The growing importance of this generation is reflected not just in these protests and rallies but also on the internet. Google searches for the Gen Z peaked in 2019. This cohort was born into technology. They are like fish in internet water. So at home are they with social media that it has earned them the stereotype of being tech-addicted, anti-social, or “social justice warriors.” This lot will very soon become pivotal to the future of retail. In fact, many of them are expected to have a sizable spending power by 2026.
What in our collective mind, for instance, is the millennial’s vulnerable spot? Their famed burnout! Now is it a cover for entitled laziness or is it just plain old common fatigue brought on by a long to-do list? Depending on the view we take, the advice is likely to sound prescriptive. One, stop being so lazy and two, do less, why don’t you? The clear presumption is that humans are in complete command of their bodies and minds and it is therefore merely a matter of exercising the right choices. It is inconceivable for a boomer to appreciate that some forces larger than us might be at play around the millennials.
Isolation. Apocalypse. I have heard these words from my children. One of them has felt caged during the lockdown, not being able to cross interstate borders on drives. But I do believe that in the zoomers, the millennials have met more than a match in stubbornness. Here is a generation as bent upon, if not more, on not compromising on their aspirations to match the much touted notions of reality. Their smartphones are their umbilical cords and their Snapchat is chill. For this wired generation real world friendships begin with social media profiling. The online world does seem far more significant to them than the physical world and there is none of the older generation’s skepticism. They also do not appear to be as smitten by celebrities as those gone before. Their own individuality is important to them.