on your phone will “ruin your life.”

These traits are all that Generation Z amounts to in the eyes of most adults. Including anyone born after 1997, Generation Z is one of the largest and most diverse population groups in recent history.

According to Pew Research Center, most of Gen Z came of age after the Great Recession. We were gifted with a strong economy, which in turn has shaped our world view. It’s a view from which money and finance takes a backseat to issues such as racial equality and environmentalism.

What stands out, however, is that Gen Z does more than just care about the issues that we’ve decided matter.

We are willing to put our money where our mouth is. In an article published by Forbes, 67% of Gen Z said that they have stopped purchasing from a brand that behaved in a manner that was inconsistent with their beliefs.

Does this make us stubborn? I believe that it is a testament to our dedication, instead.

Gen Z also has much higher expectations for the world. In the same study by Pew Research center, almost 70% of Gen Z believes that the government should be doing more to help people.

We expect more from our leaders. We expect them to take action to improve our lives, not sit back idly while we try to solve our problems on our own.

Does this make us naive? I believe this exemplifies our optimism, instead.

Finally, we’re left with the tired and surface-level notion that all that Gen Z is capable of is being attached to their phone. While it is true that Gen Z  is the generation that spends the most time on their phone, this is merely a function of the environment we grew up in.

The “Digital Era” in which we were raised has surrounded us with technology ever since we were little.

Most of us can’t even imagine a world without iPhones and Instagram.

Additionally, there is a misconception that if a teenager is on their phone, they must be wasting time.

In reality, Gen Z is a generation of activists. Nearly three-quarters of Gen Z believe that being politically and socially involved makes you a good citizen. These activist ideals have best been translated into action through the power of social media.

We’ve seen this narrative play out numerous times in modern history.

From the powerful March for our Lives movement to the recent Black Lives Matter protests, social media — and Gen Z’s use of it — has played a dominant role in raising awareness.

However, the question still remains: who is Gen Z?

Well, we are a generation who won’t settle for less. We are a generation focused on progress. We are a generation that harnesses the power of technology to force change.

But most importantly, we are the generation of the future.