Generation Z (born 1995-2010) have been brought up in a completely different world to those of their leaders, a digital world. We now face the barrier between the industrial and digital mindset and both, come with very different expectations of each other.
The media often labels Millennials as the digital native generation however, I was born in 1994 (the last year of Millennials) and I didn’t experience the intensity of technology and social media that my brothers, sisters and their peers do in school therefore, Generation Z are the true digital natives of our society.
Let’s also remember that none of the biggest apps in the world including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Air BnB and many more, were not mainstream, or even around before 2007. If the force of social media began in 2007 this would put anybody born after 1995, at 12 years of age – the beginning of the critical cognitive development stage, coincidence? More like the dawn of the digital mindset.
Technology and social media have heavily dominated the formation of Generation Z’s expectations during their critical development years and in many ways, have distorted their ideas of fulfilment and success. Generation Z are exposed to everybody else’s lives and ideas of self-fulfilment and, that creates a lot of anxiety when understanding their own purpose. I fear that our current education system isn’t supporting people to find themselves, but to be compliant within a world that requires us to be creative, collaborative and innovative. No wonder we’re experiencing resistance at an educational level, Generation Z are thriving in a digital world, only to be greeted by uninspiring learning methods, unsupportive management and few training and growth opportunities within one organisation.
The desirables that once were, such as; instant feedback and recognition, fast technology and equipment and brand experience are all now defined expectations of Generation Z therefore, it is the difference in their natural generational expectations that will make them very different to deal with in the education system and workforce. They are a generation who expects quick progress, growth opportunity and leaders that inspire and motivate them to perform at their natural best.
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